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Tanjuli Winery 2012 Carménère, Rattlesnake Hills, $32
Tom Campbell’s résumé in the Northwest wine industry includes Chateau Ste. Michelle, Covey Run, the Woodhouse Wine Estates and his own Mission Mountain Winery near Flathead Lake in his native Montana, but his heart remains in his vineyard within the Yakima Valley’s Rattlesnake Hills. He cropped his Carménère, a high-density planting of 1,620 vines per acre, to 1.2 tons an acre. That resulted in the equivalent of three barrels of wine, and his bottling of this less-known Bordeaux variety is fascinating. His level of extraction and use of oak allows for a nose of blackberry and black currant among herbal hints of thyme and eucalyptus with black and white peppercorns. The pour brings cassis, boysenberry and pomegranate, a fruity mix that makes for juicy acidity and medium tannins, backed by a slice of red bell pepper. Campbell and his wife, Hema, suggest serving this alongside Beef Teriyaki and a variety of spicy or savory fare.
Production: 70 cases