2013 Balboa, Mith, $60
Winery info: Tom Glase is the long-time winemaker at Walla Walla Valley’s Beresan, where he works with talented vineyard manager Tom Waliser. In 2005 Glase created the Balboa label to make his own wines. He produces them in the same facility as Beresan and has access to the same top vineyards sources. He has been producing his Mith, a Bordeaux-inspired red blend, since the 2005 vintage.
Winemaker: Tom Glase (director of winemaking) and Tyler Grennan
Grapes: 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot,
Vineyard Source: The Cabernet is sourced from their estate Eidolon in the Rocks District of Milton Freewater. The rest comes from Summit View, one of the highest elevation vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley.
Flavor profile: This blend, now with a nice amount of bottle age, has well-developed flavors of dark fruit, toast, and a bit of cocoa. It is smooth and balanced, with soft tannins, good acidity, and the complexity that comes with a bit of time in the bottle.
Availability: 420 cases made. This is the end of this vintage and the distributor is onto the 2014.
Drinkability: This wine is ready to drink now, or over the next two to three years.
Food Pairing: It would pair well with most meats or hearty winter dishes.
2016 Simpatico Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon, $35
Winery info: Simpatico was founded by three alumni from the Northwest Wine Academy at South Seattle College, one of whom, Cassie Wistrom, interned here in the shop back in 2012. After graduating, Cassie worked at Napa’s highly acclaimed Lewis Cellars and later with Bob Betz, one of Washington’s most respected winemakers, before she started Simpatico. This is their reserve, single-vineyard Cabernet. Very limited in production, it was intended to be exclusively for their wine club members only, but they very generously made some available to us for this club.
Winemakers: Cassie Wistrom and Craig Sosey
Grapes: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 30 months in 50% new French oak and 18 months in bottle.
Vineyards: All from Kiona’s Heart of the Hill Vineyard in the Red Mountain AVA. The site is highly sought after for its ability to produce deep, brooding, assertive Cabernets.
Flavor profile: This wine is blended from specific barrels that they felt expressed exceptional site characteristics. It is beautifully balanced and savory, with dark fruit flavors, smooth tannins, and wonderful texture and complexity.
Availability: They made less than 100 cases. We are the only retail shop to receive any and may be able to get a small amount more.
Drinkability: Very pretty now, it could age another four to five years.
Food Pairing: Perfect for grilled meats, or perhaps your best gourmet burger.