Appellation: Columbia Valley
Shane Howard of Woondinville's Warehouse District did some marvelous winemaking from the 2009 vintage, which came to a screeching halt in Washington state with a Oct. 10 bitter freeze event. For example, his 2009 Prima Donna Merlot-based blend was named to Great Northwest Wine's Top 100 list from 2013. This Cab hails from Conner Lee, Stillwater Creek and The Benches near Wallula, and it streams out aromas of plum jam, cherry, fresh caramel corn, malted milk balls, sage and flint. On the pour is a delivery of luscious black fruit that's achieves beautiful balance and rewarding length. It earned a gold medal at the 2014 Seattle Wine and Food Experience Wine Competition. (14.7 percent alcohol)
Cases produced: 134
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Food pairings: Enjoy this suave red wine with grilled or braised meats, pasta with a hearty red sauce or mushroom risotto.
Pondera Winery, 19501 144th Ave. N.E., Woodinville, 425-486-8500, www.ponderawinery.com.