Lonesome Spring Ranch first planted this grape in 2001, and Olympic Peninsula winemaker David Volmut relied on Colin Morrell’s vineyard near Benton City, Wash., as the source for his first commercial release of Malbec. He’s produced a rather fascinating example of this Bordeaux variety that’s gaining a toehold in Washington. Aromas of black cherry, plum, red licorice and campfire smoke are joined by earthy undertones, fresh bay leaf and sea air. There’s a cascade of jammy dark red fruit on the palate, leading to well-managed tannins that make for a pleasing mouth feel. Black currant and butterscotch in the finish add to the complexity that’s part of a lighter style. Suggested pairings include barbecued beef and pasta in a tomato sauce.
Production: 110 cases