Five years ago, Kitsap Peninsula winemaking chiropractor Brian Petersen used a Malbec from Double Canyon Vineyard to win the best-of-show award at the Capital Wine Festival. His latest expression of Malbec from Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills is another showstopper for Mosquito Fleet Winery, and Petersen pays tribute to a famed Northwest sternwheeler of a century ago – the SS Bailey Gatzert – on the label. The complex nose hints at all sorts of cherries, ranging from Bing cherry juice, cordial cherries and cherry tomato, joined by baking spice and a malted milk ball. Inside, there’s a richness that borders on hedonism, yet there’s structure as its plummy and black cherry profile picks up medium-plus tannins, brightness of Craisin and a finishing pinch of those spices.
Rating: Outstanding! — 93 points
Production: 270 cases