2010 Côte Bonneville, Carriage House, $49.75
Winery info: Hugh and Kathy Shiels bought DuBrul Vineyard in the Yakima Valley in 1991 and began planting it the following year. Recognizing the uniqueness of their site, they founded Côte Bonneville as an estate winery in 2001 to showcase what their vineyard is capable of producing.
Winemaker: Their daughter, Kerry Shiels. Kerry had originally studied and worked as an engineer, but realized her passion was wine. She trained at U.C. Davis and worked at a number of wineries as well as alongside their previous winemaker and pioneering Washington viticulturist, Stan Clarke.
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Vineyard source: DuBrul Vineyard is one of the most impressive sites in Washington, towering 1375 feet over the Yakima Valley. It has a unique blend of exposed basalt rock mixed with sedimentary soils and volcanic ash. Wines sourced from this vineyard tend to retain marvelous acidity while producing intense, powerful wines. The fruit is much sought after, and is sold to a very limited number of top wineries.
Flavor profile: An amazingly elegant wine, with rich texture balanced by bright, vibrant fruit flavors and excellent minerality. Just lovely!
Production/Availability: Around 800 cases. Still in good supply.
Drinkability: It’s drinking beautifully now but it could develop for many years.
Food Pairing: A great wine for juicy steaks (perhaps with a shallot demi-glaze), roasts, or pork chops with cherry sauce. Kerry says she loves it with tomato-based fare.
2014 Canvasback, Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain, $39.75
Winery info: Canvasback is a project begun by Napa’s renowned Duckhorn Winery and is their first venture outside of California. They were able to purchase coveted vineyard sites in the Red Mountain AVA (their estate vineyard, managed by Dick Boushey, is surrounded by Force Majeure, Col Solare, Heart of the Hill and Hedges). Their first release from their fruit was a 2012 Cab.
Winemaker: Wenatchee native, Brian Rudin, who was mentored by Stan Clarke (mentioned above) in his early days, and worked as head winemaker at Walla Walla’s Cadaretta Wines before becoming the founding winemaker for Canvasback.
Grapes: 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 2% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc
Vineyard sources: 13 vineyards in the Red Mountain AVA
Flavor profile: A classically structured Cab, with plenty of dark, supple fruit, ripe tannins and juicy acidity.
Production/Availability: Limited, but there is still some available.
Drinkability: You could enjoy this one now or over the next five to ten years.
Food Pairing: They suggest savory burgers or turkey chili. They even have recipes on their website!