2012 Tranche Cellars, Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, $49.75
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: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Vineyard sources: Tranche’s estate Blue Mountain Vineyard, at the base of the Blue Mountains in Walla Walla.
Flavor profile: Full-bodied and silky textured with deep, rich flavors of dark plums and cassis, and notes of sage.
Production/Availability: 272 cases. Just released, this should be available for a while.
Drinkability: From the near perfect 2012 vintage, this wine is drinking well already, but it should continue to develop for a decade or more.
Food Pairing: Perfect for a juicy steak or leg of lamb.
2013 Andrew Will Winery, Flâneurs, $36
Winery info: Founded by Chris Camarda with his first release in 1989, Andrew Will is located on Vashon Island where Chris has been producing some of the most respected and highly regarded wines in the state for nearly 30 years.
Winemaker: Chris Camarda, now assisted by his son, Will (the “Will” of Andrew Will)
Grapes: 50% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Franc, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon. A limited edition blend, named for a man of leisure seen about town on the streets of 19th century Paris.
Vineyard source: Ciel du Cheval, on Red Mountain, and their estate Two Blondes Vineyard, in Yakima Valley.
Flavor profile: Smooth and elegant, with complex dark fruit flavors and savory hints of leather and cedar.
Production/Availability: 441 cases. Though limited, we should be able to get more for a while longer.
Drinkability: Delicious now or over the next five to ten years.
Food Pairing: This would pair well with a variety of dishes, from a nice succulent roast to game birds or a wild mushroom risotto.