Butch and Jerry Milbrandt made a seemingly seamless transition when tabbing Joshua Maloney to take over their winemaking in 2011 from Gordy Hill, another Ste. Michelle alum. The brothers’ Northridge Vineyard dominates the harvest that took place during the first two weeks of October along with Katherine Leone (17%) and Clifton Hill (12%). Maloney used Petit Verdot (6%) and Malbec to develop more mouth feel, and his program of 25 percent new French oak sets the tone with dark toast, coffee and baking spice aromas that highlight blueberry jam and blackberry. Inside, the sandy tannin structure is masterful, akin to a bite of plump blueberry with seed, skin and juice. Flavors focus on black currant and dark plum as chocolate, sweet spices and elderberry make for a flavorful and lengthy finish. Suggested pairings include duck breast, lamb and steak.
Production: 3,000 cases