2012 Dumas Station, Minnick Hills Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon $60
Winery info: Owned and operated by Jay DeWitt and Doug Harvey, who also own and manage Minnick Hills Vineyard, located to the north of Walla Walla. Their winery is based in a former apple-packing shed known as Dumas Station (hence the name). Their first commercial release was their 2003 Cab and we have been featuring them in our clubs regularly, beginning with their 2004 release.
Winemaker: Jay DeWitt
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon (with 8% Petit Verdot) selected from the best lots from the vineyard in the excellent 2012 vintage. Jay only produces this wine when he “feels the vintage is worthy.”
Vineyard source: Minnick Hills Vineyard, two miles north of Walla Walla, with diverse soil types, including deposits of volcanic ash, wind-blown loess, and clay.
Flavor profile: Very balanced and well structured, with dark fruit notes, a bit of spice, and medium tannins.
Production/Availability: Only 90 cases. The winery is now onto the 2013 vintage.
Drinkability: With some air or decanting this one is drinking well now, but it should also gain in complexity and nuance with some cellaring.
Food Pairing: This Cab would stand up to any meat dishes, from burgers to a nice roast.
2014 ANIMALE, Petite Sirah, $26
Winery info: With an annual production of barely 200 cases a year, ANIMALE is truly a micro winery. Winemaker Matt Gubitosa makes those wines in the basement of his home in Ballard, sourcing fruit from select vineyards around the state. With two degrees in geology, he has an especially keen understanding of vineyard dynamics, enabling him to select the best fruit possible to achieve the complexity he seeks in his wines.
Winemaker: Matt Gubitosa
Grapes: 100% Petite Sirah
Vineyard source: ANIMALE’s one-acre planting of Petite Sirah in the McIntire Vineyard in Sunnyside, Washington.
Flavor profile: Dark and full-bodied, with layers of black fruits, herbal notes, and a long finish.
Production/Availability: Because of the weather, 2014 was a small crop and Matt made only about 20 cases of this wine.
Drinkability: This was showing very well at Matt’s recent tasting in the shop (it was the hit of the tasting!). But it could also age gracefully for a number of years.
Food Pairing: Roast pork or beef, hearty mushroom dishes, or chicken with a mole sauce.