1. àMaurice Cellars Malbec Gamache Vineyard Columbia Valley 2011 - $38
Winemaker Anna Schafer is a malbec savant, consistently crafting some of the state’s best bottles. This wine is redolent with freshly ground black pepper and plum, coating the palate from end to end with suggestions of supple fruit and coffee.
2. Kontos Cellars Malbec Summit View Vineyard Walla Walla Valley 2012 - $42
Summit View is an up-and-coming vineyard located in the southern section of the Walla Walla Valley near Seven Hills Vineyard. This wine’s boysenberry, pepper, and herb aromas and flavors are dazzlingly pure, making it near impossible to put down.
3. Kerloo Cellars Malbec Stone Tree Vineyard Wahluke Slope 2012 - $40
Vibrant notes of green herbs, plum, and blue fruit are accented by fresh, tart acidity on this dark, glass-staining malbec. It’s a tribute to the variety.
4. Latta Malbec Northridge Vineyard Wahluke Slope 2011 - $55
This is the inaugural release from Andrew Latta, formerly winemaker at K Vintners and Charles Smith Wines. It impresses with soft, supple plum and herb flavors that bring a real sense of freshness and energy.
5. Stevens Winery StevensTimley Malbec Yakima Valley 2012 - $32
All of the fruit for this low-alcohol (13.4 percent) wine comes from Dineen Vineyard in the Rattlesnake Hills. Herb and plum notes have a polished feel that captivates the senses.