Appellation: Columbia Valley
The history of John Little’s vineyard site along the Columbia River eight miles upstream from the Bybee Bridge near Chelan Falls began as vacation property 25 years ago. In recent years, his winemaking has continued to display the versatility of the region. And fruit from some of the family’s vines at Rio Vista were blended with Tempranillo from historic Rosebud Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope for this delicious red. Its big and complex nose of blackcurrant, raspberry and blueberry includes tobacco leaf and anise. There’s remarkable depth to the structure as bright and juicy black and purple fruit mesh with silky tannins and make for a long, mouthwatering finish. It was the top-ranked entry in Wine Press Northwest’s regional tasting of Tempranillo, receiving a unanimous vote for “Outstanding!” — the equivalent of a double gold medal.
Rating: “Unanimously Outstanding!” by Wine Press Northwest. (13.8% alc.)
Cases produced: 175
Food pairings: Grilled meat, barbecued fare, tomato-influenced or corn-based dishes, cured meat, Latin-inspired tapas, including burritos, nachos and tacos.
The Little family operates two tasting rooms within a short drive of downtown Chelan:
• Rio Vista Wines on the River
24415 Highway 97
Chelan, WA 98816
• Rio Vista Wines at the Cabin
224 E. Wapato Way
Manson, WA 98831