2018 Tranche, Cabernet Sauvignon $49.75
Winery Info: Tranche is the sister label of Corliss Estates, which was founded in Walla Walla 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, while more affordable, are made with the same impeccable care as the Corliss line. This vintage was made by Perth native, Andrew Trio, who began making wine in the Margaret River region and worked in New Zealand, California, the Mosel, and Barossa before joining Corliss. He has recently returned to Australia full time, but the transition to the new team has been seamless.
Winemaker: Andrew Trio, with assistant winemaker Spencer Williams.
Grapes: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in 50% new French oak for 22 months.
Vineyard: Their Blue Mountain estate vineyard, one of the highest elevation vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley. This cool site, with wind-deposited silt loess soil, produces dark, complex wines with rich, supple tannins.
Flavor Profile: Another classic Cab from Tranche, with inviting aromas of dark fruit, figs, and cassis and beautiful texture and structure. It is rich, deep, and layered, with underlying notes of earth and smooth, yet powerful tannins.
Availability: 545 cases produced. It was just released so it is in good supply for now.
Drinking Window: This wine is approachable now and should continue to develop over the next five years or so.
Food Pairing: Great with rich meat dishes, like a juicy steak or leg of lamb.
2018 Guardian Cellars, The Wanted, $37
Winery Info: By now, Washington Club members should be quite familiar with the story of Guardian Cellars. After volunteering for a number of years at several Woodinville wineries, including Matthews, Mark Ryan, and Baer, Jerry Riener eventually began crafting his own wines. 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.
Winemaker: Jerry Riener
Grapes: 76% Cabernet Franc, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 8% Petit Verdot, aged 22 months in 50% new French oak.
Vineyards: StoneTree (Wahluke Slope AVA, planted in 2000) and Quintessence (Red Mountain AVA, from blocks planted in 2011)
Flavor Profile: This vintage of The Wanted is dark and bold, yet very balanced and accessible. It showcases the character of good Washington State Cabernet Franc, with juicy flavors of red berries, cherries, and hints of pepper and herbs. All leading to a long, savory finish.
Availability: 350 cases produced. This vintage should be in good supply for a while.
Drinking Window: Give it a year or so, then enjoy anytime up to around 2025.
Food Pairing: This is a great red for roasts, wild game, or perhaps your best gourmet burger.