Appellation: Columbia Valley
This well-balanced Malbec blend designed by Argentine product Juan Muñoz Oca weaves aromas and flavors of dark plum and black cherry compote, spice box accents and raspberry jam with crushed herbs from the influence of Cabernet Franc (49%). Muñoz Oca’s mind-bending extended maceration program for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates took several angles here. Normally, grapes for red wine will stay on the skins for several weeks, maybe a few months. In this case, some of the Malbec juice was fermented on the Cabernet Franc skins for nine months and some of the Cabernet Franc juice was fermented on Malbec skins for nine months. The resulting wine is round, full of supple tannins and balancing acidity, while a drop of vanilla extract shows through on the finishing sip. It’s a wine as striking as its label designed by New York street artist ZIMER. (The Red Blend label depicts the woman in a flamboyant red dress with dark blue highlights in her hair.) Family-owned Horse Heaven Hills sites contribute significantly to this head-turning red, including the Beightol family’s Phinny Hill, Spice Cabinet Vineyard by the Mercers, Andrews & Rowell and Coyote Canyon as well as Alder Ridge Vineyard. It earned its way into the 2019 Platinum with a gold medal from TEXSOM, a judging in Texas that brings a gauntlet of Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine.
Rated “Platinum” by Wine Press Northwest magazine. (14.5% alc.)
Cases produced: 30,000
Food pairings: Suggested dishes include beef sliders, citrus-marinated pork sandwich or beef and pork meatballs in a chipotle sauce.
There is no dedicated tasting room for INTRINSIC Wine Co., but the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Red Blend are widely available at grocers, wine shops and chain retailers such as Rite Aid.