This spring, Woodinville winemaker Jim Dahlman is scheduled to open his first tasting room, which will be in Tacoma’s Stadium District. His entry-level red is named as a tribute to his father, who attended the California Institute of Technology, and The Actuary adds up to another winning blend with a wide-ranging pedigree. The foundation is Cabernet Sauvignon (57%) from French Creek Vineyard in the Yakima Valley, followed by Tempranillo off StoneTree Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope, with Cabernet Franc (22%) and Syrah from Red Mountain Railroad Vineyard, the young site owned by Hongfei Rasmussen and managed by the acclaimed Dick Boushey. Two of the four barrels were new French oak, and there’s an early greeting of toast in nose, joined by dark cherry, vanilla, sweet herbs and blueberry. Those cherry and berry notes come through on the rich palate, carried along by black currant skin tannins, more vanilla and a pinch of pepper. This is the second of Dahlman’s reds to earn 92 points and an Outstanding! rating from our panels, and both were heavily influenced by both French Creek and Red Mountain Railroad vineyards.
Rating: Outstanding! – 91 points
Production: 104 cases