Baer Winery 2013 Malbec, Columbia Valley, $25
Few folks work as closely with prized Stillwater Creek Vineyard fruit as Woodinville winemaker Erica Orr does on behalf of the Baer family. It came off the vines Oct. 17, with the crop load at a remarkable 5.7 tons per acre and went into all French oak barrels for 22 months. That imparts aromas of toast and coffee along with blackberry, plum, blueberry, rain-soaked gravel and fresh mint. Those dark purple fruits take the lead on the palate, which offers richness, more sweet herbs, chocolate and blueberry juice in the finish.
Production: 203 cases