J & J Vintners 2012 Les Collines Vineyard Malbec, Walla Walla Valley, $35
Walla Walla Valley natives Jody Middleton and Jeremy Petty also are past students of the Walla Walla Community College wine program. In 2008, they planted estate vines alongside Middleton’s home, but in the meantime they continue to rely on McKibben-led Les Collines Vineyard. Their Malbec opens with aromas reminiscent of breakfast with boysenberry, toasted waffle and maple syrup. Inside, it’s filled with bold black fruit flavors as notes of black pepper dark chocolate give it length. This earned a silver medal at the 2014 Walla Walla Valley Wine Competition.
Production: 62 cases