A food friendly Washington Malbec
Malbec is a red wine variety originally from the Bordeaux region of France, a variety which has become strongly associated with fine wines from Argentina. Last month I enjoyed some excellent Malbec from the southern hemisphere. This month I felt it was time to move back north to Washington state and try a local Malbec.
Founded in 1984 as Walla Walla's fourth founded winery. The new tasting room and production facility are on Highway 12 west of Walla Walla. They are easy to visit when driving to or from Walla Walla.
Color: Fresh, dark, inky night.
Nose: Peppery-cherry, tilled soil with caramel.
Palate: Smooth at opening with medium body, flavors of cherry, cranberry compote, licorice, yes, it was spicy as expected. A medium finish with orange peel, braced by acid.
Blend: 100% Malbec
AVA: Columbia Valley
Vineyards: Canyon Ranch, Doval
Bottled: October 29, 2012
Closure: Agglomerated cork
John Freeman, Waterbrook Winemaker since 2005
Waterbrook Tasting Room
10518 West Highway 12
Walla Walla, Washington 99362
I've noticed that quality in their more recent vintages has improved. Mr. Freeman is doing a good job in the cellar. Word is out. They are on my must visit list.
While Malbec is the name most commonly known to wine drinkers other common synonyms for Malbec include: Agreste, Auxerrois, Auxerrois De Laquenexy, Auxerrois Des Moines De Picpus, Auxerrois Du Mans, Balouzat, Beran, Blanc De Kienzheim, Cahors, Calarin, Cauli, Costa Rosa, Cot A Queue Verte, Cotes Rouges, Doux Noir, Estrangey, Gourdaux, Grelot De Tours, Grifforin, Guillan, Hourcat, Jacobain, Luckens, Magret, Malbek, Medoc Noir, Mouranne, Navarien, Negre De Prechac, Negrera, Noir De Chartres, Noir De Pressac, Noir Doux, Nyar De Presak, Parde, Périgord, Pied De Perdrix, Pied Noir, Pied Rouge, Pied Rouget, Piperdy, Plant D'Arles, Plant De Meraou, Plant Du Roi, Prechat, Pressac, Prunieral, Quercy, Queue Rouge, Quille De Coy, Romieu, Teinturin, Terranis, Vesparo, Côt, and Plant du Lot.
Côt was most likely the grape variety's original name and the frequent appearance of Auxerrois as a synonym suggests the northern reaches of Burgundy as being the possible home of the varietal. In Bordeaux, where the variety first gained attention, it was known under the synonym Pressac.