Ste. Michelle recruited Josh Maloney to Washington’s Columbia Valley in 2005, but the Ivy League chemist had to wait until he started working for the Milbrandts before he could launch his eponymous brand with his wife, Lisa. The timing of their Single Vineyard project was impeccable, beginning the series in 2012 — the start of the remarkable winning streak of warm vintages that remains alive. All seven of these barrels were filled with fruit taken Sept. 26 from Block 14 off Sagemoor Farms’ historic Dionysus Vineyard. Block 14, planted in 1999, is among the youngest at this site near the Columbia River. Harvested at the uber-ripe level of 29 Brix, the 35 days on the skins and 20 months in a barrel program of 57% new French oak create a blockbuster Cab with notes of elderberry, blueberry granola bar and slate, backed by white pepper, allspice and cedar. Its unfined and unfiltered approach — combined with intense tannins, hedonism and sweetened dark blue fruit — should make for fascinating research over the years.
Production: 165 cases