Geologist Alan Busacca has shepherded multiple American Viticultural Areas through the federal system to approval, including the Wahluke Slope and Lake Chelan, and he’s also studied the terroir of Red Mountain and the Walla Walla Valley. Now he is teamed up with winemaker Robert Smasne to create AlmaTerra, a winery with a tasting room in the Columbia Gorge town of Bingen, Wash. This is a blend of Petit Verdot (62%), Malbec (21%) and Syrah from Phinny Hill Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills and Upland Vineyard on Snipes Mountain, and proceeds go to help the Washington State University Museum of Art (where Busacca was a professor for many years). It opens with aromas of cedar, juicy purple fruit and blackberry. The bold entry of chocolaty tannins give way to flavors of boysenberry syrup, Bing cherry and dark chocolate.