Seven Hills Winery 2012 Carménère, Walla Walla Valley, $30
While some expressions of this once-lost Bordeaux variety lean towards the herbaceous spectrum, longtime Walla Walla Valley winemaker Casey McClellan crafted this blend from Minnick Hills and Morrison vineyards into an elegant, fruit-forward style. His use of 40% new French oak creates rich aromas of deep black cherry, Marionberry, cinnamon powder and black pepper. Its structure is beautiful with dark Bing cherry and blackberry flavors that are tethered together with suave tannins and juicy acidity. In the background are notes of minerality and a hint of bay leaf. Seven Hills Winery doesn’t bottle Carménère every year — this marks just the fourth time in the past 10 years — and McClellan suggests consuming this before the end of the decade.
Production: 143 cases