Pomum Cellars, Woodinville Tasting
With Jaiver Alfonso. Saturday 2-4 pm.
April 22, 2017
Pomum Cellars, located in Woodinville, WA is owned by Shylah and Javier Alfonso. Javier, the winemaker, is originally from the Ribera del Duero region of Spain where his family has owned vineyards for several generations. The family however never owned a winery and all the fruit is sold to the local village cooperative. They always thought that making wine was too complicated and did not realized that in actuality growing quality fruit is where most of the work and art lies.
When remembering the harsh vineyard labor of his youth, initially Javier wanted nothing to do with the wine industry and pursued a degree in Mechanical Engineering that brought him to the University of Washington in Seattle. Here he met his future wife Shylah and both begun exploring the magnificent wines of Washington. It was then that the “wine bug” deeply rooted in Javier’s genes finally caught back with him. They begun making wine at their home in 2000 and by 2003 they were making so much they could not give it all away and a decision was made to get licensed.
Pomum Cellars was founded in 2004 and the winery moved to the warehouse district in Woodinville. Their current production is still relatively small at roughly only 2000 cases. Pomum’s philosophy is simple, make the wine during the growing season by closely working with their vineyard partners. They work with highly motivated and meticulous growers that own parcels of older vines in unique sites. They source from the same blocks, rows and plants year after year to allow Javier to refine his style and continuously improve quality.
Pomum’s current offerings include an off-dry Riesling that comes from Upland Vineyards, a steep gravelly hillside in the middle of the Yakima Valley that is so unique that the site has recently been awarded its own AVA (Snipes Mountain). Pomum’s entry level red wine is simply called just that “Red Wine”. This is a blend of lots that didn’t fit the primary winery’s offerings. Same quality fruit and winemaking yield one of the best value wines in the market. Pomum’s Tinto represents Javier’s passion to bring this Spanish king of grapes to the wonderful vineyards of Washington. Pomum’s beautifully crafted Syrah represents what Javier calls the pinnacle of Washington State Syrah. Horse Heaven and Yakima Valley fruit are blended for the perfect combination of typical Syrah aroma character coupled with fresh Yakima Valley mouth feel. Last but not least is Pomum’s signature Shya Red blend (after Shylah’s childhood nickname). This rich and complex wine is a Yakima Valley Bordeaux style blend assembled from a selection of the finest barrels at the winery. This wine comes from the best vineyard sites in the Yakima Valley and shows elegant red fruit, great minerality, spice and a wonderfully lingering finish.
After 8 years making wine from Washington fruit, Javier has quickly realized that the potential of these vineyards is largely untapped. He realized that the climate and growing season dynamics of eastern Washington are very similar to those in his home region in Spain. Why then could Washington not make wines of quality rivaling those from the best regions in Spain? As a consequence in 2009 Javier and Shylah started a second brand named focusing exclusively on Spanish varieties grown in Washington State. The winery was named after Idilico a famous bullfighting bull that was pardoned in a bullfight at the Barcelona ring in 2008. The lineup started with Albariño, Tempranillo and Garnacha and quickly expanded to Monastrel and Graciano. You never know which grape will make Washington its new home.