2013 Tero Estates, Nebbiolo, $55
Winery info: Tero Estates is a collaboration of two longtime friends, Mike TEmbreull and Doug ROskelley. In 2007 they were able to purchase Windrow, one of the oldest vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley AVA, on the Oregon side of the border. Windrow was part of the original Seven Hills Vineyard, first planted in 1981. Over the years the vineyard has provided fruit for many top Walla Walla producers, including Leonetti, L’Ecole, and Walla Walla Vintners.
Winemaker: Doug Roskelley
Grapes: 100% Nebbiolo, aged over three years in neutral French oak and two years in bottle.
Vineyard Source: Their estate Windrow Vineyard, the oldest commercially planted vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley AVA, with soils varying from deep deposits of windblown loess to shallow layers over gravelly rocks. The large diurnal shift between warm days and cool nights produces fruit with great acidity, balance, and structure.
Flavor profile: This wine shows the classic Nebbiolo aromas of cherry, tar, and roses, with flavors of red fruit, black currants, and a hint of leather. It is elegant and beautifully balanced, with smooth tannins and a long finish. Doug says it is his version of a Piedmont Barolo.
Availability: 141 cases produced.
Drinkability: Delicious now or over the next several years.
Food Pairing: They say it would pair beautifully with a truffle or mushroom risotto.
2017 Weather Station, Cabernet Franc, $34
Winery info: Weather Station is a second project of Arbor Crest Wine Cellars, a winery founded by brothers David and Harold Mielke in 1982 in Spokane as Washington’s 29th winery. Harold’s daughter, Kristina, then associate winemaker at Sonoma’s Ferrari-Carano Vineyards, took over at Arbor Crest in 1999. She is director of winemaking and her husband Jim van Löben Sels is viticulturist for their Weather Station wines.
Winemaker: Kristina Mielke van Löben Sels
Grapes: 100% Cabernet Franc, aged 24 months in French oak
Vineyard source: Connor Lee Vineyard. The deep, sandy soils and cooler temperature allow the grapes a longer hang time, producing very concentrated fruit with full flavor and excellent acidity.
Flavor profile: The 2017 growing season allowed the fruit to reach full flavor and structural ripeness with excellent varietal character. This Cab Franc is full-bodied and elegant, with savory spice, a touch of herbs, and bright red and blue fruit flavors. With soft, well integrated tannins and balanced oak notes.
Availability: 325 cases made. It should be in decent supply for a while.
Drinkability: Enjoy anytime through 2024.
Food Pairing: The winemaker suggests a succulent beef tenderloin marinated in a huckleberry-Cabernet sauce. Or you could try it with grilled lamb or wild mushroom dishes.