Ron Bunnell’s winemaking talents go well beyond Rhône varieties, and while this blend’s name would suggest it is dedicated to Bordeaux grapes Malbec (40%) and Merlot (20%), there’s still a surge of Syrah — all from the Newhouse family’s Upland Vineyards. It ranks among the most expressive recently released wines our panel has come across this summer, and the experience starts with enchanting oak influences of nutmeg, fresh-baked brownie and vanilla backed with gobs of fruit akin to black cherry, black currant and blackberry. Those notes extend to the palate, which smacks of finesse. Silky tannins and blueberry juice acidity combine for a great structure that glides with chocolate, toasted marshmallow and black pepper. It’s capped by a long and lingering dark cherry finish. Seek this out through the Bunnell family’s Wine o’Clock Wine Bar and Bistro in Prosser, the BNU Tasting Room in Woodinville or via Puget Sound distributor Unique Wine Co.
Production: 111 cases