2016 Guardian Cellars, Gun Metal, $42
Winery info: Jerry Riener volunteered for several years at Matthews Estate, then worked alongside Mark McNeilly at Mark Ryan Winery where he began crafting his own wines as well. He officially launched Guardian Cellars in 2007, all while keeping his day job as a cop. Since then he has become a highly-acclaimed winemaker in his own right, and producer of some of our most popular wines. This is the eighth time we’ve featured this wine in our Washington Club.
Winemaker: Jerry Riener
Grapes: 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, and 4% Petit Verdot, aged 20 months in 60% new French oak.
Vineyard source: 80% Conner Lee, 20% Stone Tree vineyards
Flavor profile: The 2016 Gun Metal is elegant and focused, with dark fruit aromas and flavors and savory notes of herbs and baking spice, balanced by supple tannins and bright acidity. It is very smooth and polished, with fine structure and a long, lingering finish.
Availability: 650 cases produced. It should be available for a while.
Drinkability: Delicious now, Jerry says it could age another ten years easily.
Food Pairing: The Gun Metal is always a fabulous wine for steak or other meaty fare.
2016 DeLille Cellars, D2, $45
Winery info: Founded in 1992 in Woodinville, by Charles and Greg Lill, Jay Soloff, and Chris Upchurch. They were one of the first Washington wineries to focus on producing Bordeaux-style blends and they quickly gained a stellar reputation for their impeccably made wines, which has continued to this day. 2016 is the 25th vintage of their D2.
Winemaker: Executive winemaker, Chris Upchurch, with winemaker Jason Gorski (promoted to director of winemaking and viticulture in January, 2019) and assistant winemaker Nick Bernstein
Grapes: 59% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec, and 1% Petit Verdot. Aged 18 months in 100% French oak (55% new).
Vineyard source: 15 Columbia Valley vineyards including Red Willow, Harrison Hill, Ciel du Cheval, Klipsun, Boushey, DuBrul, Upchurch, and Grand Ciel.
Flavor profile: Smooth, silky, and elegant, with flavors of blackberry, dark plum, and red currant and notes of cocoa. The oak is well-integrated, providing soft tannins and warm spice notes. A very expressive and well-structured Bordeaux-style blend.
Production/Availability: They make a good amount of the D2 and it is usually in good supply.
Drinkability: While showing well now, this wine will reward further aging, up to 2025 or so.
Food Pairing: Chris Upchurch has a recipe on their website for butternut squash risotto with black truffle to pair with the D2. For a more carnivorous option, duck breast or beef tenderloin come to mind.