Thursday, December 12, 2019

Mullan Road Cellars Columbia Valley Red Blend 2015

Mullan Road Cellars Columbia Valley Red Blend 2015

We dined at Ocean Prime in Indianapolis at Keystone at the Crossing and ordered this Washington State Columbia Valley Bordeaux Blend from the winelist.

This is a project of Dennis Cakebread a legend in Napa Valley and well known Cakebread Cellars that date back to 1973. Looking to expand beyond Napa Valley Dennis explored other wine regions that demonstrated consistent wine quality. He first traveled to Walla Walla in Washington State Columbia Valley in 2010. There he met formed a friendships with talented winemaker Aryn Morell.

Aryn Morell grew up in Washington state but left to study  chemical engineering at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. After a weekend in Napa Valley, he set his sights on applying his education in the wine industry. He spent time learning the craft at Golden State Vintners, Edgewood Estates, and Silver Oak , and eventually gained experience at Joseph Phelps, Quintessa, Chimney Rock, and Chappellet, to name a few. These experiences served as the foundation for Aryn’s vision to craft world-class wines.

In 2007, he seized the opportunity to move back to Washington to apply his winemaking skills making premium Washington State wines. In 2012, Aryn met up with Dennis Cakebread to work on a new project to develop a Bordeaux blend that was the beginning of Mullan Road Cellars.

We visited Washington State twice last year, first to Seattle and the Woodinville Wine District, then culminating in a tasting trip to Walla Walla  and several regional producers there. Wine production in Washington has grown from 300 to over a thousand producers in the last two decades and they are now producing world class wines, on par with Napa and Bordeaux, often at a fraction of the price, or at least at notable discounts for comparable wines, resulting in great value QPR. Hence, I was eager to try this wine from a notable Napa Valley producer.  We also visited Cakebread Cellars during our Napa Valley Wine Experience last year, so this was the intersection of two of our recent wine ventures and discoveries. 
Mullan Road Cellars Red Wine Blend 2015
We ordered from the winelist this 2015 vintage release, a blend of 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot and 17% Cabernet Franc. It was aged 18 months in 30% new French and American oak barrels, 3,570 cases of this red blend were produced.

The 2015 Mullan Road Red Wine Blend was awarded 94pts Wine Advocate, 91+ by Stephen Tanzer, and 90pts by Wine Spectator and the International Wine Report.

Dark garnet colored, medium full bodied, expressive concentrated blackberry fruits with notes of cassis, licorice, mocha a hints of leather, spice and cigar box with an approachable structured tannin laced finish.

RM 90 points.