Wine of the Week

Brian Carter Cellars 2016 Byzance Red Wine

Appellation: Columbia Valley

Woodinville’s Brian Carter takes a page out of the Rhone Rangers playbook with this GSM-driven blend of Grenache (58%), Syrah (19%) and Mourvèdre (16%) that includes small doses of Counoise and Cinsault. It’s all-star lineup of vineyards includes Olsen and Lonesome Springs in the Yakima Valley, StoneTree on the Wahluke Slope and Stillwater Creek on the Royal Slope, and all of the fruit was hand-picked prior to ambient yeast fermentation and 22 months in French oak. Byzance translates to luxurious in French, and this blend lives up to its moniker. Heady with dark red fruit and black pepper on the nose, the wine is lithe in its mouthfeel. There are notes of blackberry, cherry, and dried herbs in this lively blend. Consumers and critics have come to expect efforts such as this from the man who drives a car with the Washington vanity license plate that reads “BLENDS,” and six times the Oregon State University grad has earned a Platinum from Wine Press Northwest magazine with his Byzance program. He’s qualified this 2016 effort for the magazine’s 22nd annual “Best of the Best” judging by winning a gold medal at the 2021 Cascadia International Wine Competition.

Rating: “Outstanding!” by Great Northwest Wine. (14.7% alc.)

Price: $34

Cases produced: 434

Food pairings: Suggestions at the BCC Vancouver Tasting Room and Wine Bar include a Piadina Wrap featuring prosciutto, tomatoes, burrata cheese and fresh arugula lemon salad or a prosciutto goat cheese flatbread with apricot honey drizzle and arugula. Carter also enjoys it with braised meats or a duck breast in cherry sauce.

Carter operates two tasting rooms:


14419 Woodinville Redmond Road NE

Woodinville, Washington 98072

(425) 806-9463

Vancouver USA

660 Waterfront Way

Vancouver, WA 98660

(360) 216-1444

Great Northwest Wine

This story was originally published June 8, 2021 4:25 PM.

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