2016 Tranche Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon, $49.75
Winery info: Tranche is the “sister label” of Corliss Estates, which was founded in 2001 and quickly became 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, aged 22 months in 50% new French oak.
Vineyard source: Their Blue Mountain Estate Vineyard, one of the highest elevation vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley. The site tends to produce dark, complex wines with rich, supple tannins.
Flavor profile: Deep, concentrated, and expressive, with savory notes of black fig, cassis, and dried herbs and layered flavors of black fruits. Its beautiful structure and texture will continue to evolve over the coming years.
Production/Availability: 489 cases. Just recently released, it should be available for a while.
Drinkability: While you could enjoy it now, with decanting, the winery suggests holding it a year or two, then drinking it anytime up to around 2028, with proper cellaring.
Food Pairing: A superb wine for rich meat dishes, like a juicy steak or leg of lamb.
2016 Simpatico Cellars, Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, $35
Winery info: A collaboration of several alumni from the wine program at South Seattle College, one of whom, Cassie Wistrom, we first got to know when she interned here in the shop back in 2012. After graduating, Cassie interned at Napa’s highly acclaimed Lewis Cellars and later worked with Bob Betz, one of Washington’s most respected winemakers. They tell us that we are the only retail outlet getting this Cab, so it is a West Seattle Cellars exclusive!
Winemaker: Cassie Wistrom and Craig Sosey.
Grapes: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged 50% in new French oak.
Vineyard source: Equal parts Kiona’s Heart of the Hill and Estate vineyards, on Red Mountain, one of the premier sites for growing Cab in the state, known for producing dense, robust, savoury wines.
Flavor profile: This Cab shows the structure and power characteristic of Red Mountain AVA, balanced by a lovely textural silkiness and richness. It is fresh, with flavors of blackcurrants and notes of dried herbs and crushed rock. The finish is long and mouthwatering.
Production/Availability: 78 cases. It was just released so it should be around for a while.
Drinkability: Approachable now, but it should continue to develop over the next five years or so.
Food Pairing: Great with a nice grilled steak or pork chops.