Milbrandt Vineyards 2013 Northridge Vineyard The Estates Malbec, Wahluke Slope, $45
Northridge Vineyard is one of nine Milbrandt sites in Washington state’s Columbia Basin and perhaps the most prized among the company’s six plantings on the Wahluke Slope. Joshua Maloney allowed this lot of Malbec to hang until Oct. 22, and the barrel program of 18 months in neutral oak explains why the dark blue fruit tones of plum, pomegranate and black cherry remain at the forefront with cherry tomato undertones. Gravelly tannins akin to plum skins mix with bright acidity to make for a mouth-filling drink, capped by black olive, pepper and dark chocolate, making for an easy and long trail to the finish. Suggested pairings for Northridge Malbec include Grilled Northwest Salmon with Saffron Rice and Blood Orange Champagne Butter from John Williams, chef at Doc’s Marina Grill on Bainbridge Island.
Production: 94 cases