Thurston Wolfe 2012 Howling Wolfe Zinfandel, Horse Heaven Hills, $20
Prosser winemaker/viticulturalist Wade Wolfe continues to set the bar for Zinfandel in Washington state, and this marks his 12th bottling from Zephyr Ridge Vineyard along the Columbia River near Paterson. (It also ranks as one of the largest productions of Zin in the Northwest.) The nose is full of black cherry pie and plum with hints of black olive, toasted oak, candied ginger and green peppercorns. A smooth entry carries along more cherry and plum flavors, joined by vanilla and Red Vines licorice. Pleasing acidity and a diminished alcohol profile make for a velvety, long and dry finish that’s capped by leather, more black olive and coffee. Suggested pairings include prime rib, rack of lamb or Port-glazed pork loin — or cellar for another eight years. Look for the TW tasting room at the Port of Benton’s Vintners Village, across from the Winemakers Loft.
Production: 1,081 cases