Appellation: Columbia Valley
Tim and Kelly Hightower share the winemaking duties at their winery on Red Mountain, and their penchant for producing wines of balance continues under both their eponymous label and their growing Murray brand — a dual tribute to a longtime supporter as well as the memory of their first winery dog. Last fall, they struck gold twice at the Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition for their work with red blends. One was for their classy 2015 Red Mountain Estate, a bottling that leads with Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2016 Murray Red Wine, which could legally be labeled as Merlot (92%), went on to earn best-of-class honors at the Columbia Gorge Hotel tasting judged by some of the Pacific Northwest’s most influential wine buyers. This Murray is a blend of their own Hightower Estate Vineyard as well as nearby E&E Shaw Vineyard. Pomegranate, cherry and a hint of blueberry are complemented by the rich flavors of baking spice and baking cocoa, which pick up a sense of earthiness along the way. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Hightowers have thoughtfully created a “quarantine special” by offering a 25% discount on all Murray Red wines, including this Wine of the Week. Additionally, they provide free “white rubber glove delivery service” in the Tri-Cities and Benton City for those who order six or more bottles. And the six-winery #Exit96 Virtual Happy Hour for the week of April 6-12 spotlights the Hightowers on Sunday.
Rated “Outstanding!” by Great Northwest Wine. (14.3% alc.)
Cases produced: 332
Food pairings: The Hightowers serve their Murray Red alongside steak with a green peppercorn sauce; arugula salad with Parmesan-Reggiano, roasted nuts and a citrus vinaigrette; Eggplant Parmesan; slow-roasted pork shoulder or cheese burgers with grilled onion.
Hightower Cellars tasting room
19418 E 583 Private Road NE
Benton City, WA 99320
During the pandemic, the Hightowers offer curbside pickup for online or phone orders.
Great Northwest Wine