Kiona Vineyards NV Pioneer Red, Red Mountain, $23

By on January 2, 2018

The Williams clan focused its Pioneer Red project as a bid reaching for balance while providing a sense of Red Mountain. They’ve achieved both with this blend that stretches across three vintages – 2014 (70 percent), 2013 (28 percent) and 2012 (2 percent). The label carries a historic and hilarious crush pad image of patriarch John Williams and longtime neighbor Jim Holmes, who went on to fame with his Ciel du Cheval Vineyard. And while it’s a nonvintage wine, coined as “Version 1,” the blending by Scott Williams and Tristan Butterfield proves it to be a skillful and thoughtful effort. Merlot (65%) from their Kiona Estate planting dominates, but Cabernet Sauvignon (22%), Petit Verdot (5%), Cabernet Franc (5%), Grenache (2%) and Malbec (1%) each have their roles to play in the collection that’s also off Heart of the Hill, Emory and Vinagium-owned Red Heaven. Lush notes of dusty blackberry, cherry cola and cherry pipe tobacco are presented among a structure that’s lithe and finished delicious Marionberry acidity. It was developed specifically to be presented at the tasting room, but it also is available online.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 356 cases

Alcohol: 14.5%

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About Great Northwest Wine

Articles credited to Great Northwest Wine are authored by Eric Degerman and other contributors. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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