2008 Tero Estates, Windrow Vineyard Plateau Block Cabernet Sauvignon
This is the third wine from Tero Estates we’ve put in the club this year, following the 2009 Windrow Vineyard Field Blend in January and the 2010 Flying Trout Malbec in July. That’s a tribute both to the skills of winemaker Doug Roskelley and to the top quality fruit from his Windrow Vineyard. In 2006, Doug and some partners were able to buy Windrow, one of the oldest vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley AVA, on the Oregon side of the border near Milton Freewater. It was part of the original Seven Hills Vineyard, first planted in 1981, and has provided fruit for many of the top Walla Walla producers, including Leonetti, L’Ecole, and Walla Walla Vintners. This wine comes from a select four acre parcel, planted in 1996, that is on the very top of the bench that Windrow sits on, where the soils are at their deepest. The great drainage and rich soils help to produce a truly massive wine, Tero’s biggest so far, that is very aromatic and features delightful dark fruit with a bit of pepper and spice. Doug said at our tasting in June that, “when I hear a winemaker say his wine needs a couple of years, I just tell him that I’ll come back then.” True to his philosophy, the wine is ready to drink yet could also develop in the cellar for up to five years. It is $55, still in somewhat decent supply, and calls for a big steak.
2009 Brian Carter Cellars, Corrida, Columbia Valley Red Wine
We have long been fans of Brian Carter’s skillfully crafted, European-style blends, for which he has received much recognition over the years. After study at UC Davis, he started making wine professionally in 1980. (Among Washington winemakers, only Rob Griffin, who started a year earlier, has made wine from more vintages than Brian.) Brian’s red blends include Le Coursier, an elegant Bordeaux blend; Byzance, a lively Rhone blend; and Tuttorosso, an earthy Super-Tuscan blend; we try to keep all of them in stock. The latest addition to the family is this Spanish-style blend, primarily Tempranillo, blended with Garnacha and the main Bordeaux grapes, which provide mid-palate depth of fruit. The grapes come from four vineyards in the Yakima Valley, with the majority coming from the very warm Stone Tree Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope. The wine is aged for 22 months in mostly French oak, only 30% of it new. It offers a lot of complexity for $29.75, with aromas of dark fruit and spice, soft tannins, and a long, juicy finish. Brian recommends pairing the Corrida with grilled meats or vegetables, such as marinated pork loin or eggplant. Or you could be adventurous and try it with grilled quail with shallots and mushrooms, as Andaluca did at a recent wine dinner. It’s ready to drink, and we’ll keep it in stock with Brian’s other wines.