Wine Review: Hamilton Cellars 2008 Bona Vita @hamiltoncellars


"The Good Life" - As of this post the winery still had six cases of the 2008 Bona Vita. Strongly Recommended.

Last week I visited Hamilton Cellars at their new location on Red Mountain. Previously they had a tasting room in South Richland. They have closed the original location and moved all operations to a beautiful new facility on Red Mountain. The new winery is just past Fidelitas Wines on Sunset Road. I'm not surprised if this is news to you, the new location only opened in late September.

Hamilton Cellars new Tasting Room and Winery.

Hamilton Cellars Red Mountain AVA Estate Vineyard.

Hamilton Cellars new tasting room is solar powered. They are powering their winery and even selling back to the PUD when they generate extra electricity. They expect to break even with the solar power system within 5 years. From the tasting room there is a beautiful view of their 10 acre estate vineyard planted this year by Dick Boushey; planted to Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. With pretty landscaping, gazebo, fire pit, kitchen and a bridal room in an adjacent building they will start hosting weddings next year. I visited on a cold foggy day, so you will have to imagine how gorgeous it will look next spring with sunshine and green on the vines.

Tasting Notes 2008 Bona Vita:

Color: Almost inky dark, purple with violet rim.
Nose: Dark cherry, chocolate, cake-bread, black currant, blackberry, tea leaf.
Palate: Cherry, slightly tart at open, dark chocolate, tea, super fine tannin. Bit closed at open.
After 30 minutes still tight. Dark earthy core, apple tannin, purple tongue.
At 1.5 hours: Rich earthy dark fruit on the nose. Fine tannin, lovely fruit, cherry, blueberry, hint of orange and licorice, light front palate. Still opening.
After two hours: Ah...starting to show off. Perfumed, earthy, cherry chocolate, brambly tar edged. Dark wine at his point, I thought of midnight, a dark evening with no moon.
2.5 hours: Dark, spicy, sexy, coffee, concentrated with fine coating of creamy tannin.
Three hours: No small wine. Still opening.

Day two: Very aromatic, aroma was intense even 18" away, heady, dark blueberry, clove, sage, slate, dark chocolate. On the palate blueberry, black cherry, black licorice, cola, polished quality, leaned into coffe and chocolate on the fine dry finish. Yum!

*Note: Enjoyed with fried Marsala mushroom steak, delicious pairing. Malbec qualities of the Bona Vita were emphasized, fluid, black cherry and spice more obvious with the steak. Bravo! On day two.

Intense, dark wine.

Thoughts: For a 2008 vintage this wine is still young. It showed best for me on day two. I would hold another year or three if you can help yourself. This is a beautiful Malbec dominant red wine. Strongly Recommended.

Blend: 58% Malbec, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc and 8% Merlot
Sourced from: Discovery, Weinbau, Stillwater Creek, Kolibri, Gamache and Clifton Vineyards.
Closure: Natural Cork
ABV: 14.4%
SRP: $28
Production: 302 cases

Hamilton Cellars
Tasting room is open daily 11:00am - 5:00pm
55410 N Sunset Road, Benton City, WA  99320

Hamilton Cellars is owned by Stacie and Russ Hamilton. They were my friendly hosts when I visited their new winery.

Stacie and Russ Hamilton, by screens showing solar energy generation.

This wine is made by renowned winemaker Charlie Hoppes of Fidelitas Wines. Charlie has served as consulting winemaker for Hamilton Cellars since 2006. With a focus on Malbec, Charlie has the opportunity to express his talent and creativity with a different "palette" of grapes at Hamilton Cellars. Well done.

Time to stock up on some premium red wines from Hamilton Cellars. They focus primarily on Malbec, but also have Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon and a Rose' too. Surprised they still have some cases of this 2008 vintage left. I'm getting this post out to you while you can still purchase it direct from the winery.

Just found some bottles on Amazon - here's the link.


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