Within the Carter Collection tier, each vintage Brian Carter will focus on variety and one vineyard. This time, it was the Spanish blending grape Graciano, and the vineyard is Newhouse-owned Upland near Sunnyside, Wash. There’s an abundance of spice wrapped around boysenberry and sweetened cherries as bay leaf and green tea sit in the background. The real payoff is the mouthfeel and finish, which includes a lick of cherry pit. Carter suggests pairing it with grilled pork loin with raspberry compote. Award: Bellingham Northwest (double gold).
Rating: Platinum, 93 points
Production: 140 cases