Wine reviews: Hogue Cellars 2008 Genesis Riesling and 2007 Meritage

hogue rieslingOn a recent trip to Hogue Cellars in Eastern Washington State, I tasted pretty much every wine they make. The 2008 Genesis Riesling — they have three tiers of wines: Hogue, Hogue Genesis, Hogue Terroir — impressed me like the cured salmon and crème fraiche they paired it with. With plenty of experience dancing with this grape, they know how to make it move and shake. The winery’s production is 70 percent white wine, and traditionally, this arena has been the most impressive. But when I blind-tasted the red blend Meritage a few weeks ago (and again during the trip), I knew things had changed.

Hogue Genesis Riesling is slightly sweet and delicious paired with food, since it has high acidity on the tongue but enough sugar to mellow out this tartness. It’s blended with three percent Gewürztraminer, giving the wine some muskiness and lychee fruit (yes, I said lychee, but it really does taste like it). The grapes came from the warmer regions of Yakima Valley and the Columbia Valley but 2008 was a cooler vintage across the state so the sugar levels were tamed. This wine is rich with fresh apple juice, orange blossoms, tangerine, peaches and lemon-lime on the finish.  Dangerously easy to quaff and high quality for the price.

Sweetness: 3 out of 10 (what is this scale?)
: 4 stars (out of 5)
: $16
: Tasted at a Hogue wine dinner
Availability: High end grocery stores, larger chain stores
Food pairing: Anything smoked, from ribs to salmon, spicy Asian or Indian food

Hogue Genesis 2007 Meritage is a heavy-bodied, concentrated red blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Like an airplane attack, the flavors come at you from all angles: tannins, fruit, acidity and oak. But it melds well in the end like a peace treaty. Dark cherry, blackberry, cassis, smoky oakiness, menthol, earthy coffee and rich chocolate give you plenty to chew on as it slides across your tongue. The cherry oak finish lasts and lasts. Worth twice the price. (Read: What is Meritage?)

Sweetness: 1 out of 10
: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
: $16
: Bottle sent to me by winery and tasted blind + had it at Hogue wine Dinner
: High end grocery stores, larger chain stores
Food pairing: Grilled and/or smoked meats, peppercorn-crusted pork or beef



  1. Where can I purchase Meritage in Georgia…i have only been able to find the merlot.

    Please and thank you.

    I am near 30046, 47, 30019, 30024, 30004

  2. Darla,

    Unfortunately, I don’t have access to that information. I suggest you ask at an independent retailer who might be able to point you in the right direction.
    Sorry! – Taylor

  3. Darla, try Trader Joe’s, and while you’re there, check out Lost Sonnet, as well.

  4. Try a Trader Joe’s grocery. I know the exist in Georgia, and that where I picked up my bottle of Meritage.

  5. Thanks for all the help finding these wines!

  6. I know these posts are from a few months ago, but, you can find the Genesis Meritage 2007 at Bev-Mo. I just bought it on the 5 cent wine sale. $15.99 for the first bottle, 5 cents for the second. Must buy two. Hope this helps someone!

  7. That’s great! Thanks Sondra.


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