Private Tasting: 2006 Washington Red Blends



By Kori ~ February 8th, 2010.

Washington State produces many excellent wines from many different grape varieties. There is much debate as to which red wine Washington does best. Some say Syrah, others Merlot, and others red Bordeaux-style blends. Recently, we had what turned out to be a Washington red blends showdown in one of our private tasting dinners pitting the 2006 Saviah Cellars Une Vallee Red Wine against the 2006 Mackay Duck Press Red. We thought both wines were excellent but gave a slight edge to the Saviah Une Vallee. Both wines paired well with Mom’s dinner of mixed green salad, beef tenderloin steaks, baked sweet potatoes, stir-fried broccoli, carrots, and snap peas, and topped off by razzleberry pie with ice cream. For a more complete description of how we set up these private tastings, please refer to How We Taste.

Saviah Cellars (our Best Washington Winery of 2009) is a family-owned winery located south of downtown Walla Walla, Washington, near the Oregon state line. Founded in 2000 by winemaker Rich Funk and his wife Anita, Saviah Cellars currently produces about 9,500 cases per year. The name Saviah is a family name from Anita’s great-grandmother. This classic Left Bank Bordeaux-style red blend is a consistent performer for Saviah Cellars from vintage to vintage.

The Duck Press Red is produced and bottled for Mackay Restaurants by Alexandria Nicole Cellars. Founded in 2004 by winemaker Jarrod Boyle and his wife Ali, Alexandria Nicole Cellars is located on their 243-acre estate vineyard, Destiny Ridge Vineyard, in the Horse Heaven Hills overlooking the Columbia River. They also have tasting rooms in Prosser and Woodinville as well. All of the fruit for the Duck Press Red comes from Destiny Ridge Vineyard. A friend who is a member of Alexandria Nicole’s wine club gave us this wine so we decided to put it into our private tasting lineup against a proven favorite.

This was an excellent tasting. Both wines are also good values that are worth a try if you see them at your local wine shop or restaurant.

2006 Saviah Cellars Une Vallee Red Wine (Walla Walla Valley, Washington): 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, and 6% Cabernet Franc. Deep, dark purple in color. Very aromatic with leather and burnt wood aromas. Fruit-forward with red and black fruits and spice coming through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied and lively with medium tannins. Well-balanced and smooth with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $32

2006 Mackay Duck Press Red (Destiny Ridge Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills, Washington): 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 14% Malbec, and 10% Petit Verdot. Deep, dark purple with aromas of oak, new leather, and vanilla. Black fruit flavors, especially blackberries, dominate the palate. Medium to full-bodied and lively with medium tannins. Well-balanced with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $32


Filed under: American Wine, Red Wine, Washington State Wine, Wines Over $25

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