Upland Estates 2009 Tempranillo, Snipes Mountain, $28
Among the top tandems in the Washington state wine industry is Snipes Mountain grower Todd Newhouse and Yakima Valley winemaker Robert Smasne, and they’ve shined consistently with small two-barrel lots from young vines of this Iberian variety on this historic ground. This is product of third-leaf fruit off the upper south slope allows for alluring aromas of black cherry, vanilla, wild rose and an Almond Joy with its notes of toasted almond, coconut and milk chocolate. The drink is rich and mouthfilling with Bing cherry juice and plum, backed with cherry skin tannin that bloom along with blueberry acidity. Vanilla returns to create a long and pleasing finish. Earlier this year, both the 2010 and 2011 vintages earned gold medals in Wine Press Northwest’s peer judging of Tempranillo, yet their older brother continues to shine.
Production: 48 cases