Deep ruby color; plum, redcurrant, raspberry, strawberry, vanilla, spice on the nose; cherry, red currant, chocolate, minerality on the palate.
Dry; nicely refined tannins; balancing acidity (3.70% pH). Medium-full body. Admirable concentration and depth. Smooth and elegant. Tasty, complex, sensuous, fresh. Nice length. Bordeaux blend of 51% cabernet sauvignon, 29% merlot, 20% cabernet franc. Refined and appropriate oak from 18 months in French and American wood, 34% new; 14.1% ABV.
Dennis Cakebread of the famed Cakebread Cellars in Napa Valley founded Mullan Road Cellars in 2012.The winery is named for Lt. John Morrell, a 19th century pioneer who built the first wagon road into eastern Washington—a 600-mile effort connecting Fort Benton in Dakota Territory to Walla Walls. Aryn Morrell is the winemaker. A Washington native, Morrell worked in Napa at such prestigious wineries as Silver Oak Cellars, Joseph Phelps, Quintessa, and Chappellet.
The grapes for this blend come for several outstanding, low-yield vineyards in the Columbia Valley, including the famed Seven Hills Vineyard (one of the first commercial vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley AVA), Stillwater Creek Vineyard, and Corfu Crossing Vineyard. Mullan does not own the vineyards, they lease parts of the vineyards.
Mullan Road Cellars Columbia Valley Red Wine 2016 displays elegance and finesse rather than big and bold. Very smooth, approachable, silky. Not a hard edge in the pour. Excellent red fruit flavors. Seamless, delicious. Pair with grilled red meats; pork tenderloin; braised lamb shank; grilled vegetables; heavy cheeses. $40-45