Typically, this young boutique project with a tasting room in downtown Chelan, Wash., releases just three wines each year — a red blend of Bordeaux varieties, a white and a pink. However, these two barrels stood out to Greg and Jodi Cowell and their winemaking partners at Alexandria Nicole Cellars, which led to this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (52%), Merlot (28%), Malbec (14%), Cabernet Franc (4%) and Petit Verdot, which spent two years in 70 percent new French oak. The Malbec would seem to play a larger role because of the wine’s lighter structure and juicy blue fruit profile, starting with aromas of black currant, blueberry and dusty cherry with Jolly Rancher Grape candy, nutmeg, vanilla and light char in the background. It takes on a darker purple theme on the palate with more black currant and chocolate-covered pomegranate flavors, backed by pleasing blueberry skin tannins and a finish of smoke and leather.
Production: 50 cases