Washington Wine Club – March 2023

2013 Côte Bonneville, Carriage House, $57

Winery info: Hugh and Kathy Shiels bought land in the Yakima Valley in 1991 and soon began tearing out the original orchard to plant classic grape varietals.        

Recognizing the potential of the site, they founded Côte Bonneville as an estate winery in 2001 to produce classically styled wines that express the unique terroir and microclimates of what is now the highly acclaimed DuBrul Vineyard.

Winemaker: Kerry Shiels

Grapes: Predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with a smaller amount of Cabernet Franc.

Vineyard: Their estate DuBrul Vineyard, one of the top vineyard sites in Washington. It towers 1375 feet over the Yakima Valley, with a blend of exposed basalt rock mixed with sedimentary soils and volcanic ash. Wines from DuBrul tend to retain excellent acidity while producing intense, powerful wines.

Flavor profile: Now with nearly a decade of age on it, this wine is at its peak—elegant, nuanced, perfectly balanced, and utterly polished. With seamless notes of dark cherry and hints of baking spice which, as the label accurately states, are “elegant, seductive, [and] uniquely of that terroir.”

Availability: This vintage is still available from the distributor.

Drinking Window: Beautiful now, or over the next two or three years.

Food pairing: Bordeaux-style blends are always a go-to for red meat, but this wine is so elegant and refined, we recommend keeping the preparation simple so as not to overpower the flavors. Perhaps a nice roast, or even salmon.

2020 Saviah Cellars, Dugger Creek Barbera, $29.75

Winery info: Rich Funk founded Saviah Cellars in 2000. He had studied microbiology in Montana before relocating to Walla Walla in 1991, and had originally considered a career in beer making. But after getting acquainted with some of the local wineries through a job with the county working on water quality issues, his interests turned to winemaking. With his enormous talent, background in chemistry and soil science, and access to top vineyard sites, Rich quickly gained great respect for his well crafted wines which continues to this day.

Winemaker: Rich Funk

Grapes: 100% Barbera, aged 11 months in neutral French oak.

Vineyards: Dugger Creek, planted in 2009 on the south side of the Walla Walla Valley AVA. Grapes grown on the deep, well-drained Ellisforde silt loam soil tend to produce aromatic, silky wines with red fruit flavors, elegance, and a touch of earthiness.

Flavor profile: This is a beautiful example of how delicious New World Barbera can be. It has aromas of plush cherry, raspberry, and spice, and rich flavors of red and blue fruit with hints of savory herbs. But what really impressed us was the amazing velvety texture and the long inviting finish.

Availability: 236 cases made. There are just a few more cases of this vintage left.

Drinking Window: Ready to enjoy now, or over the next few years.

Food Pairing: Rich suggests enjoying it with pizza, Taleggio cheese, mushrooms, or simple pasta with tomato sauce.