In this new offering from Washington, winemakers Dennis Cakebread (of Cakebread Cellars) and Aryn Morell set out to create an elegant, complex Bordeaux-style red blend. The result is Mullan Road Cellars Columbia Valley Red Wine 2014.
Fruit comes from three locations. The Seven Hills Vineyard on the southern edge of the Walla Walla Valley contributes tannin and structure; Stillwater Creek Vineyard on the Royal Slope of the Frenchman Hills adds brawn and volume; and Lawrence Vineyards in the Frenchman Hills lend elegance, the company reports.
Dennis named his wine “Mullan Road Cellars” in honor of Lieutenant John Mullan, who built the first wagon trail across the Rockies over 600 miles from Ft. Benton in Montana to Ft. Walla Walla in Washington, the company says.
Flavors include fresh blackberries, plum skin and fresh juniper berries intermixed with dried strawberry and sandalwood. Swirling brings up ripe black currants, baking spice and crème de cassis.
This wine will age well, the company believes. It is 14.3% ABV, and aged 17 months in 40% new French and American oak barrels. Recommended food pairings are any red meat on the grill, pork tenderloin, heavy cheeses and grilled vegetables.
The suggested retail price is $45 per 750-ml. bottle.