Matt Walker

Location: Northridge, CA

I am a Certified Specialist of Wine and uncertified Wine Geek! As a Snoother, I hope to raise awareness for smaller, lesser-known but quality driver producers. Major regions I specialize in include Washington, California, Tuscany, Bordeaux, and the Douro

Red Mountain Majesties

Red Mountain is Washington's smallest AVA (by area) and one of the newest being established as a unique subregion of Yakima Valley in 2001.  Some of Washington's most acclaimed wines are sourcing grapes from vineyards here most notably Quilceda Creek.  Many wines made from Red Mountain are single vineyard giving the curious oenophile great opportunity to experience true WA terrior.  The wines coming out of this tiny area display high concentration of fruit with powerful tannins.  Many wines from Red Mountain are easy matches for similarly and even higher priced Napa Valley wines.

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Andrew Will Red Bordeaux Blend Red Mountain Ciel du Cheval Vineyard (2007)
Comments: Andrew Will is definitely a benchmark winery for this region and Ciel du Cheval a benchmark vineyard. Together the make a wonderful example of a "Right Bank" style Bordeaux Blend. Words like sharp, focused and precise come to mind when drinking this wine. It's wine in HD. Cab Franc brings his herby, minerally soul to the party counterpointed by Merlots soft supple texture and generous red and black fruit. This wine has plenty of structure for additional cellaring but is drinking quite nicely now.
Previously available for $59.99
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2 Col Solare Red Bordeaux Blend Columbia Valley (2006)
Comments: This was the wine that started me on my love affair with Washington Bordeaux Blends. Exquisitely crafted, the wine is subtle yet powerful, dense, complex and extremely enjoyable. Cocoa powder is immediacies apparent on the nose along with black cherries the wine reminds one of a black forest cake. Beyond this there's pepper, graphite, minerals and clove. Tannins are assertive (in a good way).
Average price: $59.99 from 7 stores
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3 Cadence Tapteil Vineyard Red Mountain (2006)
Comments: I'm a big fan of cadence, there stuff is usually reasonably priced on all their wines show power and grace. This wine is probably the best example of that, think iron fist in a velvet glove. Lots of black and blue fruits on the nose, the palette shows lots of dense layers of fruit, wood, and spice. Highly structured and kept fresh by decent acidity. On a subsequent taste, the tannins have mellowed and allowed some nice earth notes to come through.
Average price: $42.99 from 4 stores
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4 Lachini Il Mulinello Red Blend Klipsun Vyd. Red Mt (2006)
Comments: At six years old this wine is still quite young and closed off owing to some serious red mountain structure. After a day, the wine opened to show red currants, clove, pencil lead, and chocolate. High but fine tannins with decent acidity. Definitely one for the cellar.
Previously available for $49.99
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5 Nota Bene Cellars Red Bordeaux Blend Red Mountain Ciel du Cheval Vineyard (2007)
Comments: Nota Bene proves that you don't have to spend $50 for a wine from one of Washington's greatest vineyards. Big, and bold the wine has deep fruit and mando tannic structure, much more than I had expected for a $25 bottle. It shows all the refinement this vineyard is known for. A true value.
Average price: $35.00 from 1 store
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