10. Maloney Wine 2012 Elephant Mountain Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Rattlesnake Hills, $65
Cornell grad Joshua Maloney headed up the red wine program at Chateau Ste. Michelle before choosing to spearhead the Milbrandts’ growing empire along the Wahluke Slope and Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley. However, the brothers have allowed Maloney also to pursue his own small-lot brand that focuses on a different single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon each vintage. He made the call on Joe Hattrup’s underrated site on Oct. 25 and did a cold soak after destemming for three days. The barrel program was split between new Dargaud & Jaegle from Tonnellerie and neutral oak, allowing for enticing aromas of plum reduction sauce, sweet blueberries, Aussie-style black licorice, milk chocolate, toast and alder smoke. Inside, it’s a massive and wild ride of blackberry jam on toast and pomegranate juice, backed by vanilla, molasses and horehound. It’s a hair-on-fire wine that devotees of Petite Sirah particularly will appreciate, and it’s also one of the region’s most expensive bottlings under threads.
Production: 92 cases