Appellation: Columbia Valley
When Russ and Stacie Hamilton decided to launch their Richland winery, they chose to focus their efforts on Malbec, a variety they already loved, because they wanted to distinguish themselves within Washington's growing wine industry. Obviously, they chose well. Winemaker Charlie Hoppes, a fellow Malbec disciple, has crafted a wine that reveals complex aromas of minerality, mint, raspberries, tar, boysenberries and chocolate. On the palate, this big red offers juicy flavors of raspberries, white strawberries and black cherries. It's a smooth, easy-drinking wine with brilliant acidity and a lengthy finish. Rated "Outstanding" by Wine Press Northwest magazine. (14.6 percent alcohol)
Cases produced: 192.
Food matches: Enjoy this big red wine with roasted meats or a hearty autumn stew.
Hamilton Cellars, 1950 Keene Road, Richland, 628-8227, www.hamiltoncellars.com