Tamarack Firehouse Red is 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Syrah, 22% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec, 3% Sangiovese, 2% Grenache, 2% Cinsault 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Counoise, 1% Mourvèdre and 1% Carmenere.
Deceptively sweet aromas of strawberries, raspberries and rose petals. The flavors are dark, rich, lusciously mouthwatering, with cherries, boysenberries, tart plum skins, hints of leather, sweet pipe tobacco, and coffee beans. The tannins are firm, but not a bit edgy and the finish lingers with just a touch of anise. A truly lovely vintage.
The Tamarack Cellars Estate
Founded in 1998 by Ron and Jamie Coleman, Tamarack Cellars is dedicated to the production of small lot, hand-crafted wines from select vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley, Yakima Valley, Red Mountain and Columbia Valley appellations.
“Boutique winery from Waterbrook and Canoe Ridge alumnus Ron Coleman delivers ripe varietals and blends; Syrah-Bordeaux blend Firehouse Red is outstanding value.”
- Anthony Dias' blue pocket guide to wine 2006
The Tamarack Cellars Vineyard
Grapes are purchased throughout the Columbia Valley and are crushed, fermented and blended in a small winery located in a World War II firehouse complex at the Walla Walla airport.
Tamarack Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot
Crushed gently and dropped by gravity into 1.5 ton bins, cold soaked for 24 to 72 hours, then inoculated with a variety of yeasts, hand-punched and pressed directly to barrel where the wine finishes both primary and secondary fermentations. The individual lots of wine that compose the Cabernet Sauvignon are kept separate for at least one year before they are blended.
A warm summer led to an early start to harvest, followed by a stretch of lower than average temperatures in late September that slowed ripening so grapes hung longer without sugars skyrocketing, providing balance, more flavor development and concentration. A long but successful harvest!
Full bodied with black currant jam, honey glazed dates and black peppered seasoned T-bone steak aromas intertwined with piercing boysenberry, rosemary rack of lamb, balsamic, blue cheese, bacon wrapped figs and intriguing tannins extended out over an intricate and balanced finish.
"Rich and ripe cabernet in the dark-berry zone that really has attractive freshness and intensity to the nose. The palate has a very sleek array of ripe dark plums with a fleshy texture. Ready now."
- James Suckling (July 2019), 91 pts
Tamarack Merlot is made from 100 percent Merlot.
Dark aromas of cherry, mocha and blueberry lead to ripe plum, blackberry pie and flavors of a savory red wine reduction steak sauce, layered with intense chocolate and rich, velvety tannins.
Crushed gently and dropped by gravity into 1.5 ton bins, cold soaked 48 hours minimum, then inoculated with a variety of yeasts, hand-punched and pressed directly to barrel where the wine finishes both primary and secondary fermentations. The individual lots of wine that comprise the Merlot are kept separate for at least 12 months before they are blended. 50% new oak, the majority being American with some French and Hungarian oak from select coopers & a variety of forests with the wine aging in the oak for 19 months.
Sunset Hills Mosaic Red Blend is made from Merlot 23.5%, Cabernet Franc 58%, Petit Verdot 17.7%
Dark tobacco and leather alongside cooked blueberry and plum. The structure is solid leading to an even finish.
Avennia Sestina Red Blend is made from 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc
The Sestina is a poetic form from Medieval France. Just as a contemporary poet can use an old form like the Sestina to express modern ideas, we use the traditional Bordeaux blend to make modern wines that express Washington fruit. Sestina is our vision for an old vine blend where the focus is on structure, balance, and complexity. This wine is designed for the cellar, but is enjoyable now.
Sestina: This wine is a blockbuster, with black currant, black raspberry, saddle leather, freshly tilled earth, vanilla, and violet on the nose. Exceedingly rich and balanced on the palate, with great poise and structure for long aging. The finish echoes with fresh black fruits, minerally touches, and floral notes.
