Fresh blackberries, plum skin and fresh juniper berries intermixed with dried strawberry and sandalwood. Swirling brings up ripe black currants, baking spice and crème de cassis. The palate is dense and polished with superfine tannins and great length. It’s mouthwateringly fresh with ripe but restrained fruit and terrific presence. Pairs well with any red meat on the grill, pork tenderloin, heavy cheeses and grilled vegetables.
Mullan Road Cellars is a journey into Washington winemaking led by Dennis Cakebread of Cakebread Cellars. Drawn by the high quality of wines and the camaraderie of the Walla Walla wine community, Dennis and winemaker Aryn Morell set out to create an elegant, complex Bordeaux-style red blend. Fruit comes from three prime locations: the famed Seven Hills Vineyard on the southern edge of the Walla Walla Valley contributes tannin and structure, Stillwater Creek Vineyard on the Royal Slope of the Frenchman Hills adds brawn and volume, and Lawrence Vineyards in the Frenchman Hills lend elegance. Dennis named his wine “Mullan Road Cellars” in honor of Lieutenant John Mullan, who built the first wagon trail across the Rockies over 600 miles from Ft. Benton in Montana to Ft. Walla Walla in Washington.
The Wine Advocate 91Points "Made from 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and the balance Malbec, the 2014 Columbia Valley Red Wine was fermented in a mix of concrete tanks and stainless steel, and aged in 40% new French and American oak. It’s looks to be a well-made, possibly outstanding effort that has lots of jammy dark fruits (cassis and blackberry), dried underbrush and some licorice in a medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated package. It should drink nicely right out of the gate.
Vinous / Antonio Galloni 91 Points "Medium red-ruby. Aromas of cassis, blackberry, licorice, violet, smoky oak and a whiff of tomato sauce that quickly blew off. Very rich, thick and savory but shows lovely acidity for the vintage. The blackberry, cassis, black tea, herb and potpourri flavors reveal less of the whiskey lactone quality of previous vintages (some Canton American oak was used in the first vintage, 2012, but not since then). Nicely savory, juicy and penetrating, finishing with plenty of dusty tannins to support aging. This venture established by Napa Valley veteran Dennis Cakebread is a bit less obviously New World in style than his wines under the Cakebread label. Winemaker Aryn Morell has upped the percentage of new French oak to 40%."