Washington Wine Club – December 2015

2013 Quilceda Creek, CVR, $51.50

Winery info: Founded in 1979 by Alex Golitzen in Snohomish. Have always been dedicated to the production of world class Washington state Cabernet.

Winemaker: Paul Golitzen, assisted by Marv Crum and Jesse Schmidt.

Grapes: 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot, and 3% Malbec

Vineyard sources: Champoux, Tapteil, Wallula, and their own Galitzine vineyards, aged in 100% French oak. The CVR (Columbia Valley Red) is a blend of declassified fruit that did not make it into their flagship wines, still some of the most coveted fruit in the state.

Flavor profile: Full bodied and seamless, with ample flavors of dark red fruit, smoke, spice, and minerals

Production/Availability: 4,000 cases made. We got our usual generous allocation, but this wine doesn’t last long and the winery expects to sell out by the end of summer, 2016.

Drinkability: Wonderful at a recent holiday dinner but can be cellared for the next 8 to 10 years.

Food Pairing: As you would expect, this wine is an excellent match for grilled meats, ribs, or other hearty fare.

2011 Tertulia Cellars, Carménère, Phinny Hill Vineyard, $36

Winery info: Established in 2005 in the southern portion of the Walla Walla Valley.

Winemaker: Ryan Raber, who has degrees in Enology and Viticulture and a culinary background. He joined Tertulia right after graduation and was their first winemaker.

Grapes: 80% Carménère, blended with 15% Merlot and 5% Cabernet, vinified in 100% neutral French oak for 20 months before bottling.

Vineyard source: Sourced from Phinny Hill Vineyard in the western section of the Horse Heaven Hills, with gravel soils, excellent exposure, and a long growing season. Shaped by both the Missoula Floods and ancient volcanic lava flows, the site is known for producing fruit with great finesse and structure.

Flavor profile: A great example of Washington-grown Carménère, smooth and somewhat rich, with notes of espresso, crushed black pepper, and hints of flint.

Production/Availability: 245 cases of this wine were produced, but it is still in good supply at the small distributor that carries it in Seattle.

Drinkability: Drinking great now but you can also put it aside for next summer’s barbecues.

Food Pairing: A grilled pepper-crusted sirloin or perhaps a juicy gourmet burger.