Mullan Road Cellars 2012 Red Wine Blend, Columbia Valley, $45

By on January 21, 2015

mullan-road-cellars-red-wine-blend-nv-bottleFamed Napa Valley producer Dennis Cakebread marks the debut of his investment in the Washington wine industry with this reference to the historic wagon path across the Rockies to Fort Walla Walla. Cakebread’s collaborative effort with Columbia Valley winemaker Aryn Morell proves to be a wise choice for several reasons, starting with Morell’s experience with Royal Slope fruit through the Lawrence family as well as Seven Hills Vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley — near where Morell lives and works. Both sources formed this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (51%), Merlot (37%) and Cabernet Franc, an 81-barrel lot that spent 17 months in oak. The fluid is remarkably perfumy with sweet baking spice and cocoa powder amid plum, blueberry, bittersweet chocolate, chalkboard dust and violet. There’s a bold juiciness to the entry with pomegranate, black cherry and red currant, followed by underlying tannin making for a well-balanced structure. It turns darker on the finish with flavors of blackberry and more plum. In the Seattle area, ask for these wines at your local wine merchant, McCarthy & Schiering, Wine World and Total Wine & More.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 2,000 cases

Alcohol: 14.1%

Winery website

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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