It has been quite a run for Maryhill Winery, and it continues for the large, family-owned winery in Washington’s Columbia Gorge.
At last month’s fourth annual Cascadia Wine Competition, Maryhill earned three double gold medals, two best-of-class awards and five gold medals. This follows up a string of awards the past two years that puts the winery in rare company.
In 2014, Maryhill was hailed as the winery of the year at the prestigious San Francisco International Wine Competition. Later that year, its 2011 Marvell red blend was Great Northwest Wine’s 2014 wine of the year. Then a year ago, Wine Press Northwest magazine dubbed Maryhill its 2015 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year.
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This is the culmination of hard work by owners Craig and Vicki Leuthold, Spokane entrepreneurs who launched the winery with the 1999 vintage and later a 4,000-seat amphitheater. In 2009, they brought in Richard Batchelor as their head winemaker. The New Zealand native is showing his talents with wine grapes from across Washington’s vast Columbia Valley.
Here are some of Maryhill’s gold medal winners. While many will be found at better groceries and wine shops, some of them are available only by contacting the winery directly.
Maryhill Winery 2015 Rosé of Sangiovese, Columbia Valley, $16: Watermelon and strawberry aromas lead to flavor of the same fruits, plus a touch of red currants on the palate, all backed by juicy acidity. (12.9 percent alcohol)
Maryhill Winery 2012 Vintage Port, Columbia Valley, $20: Portuguese varieties, including Tinta Cão, Souzao and Touriga Naçional, went into this Port-style dessert wine with alluring aromas of dark chocolate, raspberry filling and sweet spices. On the palate, it unveils flavors of boysenberry syrup, dark molasses and golden raisin. (19.2 percent alcohol)
Maryhill Winery 2013 Art den Hoed Vineyard Petite Sirah, Columbia Valley, $32: Aromas open with deep blackberry fruit, black currants, black pepper and hints of moist earthiness. In the mouth, the same fruits shine, the pepper shows a little bite, and the minerality pops out amidst grippy tannins. Pair it with hearty foods, perhaps a cassoulet or sea salt-encrusted duck breast braised and roasted in a high-temperature oven. (14.5 percent alcohol)
Maryhill Winery 2013 Painted Hills Vineyard Tempranillo, Columbia Valley, $34: Another of Art den Hoed’s vineyards helps produce deep cherry aromas, a bit of mint and warm spices on the nose usher in dark cherries, blackberries and blueberries on the palate. Grippy tannins and juicy acidity close out its lengthy finish. (14.2 percent alcohol)
In 2014, Maryhill was hailed as the winery of the year at the prestigious San Francisco International Wine Competition.
Maryhill Winery 2013 Rosso Granato, Columbia Valley, $36: This blend of Petite Sirah and Zinfandel reveals spice, cherry, blackberry and blueberry aromas and flavors that lead into grippy tannins and a long black fruit finish. (14.5 percent alcohol)
Maryhill Winery 2013 Proprietor’s Reserve Syrah, Columbia Valley, $38: Aromas of dark chocolate meld with blackberry pie and black pepper. Flavors of toasted oak, purple plum and toasted marshmallow are backed by pliable tannins and a nice hit of acidity on the finish. (14.5 percent alcohol)
Maryhill Winery 2013 Les Collines Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $40: Sweet herbs, dark cherries and blueberries greet the nose on this beautiful Cab, followed on the palate by blackberries, blueberries and chalky tannins that close with dark chocolate. (14.8 percent alcohol)
Maryhill Winery 2013 Proprietor’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $40: This Cab provides a seamless array of aromas and flavors showing off black cherries, blackberries, blueberries and black currants. It finishes with expertly managed tannins and dark, sweet chocolate. (14.8 percent alcohol)
Maryhill Winery 2013 Elephant Mountain Vineyards Marvell, Rattlesnake Hills, $44: This Rhône-style red blend made from 47 percent Syrah, 27 percent Mourvèdre and 26 percent Grenache results in a sophisticated wine with spice, blackberry, plum and blueberry aromas and flavors, plus some black pepper and black olive pit tannins in its mouth-filling finish. (14.4 percent alcohol)
Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue run Great Northwest Wine, an award-winning news and information company; www.greatnorthwestwine.com.