2012 Lauren Ashton Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain, $49
Winery info: Kit Singh, a former dentist, studied at UC Davis and then interned at DeLille before founding Lauren Ashton in Woodinville in 2009. In a few short years Lauren Ashton has found itself lauded as one of the state’s most exciting new wineries, thanks to Kit’s skill and passion as a winemaker.
Winemaker: Kit Singh
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon
Vineyard sources: Quintessence and Ambassador vineyards, Red Mountain AVA
Flavor profile: As the label says, it is rich and complex, with elegant tannins and wonderfully balanced flavors and aromas of dark fruit and spice.
Availability: 176 cases produced and very limited.
Drinkability: Drinking very well now.
Food Pairing: Enjoy on its own, or paired with red meat or lamb dishes.
2013 Saviah Cellars, Une Vallée, $34
Winery info: Founded by Rich Funk in Walla Walla in 2000. Rich arrived from Montana with a strong background in chemistry, microbiology, and soil science, and originally became acquainted with wineries in the area through his job with Walla Walla County, helping them work through water quality issues.
Winemaker: Rich Funk
Grapes: 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot
Vineyard source: McClellan Estate, Anna Marie, and Seven Hills vineyards, all in the Walla Walla Valley AVA
Flavor profile: Blended from his favorite barrels from the 2013 vintage, Rich says this is one of his best Une Vallées ever. It is full-bodied and elegant, with aromas and flavors of red and black fruits, spice, and cocoa.
Production/Availability: 394 cases. This one is fairly limited and won’t be around too much longer.
Drinkability: You could drink this one now, or let it develop for five or more years in the cellar.
Food Pairing: Very nice on its own or with any red meat.