What: Woodinville Wine Cellars Little Bear Creek Red Wine Columbia Valley 2012 $20
Why: Twenty twelve is shaping up to be a glorious vintage for Washington with an abundance of wines that offer both quality and value. The latest example comes from Woodinville Wine Cellars.
The winery, which celebrates its 15th vintage this year, is a bit off the beaten path in Woodinville, neither in the Schoolhouse District nor the Warehouse District where most of the area’s wineries have congregated. Perhaps it’s for this reason that the wines seem to fly a bit below the radar. This is a shame as winemaker Sean Boyd (not to be confused with Sean Boyd of Walla Walla’s Rôtie Cellars) crafts a consistently high-quality lineup.
The Woodinville Wine Cellars 2012 Little Bear Creek Columbia Valley Red Wine ($20) is just the most recent example. The wine, named after the creek next to the winery, is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and cabernet franc. It offers aromas of dried herbs, cedar, black cherry, and mocha with the palate chock-full of densely layered black fruit flavors backed by a firm scaffolding of tannins. While this wine consistently offers high quality and value, the 2012 vintage kicks it up a notch, drinking like a wine that costs nearly twice the price. Drink up!