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2 Great Wines from Hightower Cellars

Hightower Cellars 2008 Out of Line and 2008 Murray Syrah

Friday, I was out looking for a birthday present, for a fellow wine lover. While browsing through the birthday cards, I started to think about the most memorable wines of 2010. Which wines did I truly enjoy last year? And which of those wines would be the perfect wine gift? Ah ha! Hightower Cellars Murray Syrah!

I last reviewed Hightower Cellars 2008 Murray Syrah in August 2010. Tim and Kelly Hightower planted the vines for that wine on their Red Mountain property, a mix of mostly Syrah and some Viognier – a classic Rhone style blend. They enjoyed the first fruits of their labor in their 2007 Murray Syrah – a vintage I missed out on. The 2008 Murray Syrah really appealed to me. But where would I be able to purchase a bottle, in time for the party? When in doubt, drive to their Red Mountain winery of course.

Open for Tasting: Hightower Cellars Red Mountain Winery

Hightower Cellars is located at the very top of Red Mountain, off of a gravel road at the end of Sunset road. At the top of Sunset road, take a left on to the gravel road and then take the second right, that gravel road will lead you to Hightower Cellars, winery and tasting room. I was extremely fortunate to stop by the winery last Friday; the tasting room just re-opened after being closed for the winter. Call me doubly fortunate, both Kelly and Tim Hightower were at the winery. I spent an hour catching up with Tim and Kelly; catching up while I tasted all of their wonderful red wines (big smile). I did end up purchasing a bottle of the 2008 Murray Syrah for my friend’s birthday. And I took home a bottle of the 2008 Out Of Line Red for myself.

2008 Out Of Line Red Wine

My review today is of the 2008 Out of Line Red wine.  Out of Line refers to the fact that they planted their vineyard rows canted eleven degrees off of north south. This orientation more evenly balances the sun exposure on each side of the vine row, increasing the exposure on the east and decreasing it on the west. This makes for more evenly developed fruit and a better harvest.

Blend: 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 7% Malbec, 7% Petit Verdot. Estate bottled 100% Red Mountain fruit.

I’m currently enjoying Paul Gregutts newest book,Washington Wines and Wineries: The Essential Guide, Second Edition. His final summary of Hightower Cellars is, “…I applaud its industry and commitment, and I hope it will continue to look for its own unique expression of that valuable Red Mountain terroir.”

A Wine for the Decade

Well, I’m pleased to pronounce that Kelly and Tim Hightower have found that unique expression in their 2008 Out Of Line Red Wine. For the last four days, I have been enjoying that bottle of the 2008 Out Of Line. Yes, the same bottle is holding up exceedingly well. I believe Tim and Kelly have crafted a wine for the decade. This friends, is a wine to lie down, put it in your wine cellar, your wine fridge, your parents basement or a dark closet if you have to. But put some away now.

Seldom do you find a wine of this caliber at this price point, $25 at the winery. This wine is packed, compressed, and layered with scrumptious Red Mountain flavors; it has taken half a week for me to get a feel for this wine. While it is presently dark, robust, dry, wound up and unhurried in expressing itself, don’t let that fool you – this amazing wine has no flaw, except youth. Hightower Cellars 2008 Out Of Line Red wine deserves another 5 to 10 years to develop further in the bottle. This is going to be a long lived Red Mountain Red Wine. It’s not a buy me drink me today wine. It’s a classically styled wine, destined for wine cellars everywhere.  If you’re smart, grab some bottles now and put them away. You can thank me later. Dark fruit, cherry, vanilla, currants, violets, cigar box, pepper, oak, and that’s on day four!

Purchase this wine and view winery notes here: 2008 Out of Line Red 

Read my review of the 2008 Murray Syrah here. Buy some of the 2008 Murray Syrah while you still can – it’s ready to drink now. And go visit Hightower Cellars when you are in the area. They are a Red Mountain winery not to be missed. Follow Tim and Kelly Hightower on Facebook and twitter and their website:


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