Delicious wines from Washington’s versatile Yakima Valley

By on April 12, 2015

Brian Carter Cellars 2012 Opulento, Yakima Valley, $40

brian-carter-cellars-opulento-2012-labelWine Press Northwest’s reigning Washington Winery of the Year names its Port-style wine after the Portuguese term for opulent, and the Woodinville winery’s namesake vintner keeps his focus on Port varieties. Touriga Naçional (58%), Souzao (21%), Tinta Roriz (11%) and Tinta Cão from Upland and Lonesome Springs vineyards spent 18 months in French barriques that were mostly neutral. It’s a rich, deep and intense take on dessert with qualities of poached plum, dark cherry and raisin, joined by mocha powder and fresh-baked brownies. The alcohol is well-integrated, and there’s a hint of dried cranberry in the finish to accent the residual sugar of 10%. It picked up a silver medal at the 2015 Seattle Wine and Food Experience Wine Awards.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 244 cases

Alcohol: 18%

Winery website

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About Great Northwest Wine

Articles credited to Great Northwest Wine are authored by Eric Degerman and other contributors. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.


  1. Paul Cockrell says:

    Obviously there is a typo. How many cases does Palencia produce?

    • Andy Perdue says:


      For his day job at J&S Crushing/Columbia River’s Edge Winery in Mattawa, Wash., Victor Palencia oversees more than 1 million cases in wine production. For Palencia Winery, he makes about 3,000 cases total.

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