"The 2015 Sestina is showing very well, offering up a rich, more exuberant bouquet than the 2014 rendition. This emphasizes notes of cassis, black plums, dark chocolate, espresso roast and a subtle framing of new oak. On the palate, it's full-bodied and lavish but controlled, with an ample, more sun-kissed core of fruit and fine-grained structuring tannins. Like the 2014, it's a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. While the 2014 and 2015 are quite different in style, it's hard to choose between them qualitatively. While it needs a few years in the cellar, I suspect the 2015 will hit its peak sooner. - William Kelley"
- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (Issue 237, June 29th 2018), 96 pts
Number #93 On Top 100 Cellar Selections From Wine Enthusiast
"The flagship 2015 Sestina checks in as 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc brought up in 60% new French oak. Gorgeous notes of blackcurrants, black cherries, graphite, wet river rock, and leafy herbs all emerge from this beautifully balanced, fresh, classic wine that's still tight and backward. It's not a blockbuster but has building richness and tannin, as well as a great finish. Give bottles 2-3 years and enjoy over the following 10-15."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 95+ pts
Leeu Passant Dry Red
36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc and 31% Cinsault
Western Cape (13.5%) No one could accuse this wine, released for the first time in 2015, of being unambitious, but it’s quite a début. Inspired by the Château Libertas wines of old, it’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Cinsaut, showing impressive, stony precision, notes of spice, dark tea and reduction, a hint of graphite and a taut, lingering finish. 2019-30 - Tim Atkins 94 Points
36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc, 31% Cinsault. Cinsault comes from the two oldest registered red wine vineyards: Wellington (117 years old) and Franschooek (91 years old), while the Cabernet Franc comes from high up in the Helderberg and the Cabernet Sauvignon from bush vines lower down the Helderberg. The new oak portion was fermented in upturned 500 litre barrels to achieve better integration. Floral, perfumed and beautifully aromatic. Very fine, a bit peppery and juicy, slightly grippy red cherry and raspberry fruit with some nice spiciness. Juicy, pure and fine with lovely precision. Jamie Goode 95 Points
62% Sangiovese, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah (percentage may vary). Among Tuscany's oldest and most prestigious wine families, Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari teamed with Allen Shoup to produce a wine that showcases Washington State's terroir with plenty of Italian character. Saggi (meaning "wisdom") is a stunning blend of two outstanding Washington Sangiovese vineyards. Candy Mountain Sangiovese gives the wine its dark fruit flavors and appealing notes of anise. Dick Boushey's Yakima Valley Sangiovese, planted in 1992, adds vibrancy and liveliness. Because Cabernet Sauvignon has the potential to overtake Sangiovese, the Folonaris work closely with Sagemoor Vineyards to carefully select blocks of Cabernet they know from experience deliver elegant character and refined tannins. Syrah, also from Sagemoor, adds to the wine's dark color and rich mid-palate.
Shows cherries, chocolate and hints of cedar. Medium-bodied, tight and focused with a fine and silky finish. Pretty blend of 62% sangiovese, 28% cabernet sauvignon and 10% syrah. Drink or hold. -James Suckling 95 Points
Crème de cassis, ripe black cherries, licorice, and toasty oak all emerge from the 2015 Saggi Red Wine, which is a blend of 62% Sangiovese, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Syrah. With an inky color, full-bodied richness, fine, polished tannin and a great finish, it's another terrific wine from this estate that's going to evolve beautifully for 10-15 years.- Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
Ayni Vino de Parcella Gravas is 100% Malbec
Ayni Gravas was created show the diversity of wine profiles that can be derived from Paraje Altamira’s terroir. The goal with this particular wine is to show a markedly calcareous profile that derives in a more intense black fruit flavor profile and a chalky tannin structure with great age potential, as opposed to the more feminine and elegant style which is typical from Paraje Altamira wines.
Chakana plans to further develop this wine, increasing its accents through vineyard selection and oak aging. Over time, production can potentially increase to 10,000 bottles (maximum).
Ayni Gravas is produced from smaller plots of a 20 hectare vineyard in Paraje Altamira, Valle de Uco, Mendoza. Paraje Altamira is a Geographical Indication (IG) located on the alluvial cone of the Tunuyan River. The Ayni vineyard has been planted on virgin soils on the upper (south western) side of the cone. The vineyard is crossed by numerous smaller river beds that once formed the river delta, and these create a pattern of different soil depths and gravel formations, imparting very different characteristics on the wine. Ayni Gravas is produced only with the sections of the vineyard where the calcium carbonated gravels come to the surface and the vines grow amongst them with no soil. Only a smaller percentage of the vineyard (approximately 20%) features these conditions.
Pairs well with grilled meats and stews.
"Dark medium ruby. Enticing violet lift to the aromas of boysenberry, blackberry and licorice; wild but not excessively so. Juicy and fine-grained, with penetrating chalky minerality enlivening the flavors of crushed blackberry, flowers and spices. In a very savory, almost salty style, finishing dry and firm, with fresh, fine-grained tannins and lovely energy and length. (just 12.5% alcohol; from the same vineyard as the Ayni Vineyard Paraje Altamira but from a selection of soils) - Stephen Tanzer"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (June 2019), 91 pts
"There is a new 2017 Ayni Parcela Gravas, a selection of Malbec from their Ayni vineyard in Paraje Altamira from very shallow plots with a high content of limestone. The nature of the soils might have resulted in some stress in a warm and dry year like 2017, and the wine felt a bit ripe and with harsher tannins than the regular Ayni. For the rest, the production and élevage remained more or less the same. I look forward to seeing the results in a cooler year. For now, the tannins need a little bit of time in bottle. 3,000 bottles were filled in March 2019. - Luis Gutiérrez"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 91 pts
Freelander Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Cabernet Sauvignon from California is the second Cabernet release from Freelander. Aged in French and American oak, it shows massively rich flavors of blackberries and cassis This full bodied wine shows lush mouthfeel, balance and complexity. The ripe, sweet tannins and a touch of toasted oak complete the gentle finish.