For the first time since making Grâce we have blended all five Bordeaux varieties, namely: about 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, about 20% Merlot, and 15% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Malbec and 2% Petite Verdot.
The 2005 Harlequin Claret is a wine reminiscent of left bank Medoc Bordeaux. Bright aromas of blackberry, cherry, cassis, pencil lead, damp earth and mocha are framed by toasty oak, toffee and barrel spice.
Of the "Bordeaux" varieties, Malbec is the most iconoclastic from our experience. Taste for near citrus elements and something that might be a cross between Syrah and Zinfandel.
2010 Estate Nebbiolo
The 2010 Naches Heights Estate Nebbiolo is the second from Wilridge Vineyard. 2010 was a challenging year for many Washington vineyards. However, some late warm weather in the fall favored those who were not afraid to leave the grapes hanging as long as possible. Nebbiolo loves a long cool growing season like 2010 where it has time to gain ripeness but also maintain acidity from cool nights. The result is a delightful wine that will gain complexity for many years to come.
2011 Pinot Gris
Pinot Gris, also know was Pinot Grigio and perhaps the most nuanced mutation of the noble Pinot Noir, produces flavorful wines with notable substance and color. This wine was fermented entirely in steel tanks. Early October storms in Vintage 2013 resulted in a grape harvest about two weeks earlier than usual, resulting in a wine with food-friendly acidity and citrus notes on the finish. It serves well as an aperitif or with fall salads, sliced fruits, a wide variety of cheeses and moderately seasoned fish.
2007 Clifton Cuvee
This wine is a blend of 70% Syrah & 30% Grenache, showcasing the Milbrant Family's Clifton and Northridge Vineyards. We produce this wine as our early-release showcase of Rhône varietal character, and intensity.
This is one of the classic grape varieties used in many red Bordeaux wines. However, it is Argentina, not France, that has created Malbec's sudden rise in popularity. And if Argentina can grow great Malbec, Washington State should as well, since the two regions are mirrors of each other in different hemispheres. The wine growing areas of Argentina and Washington are the same distance from the equator; so both get the same long days of sunshine during the growing season. Further, Argentina is protected by the Andes and Washington is protected by the Cascades. Therefore, it's no wonder why both regions produce exceptional Malbec.
2010 Cabernet Franc
Our 200 example is from Fred Artz' on Red Mountain, Chandler Reach, just a stone's throw up the Yakima Valley, and from Meek Family Vineyard near Benton City. This wine showcases some of the reasons that Cabernet Franc is beginning to turn heads. Depth of color, flavor, mouth feel; raspberries, not black berries, high palate tones, not plums and cherries - these are marks of Cabernet Franc at its best and beautifully expressed in this vintage.