Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2014 Phinny Hill Vineyard Carménère, Washington, $28

By on August 23, 2016

clearwater-canyon-cellars-phinny-hill-vineyard-carmenere-2014-bottleKarl and Coco Umiker were competitive cyclists at the University of Idaho when they struck up a friendship with another rider, Dick Beightol. Little did they know they it would blossom into a grower/winemaker relationship that has helped Clearwater Canyon earn West Coast acclaim for its work with this obscure Bordeaux variety. Beightol’s Phinny Hill Vineyard in Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills, across the highway from famed Champoux Vineyard, ranks among the premier plantings for Carménère, and the Umikers’ 17-month approach of 30% new American oak allows for classic aromas of green peppercorns alongside dried strawberry, dried cherry and orange oil. It’s a suave red with flavors of cassis, red cherry and bell pepper that fans of Cabernet Franc will particularly appreciate. The Umikers suggest serving it with venison, and their popular wines are available through their Lewiston, Idaho, winery or throughout the Gem State via Idaho Wine Merchant’s distribution. Last year, Clearwater Canyon Cellars sold through all of their wines, but the Carm might be its most sought-after.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 277 cases

Alcohol: 15.1%

Winery website

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About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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