30-Something and Loving It
Mark Ryan 2009 Long Haul, $48
This wine shows what Klipsun Vineyard fruit can do in a blend. All the fruit comes from Red Mountain, with 68 percent from Ciel du Cheval Vineyard, 24 percent from Klipsun and 8 percent from Kiona Vineyards. A Merlot-based Bordeaux-style blend, this wine (64 percent Merlot, 27 percent Cabernet Franc, 8 percent Malbec and 1 percent Petit Verdot) has a big cherry and dark plum nose, with sweet spice and pepper aromas. A velvety palate shows flavors of vanilla and black fruit. Pairs with: Braised oxtail in red wine.
Forgeron Cellars 2007 Klipsun Merlot, $48
Winemaker Marie-Eve Gilla brings her French sensibility to this Klipsun Vineyard wine. Aromas of black cherry, herbs and spice give way to dark berries, cassis and black currant flavors, and a long, lush finish. Pairs with: Grilled tri-tip steak.
Pepper Bridge 2008 Trine, Walla Walla Valley, $60
This wine commemorates the partnership between the three families of Pepper Bridge: the McKibbens, the Goffs and the Pellets. Winemaker Jean-François Pellet blended the best of the families’ two vineyards, Seven Hills and Pepper Bridge, with 44 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 38 percent Merlot, 8 percent Cabernet Franc, 8 percent Malbec and 2 percent Petit Verdot. A big, elegant wine, this blend shows lovely aromas of black cherries and cocoa, vanilla and sweet spice over a balancing acidity and lush mouthfeel. Pairs with: Beef tenderloin.
McCrea Cellars Boushey Grand Cote Vineyard Syrah, $36
Winemaker Doug McCrea was the first to collaborate with Dick Boushey on a 100-percent Syrah from this fabulous vineyard. This wine’s aroma is floral, but also earthy, with notes of leather and blueberry. On the palate, it is intensely complex, with black plum, licorice and smoke. Pairs with: Grilled lamb with grilled plums.
Betz Family Winery 2009 La Serenne Syrah, $60
Another 100 percent Syrah, 100 percent Boushey Vineyard wine. Similar to the McCrea Syrah, this wine has aromas of blue fruit, lavender and smoke, with big blackberry flavors. This wine shows a silky texture in the mouth, but structure and acidity to balance its richness. Pairs with: Duck confit with braised fennel.