Columbia Valley Red Wine 2015
Grapes: 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc
Mullan Road Cellars was founded in 2012 by Dennis Cakebread of the renowned Cakebread Cellars winery in Napa Valley. A 40-year veteran of the wine trade, Dennis embarked on a mission to make a world-class Washington State wine embodying the rich history and terroir of the Northwest. Mullan Road Cellars is named for Lieutenant John Mullan, a 19th-century pioneer who built the first wagon road into eastern Washington. Its winemaker is Aryn Morrell, a Washington native who spent years making wine in Napa Valley with prestigious wineries such as Silver Oak Cellars, Joseph Phelps, Quintessa and Chappellet before returning to Washington in 2007. The grapes for Mullan Road Cellars Red Blend come from several outstanding, low-yielding vineyards in the Columbia Valley, including the famed Seven Hills Vineyard, as well as Stillwater Creek Vineyard and the Corfu Crossing Vineyard outside Royal City, an area soon to be designated the Royal Slope appellation.
Tasting Panel2015 vintage
In 2015, a historically early start to the growing season was followed by a warmer-than-normal spring. Continued warm weather in early summer advanced vine development. Mid-to-late summer was especially warm, including 2-3 weeks with highs over 100 degrees. A mild fall allowed for full phenolic development in the grapes, resulting in fresh, flavorful wines with fine aging potential.
Initial aromas of fresh black cherry, cassis, vanilla bean and juniper berry make way for deeper scents of sweet blackberry pie and dried strawberry. The palate offers concentrated flavors of blackberry, blackcurrant and dark cherry with a touch of spice. It’s framed by firm but silky tannins for balanced elegance.
Pairs well with any red meat on the grill, pork tenderloin, heavy cheeses and grilled vegetables.
GRAPES: 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc
APPELLATION: Columbia Valley, Washington
ACIDITY: 0.55 grams/100 ml
AGING: 18 months in 30% new French and American oak
points of distinction
- An elegant and age worthy blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc
- Fruit comes from the famed Seven Hills Vineyard in Walla Walla Valley, as well as Stillwater Creek Vineyard and the Corfu Crossing Vineyard outside Royal City, an area soon to be designated the Royal Slope appellation
- Wine made by WA native Aryn Morell, who has extensive experience in the Columbia Valley as well as with high-profile Napa wineries
vineyard details +
Seven Hills Vineyard
Seven Hills, located along the southern edge of the Walla Walla AVA, is one of the most recognized vineyards in Washington. With an elevation of 850 to 1,050 feet, the site has excellent soil and air drainage and is one of the most technologically advanced in the industry. The vertically trained canopy, controlled cluster spacing and sunlight exposure generates uniform fruit ripeness. Soil moisture is monitored daily by computer with sophisticated drip irrigation scheduled to augment vine development yet limit excessive canopy growth. Yields are strictly controlled to assure ultra-premium quality.
Stillwater Creek Vineyard
Stillwater Creek is an award-winning Columbia Valley vineyard located on a steep, south-facing rise on the Royal Slope of the Frenchman Hills. It is best known for its innovative vineyard management and one of the most diverse clone selections in Washington State. The site’s fractured rock and extreme southern exposure are ideal for reds, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.
about the grape +
Cabernet Franc usually shows tart red cherry and wild currant aromas and flavors with an herbal, spicy character. In the Loire, esp. Chinon and Saumur-Champigny, this grape shows firm minerality.
Cabernet Sauvignon is adaptable to various growing conditions, and is known for its low yield and late ripeness. It generally produces full-bodied wines with substantial acidity and tannins.
Well-made Malbec is a dark, perfumed wine with rich, blackberry and damson plum fruit, aromas of violets and tobacco, and ripe, juicy tannins. In France, may be mineral, structured and austere.
Merlot makes plump, succulent wines to drink young or opulently massive wines for aging. Has silky, blackberry and currant fruit, with spice, earth, tobacco and chocolate notes, and soft tannins.