96. Hamilton Cellars 2012 Champoux Malbec, Horse Heaven Hills, $60
One of Washington state’s top wine-producing tandems — grower Paul Champoux and winemaker Charlie Hoppes — collaborate on this project for Red Mountain residents Russ and Stacie Hamilton. The barrel program of 50% new French oak creates aromas of dark-roast espresso beans and bittersweet chocolate backed by dark plum, blueberry and green peppercorns. The drink features boysenberry syrup with more plums and blueberries as the structure broadcasts acidity ahead tannin, making for a pleasing finish. The Hamiltons ship beyond the state and into Oregon, Idaho, California, Colorado, Alaska, Montana, Florida and the nation’s capital.
Production: 191 cases