2012 Lauren Ashton Cellars, Cuvée Arlette, $45
Winery info: Formerly a dentist, Kit Singh studied at UC Davis and then interned at DeLille before founding his own winery in Woodinville in 2009. Since then Lauren Ashton has gained a reputation as one of the state’s most exciting new wineries, thanks to Kit’s skill, meticulous attention to detail, and passion as a winemaker.
Winemaker: Kit Singh
Grapes: 47.5% Merlot, 35.5% Cabernet Franc, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% each Malbec and Petit Verdot. Aged 28 months in French oak.
Vineyard source: Upland, Dineen, Ambassador, and Boushey vineyards.
Flavor profile: Beautiful structure and depth, with rich, dark flavors of black cherry, cassis, crushed pepper, and a touch of earth. Kit’s wines always have remarkable elegance, complexity, and balance.
Production/Availability: 300 cases. The distributor still has a bit left of the 2012, but will soon move on to the next vintage.
Drinkability: Enjoy now or over the next three to five years
Food Pairing: Robust meat dishes, such as lamb with a wine reduction glaze or beef tenderloin.
2014 Baer Winery, Arctos, $43
Winery info: Founded by Lance Baer in 2000. His production grew steadily and he was gaining much recognition for his wines when, in May of 2007 he passed away at the age of 39. But his family stepped in to carry his dream forward and, with the expertise of winemaker Erika Orr, they continue to produce the wines Lance lovingly created and to slowly and carefully expand the line-up.
Winemaker: Erica Orr
Grapes: Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, blended with Petit Verdot and a tiny bit of Merlot.
Vineyard source: 100% Stillwater Creek, on the Royal Slope of the Frenchman Hills. With its fractured rock soils and steep, south-facing exposure, it is an ideal site for growing Cabernet Sauvignon.
Flavor profile: Erica says she was looking for both power and harmony in this Cab. It is full-bodied yet firm, with depth and concentration and rich, dark flavors of black plum and black currant and savory herbal notes. A seamless, silky, and delicious wine.
Production/Availability: 548 cases made. It should be available for a while.
Drinkability: Drink now or over the next three to five years.
Food Pairing: Grilled steak or burgers, mushroom stroganoff, or meatloaf and herbed mashed potatoes.