Hamilton Cellars 2011 Malbec, Columbia Valley, $30

By on August 11, 2015

hamilton-cellars-malbec-2011-labelThe Hamiltons hired renowned vineyard manager Dick Boushey to oversee their young plantings of Malbec on Red Mountain. However, winemaker Charlie Hoppes already makes some of the West Coast’s top expressions of Malbec using berries throughout the Columbia Valley. From this cooler vintage, he created a blend of Olsen Brothers Vineyard in Prosser, Conner Lee Vineyard along Radar Hill near Othello and Gamache Vineyard near the Columbia River north of Pasco. The nose hints at an expensive and expressive barrel program of 23 months in 80% new oak, which leads to a nose of roasted coffee and toasted nuts with dusty black cherry and a hint of bay leaf. Its structure features a focused entry of rich, dark purple fruit akin to Marionberry and black currant. Beautiful tannins and lingering blueberry acidity make for an elegant finish.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 240 cases

Alcohol: 14.3%

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Articles credited to Great Northwest Wine are authored by Eric Degerman and other contributors. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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