56. Pamplin Family Winery 2009 Proprietary Red, Columbia Valley, $55
Robert Pamplin Jr., one of the most educated and wealthiest men in the Pacific Northwest, entered the wine industry in 1997 by purchasing Chateau Benoit and remaking it into Anne Amie, one of the Willamette Valley’s top Pinot Noir producers. Ten years later, he created another Oregon winery, one that relies on Bordeaux-style reds from Columbia Valley vineyards such as Seven Hills in the Walla Walla Valley and Klipsun on Red Mountain. This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (75%), Petit Verdot (13%), Merlot (9%) and Malbec, made by Napa-trained Robert Henry, comes across as a classic Washington Cab from the start with a subtle yet inviting nose of cherries, cassis, Baker’s chocolate, Western red cedar bark and fresh mint. There’s no disappointment to the drink as the cherry and chocolate theme carries through to a long finish of blueberry, cigar leaf and black pepper. Beveled tannins and blueberry acidity give it age-worthy balance.
Production: 119 cases