Marvelous Northwest Malbecs

By on September 28, 2014

Latah Creek Wine Cellars 2011 Malbec, Wahluke Slope, $16

latah-creek-wine-cellars-malbec-2011-labelAmerican winemakers can thank Argentina for consumers’ recent thirst for this formerly underrated Bordeaux variety, and the Conways in Spokane have made one that’s a veritable bargain. Tapping into Wahluke Slope Vineyard, the nose features hints of black cherry taffy, Marionberry, plum, vanilla, peppermint and minerality. It’s light to medium bodied in terms of tannins, yet it’s loaded with flavors of ripe Marionberry, plum and milk chocolate. In the back, the reduced alcohol allows for a clear view at the black pepper and milk chocolate tones.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 635 cases

Alcohol: 12.5%

Winery website


Gifford Hirlinger 2010 Estate Malbec, Walla Walla Valley, $36

gifford-hirlinger-walla-walla-valley-malbec-2010-labelWhen the Berghans began planting their vineyard in 2001, they may not have envisioned that this Bordeaux variety traditionally used as a blender would rise to such prominence in the Pacific Northwest. Fruity aromas of dark plum and blueberry pick up baking spice and sweet herb notes. On the pour, it remains dark with black currant, blueberry and plum skins, backed by chocolate, pepper and juicy acidity. This picked up a silver medal at the 2014 Walla Walla Valley Wine Competition, and suggested pairings include lamb stew and butternut squash.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 100 cases

Alcohol: 14.3%

Winery website

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About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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