Ron Helbig focused attention on his Carlton, Ore. winery in 2005 soon after retiring as an drafting/manufacturing instructor at Clackamas Community College, but he targets Elerding Vineyard in Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills for some of his big reds. He’s enjoyed consistent success in competitions with Cabernet Franc, a variety that judges can be particularly fickle with. Raspberry and blueberry aromas stand just above aromas of horehound, Aussie black licorice, NECCO Wafer candy and chocolate. Red currant, cherry and chocolate flavors are accented by a pinch of dried herbs on the midpalate. Mild tannins and toasted walnut are presented toward the back before racy blueberry acidity makes for a persistent finish.
Production: 757 cases