One of the most modern northwest wineries is Januik/Novelty Hill. This cavernous architectural marvel in the heart of Woodinville Wine Country is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the area. The expansive outside area even has a bocce ball court. It is truly the ideal place to sip their wines on a warm summer day, which is what I did last Sunday.
Head winemaker, Mike Januik, has been named "Master of Merlot" by Wine Enthusiast magazine. But his white wines are just as good and have consistently achieved 90 plus scores from Robert Parker, Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator. Following his ten year tenure as head winemaker for Chateau St. Michelle, in 1999 Januik founded his own winery just a few blocks down from St. Michelle. Januik is one of the more famous winemakers in the state, as he's had more than 10 of his wines on the Wine Spectator Top 100 list. The tasting lineup at Januik/Novelty Hill is impressive, as the tasting room typically pours more than 20 wines. Januik produces some unique Washington grown white wines, as he makes a pretty outstanding Sauvignon Blanc and Rousanne. His Chardonnays are mineral driven and are well-balanced. Look for his wines in northwest wine shops, as well as Costco and grocery stores like QFC.
Here are some of the excellent white wines that I sampled at Januik/Novelty Hill winery.
2012 Januik Cold Creek Chardonnay- Lemon zest and baked apple on the nose. Palate has pear, nutmeg, golden delicious and minerals. Tasty. Drink now. -92
2012 Novelty Hill 'Stillwater Creek' Chardonnay- Green apple and unripe melon on the nose. Palate has orange find, pear and creme brûlée with minerals. Delicious. Drink now.
2013 Novelty Hill 'Stillwater Creek' Sauvignon Blanc- Made with more than 20% Semillon, this has dried herbs, honeysuckle and cut grass on the nose. Palate has nice balance. Pear, minerals and lychee in this slightly sweet blend. Delicious and impressive effort considering 20 dollar price. Drink now. -92
2012 Novelty Hill 'Stillwater Creek' Viognier- Pear, oak and lychee on the nose. Palate has ripe orange and pear flavors. Novel and tasty. Drink now. -91
2013 Novelty Hill 'Stillwater Creek' Rousanne- Pear and lychee in the nose. Palate has pear, baked golden delicious apple and nice viscosity. Drink now. -90
2013 Januik 'Bacchus Vineyard' Riesling- Slate and pear on the nose. Palate is slightly sweet and has golden delicious and ripe pear with minerals. would like more vibrant acidity. Drink now. -89
2012 Januik 'Champoux Vineyard' Muscat Canelli- 5% residual sugar, this has nice tropical fruit in the nose. Palate has Japanese pear and pineapple. Nice minerality. Delicious. Drink now. -90
2011 Novelty Hill 'Stillwater Creek' Late Harvest Semillon- 22.6% residual sugar. Powerful nose with apricots and peaches. Palate has apricot, creme brûlée, and honey. Outstanding and viscous. Drink now. -93