Seven Hills Winery 2012 Malbec, Walla Walla Valley, $30
Fourth-generation farmer Casey McClellan has been one of those handful of leaders who set the standard for quality in the Walla Walla Valley during the 1980s, and his talent with Bordeaux gems such as Malbec continues. His 2006 vintage received accolades from our panel in 2009, and he’s created this with similar tools such as Minnick Hills and McClellan Estate fruit and a barrel program of 30% new Eastern European oak. Creamy blackberry and dark plum aromas pick up notes of chalkboard dust, allspice and brioche. Black cherry, black plum and Marionberry flavors lead into an elegantly structured midpalate that transitions into a complex finish of chocolate-covered pomegranate, anise, fennel and black pepper.
Production: 420 cases