2014 Mark Ryan Winery, Crazy Mary Mourvèdre $48
Winery info: Mark Ryan McNeilly began making wine in 1999 in various garages and warehouses, finally settling into Woodinville in 2003. Over the years his production has increased, he’s relocated (to Woodinville’s Hollywood area), and he’s developed into an extremely talented and respected winemaker. His goal has been the same from day one: to make delicious wines that represent the vineyard from which they come, and to make every vintage better than the last.
Winemaker: Mark Ryan McNeilly
Grapes: 100% Mourvèdre
Vineyard sources: Two Red Mountain vineyards, Ciel du Cheval and Force Majeure.
Flavor profile: A big, inviting wine, with classic Mourvèdre aromas and flavors of dark fruit, violet and white pepper. While it is rich and full-bodied, it is also very beautifully balanced.
Production/Availability: 225 cases and still in stock.
Drinkability: This one is drinking beautifully now, and should continue to develop for three to five more years.
Food Pairing: Perfect for southern French fare, especially dishes with olives or garlic.
2012 Tranche Cellars, Slice of Pape, $35
Winery info: Tranche is the “sister label” of Corliss Estates, which was founded in 2001 and quickly become one of the top wineries in the state, thanks to ample resources, excellent vineyard sites, and meticulous attention to detail at every stage. Their Tranche wines focus on other styles and varietals, but are made with the same impeccable care.
Winemaker: Perth native Andrew Trio who began making wine in the Margaret River region, and also worked in New Zealand, California, the Mosel, and Barossa before arriving in Walla Walla.
Grapes: A blend of three Rhône varietals: Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah, aged 22 months in large French oak foudre.
Vineyard source: Primarily from their Blackrock Estate Vineyard on Red Mountain, although there are small amounts sourced from other vineyards.
Flavor profile: Beautifully aromatic and expressive, with layers of dark fruit and spice. With elegant texture and depth, it is a superb Washington interpretation of a Rhône red blend.
Production/Availability: 460 cases and still in good supply.
Drinkability: While you can definitely enjoy this one now, it develop beautifully for up to a decade.
Food Pairing: This wine would pair well with a wide range of dishes, but roast lamb with a peppercorn crust comes to mind.