Walla Walla Wine

Walla Walla Valley Red Wine

The Fifty Best Walla Walla Wine Tasting 2021


The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 9 Walla Walla Valley red wines with 10 members of our wine judging panel. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the wines were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles and served at room temperature. Only ice water and white peasant bread were available to cleanse the palate.

The judges wrote down their impressions of each wine on score sheets. Scoring was based on a 5-point system, with 5 as the highest. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no Bronze medals awarded for this tasting. Medals are provided based entirely on merit and only to products judged worthy of such award.

The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The appellations are identified for each brand. Prices indicated do not include tax. Clicking on the brands' names will link to their websites.


Barons 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon
(Columbia Valley, WA)  $40

Aroma: Fresh cherries, red cherry, raspberry, blackberry, cassis, lavender, toast, white pepper, tobacco, lightly smoky, fresh field, correctly fragrant.
Palate: Red cherry, blackberry, blueberry, lingonberry, plum, vanilla, mocha, herbal, thyme, spicy, very round, easy drinking, silky.
Finish: Cassis, dark plum skin, almond, spiced, tannic, food friendly, tickles the tongue, soft, pleasant, love it.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Barons Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley

Caprio Cellars Eleanor 2018
Estate Red Wine

(Walla Walla Valley, WA)  Bordeaux-style red blend.  $60

Aroma: Blackberry, raspberry, red raspberry, currants, ripe fruit, jammy, orange orchard, cola, toasty notes, smokiness.
Palate: Cherry, black cherry, blackberry, hints of raspberry, plum, cassis, plush dark fruit, vanilla, allspice, tobacco, earth, leather, similar to California cabernet, tannic, nice acidity, good structure, very balanced, approachable now.
Finish: Plummy, clove, jalapeño, earth, leather, fresh tobacco, soft smoke, stone, powerful, nice, easy drinking, good one, elegant.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Caprio Cellars Eleanor Estate Red Wine

Barons 2018 Petit Barone Red Wine
(Columbia Valley, WA)  Bordeaux-style red blend.  $25

Aroma: Black cherry, blackberry, currants, strawberry, fresh rose, peppers, earth, toast, oak.
Palate: Black cherry, blackberry, boysenberry, raspberry, jammy, juicy, herbal, toast, light tannins, good balance, round, soft, very approachable.
Finish: Black cherry, black currant, hint of dark chocolate, light pepper, wood, strong tannins , love the fruity & toasty notes, clean, soft, rich, easy to pair.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Barons Petit Barone Red Wine


Browne Family Vineyards 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon
(Columbia Valley, WA)  $40

Aroma: Cherry, dark cherry, red berries, cassis, plum, herbal, tea leaves, dill spice, tobacco, musty, suede tanning, oak.
Palate: Plum, strawberry, persimmon, vanilla, mocha, green pepper, black pepper, hot spice, tobacco, cowhide, leather, tannins that you can feel, oak, soft, plush.
Finish: Elegant rounded red fruit, black currant jam, smoky berries, spicy, tobacco, earthy note, cedar, love the tannins, complex, delicious.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Browne Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

Maison Bleue Frontiere' 2018 Syrah
Funk Vineyard

(Walla Walla Valley, WA)  $75

Aroma: Cherry, ripe field of peppers, cocoa, cocoa powder, nutty, coffee, tobacco, leather, gamey, earth, smoke, char, oak.
Palate: Blackberry, raspberry, currants, vanilla, chocolate, cocoa nibs, coffee, herbal, tobacco, earth, a bit smoky, oak, medium tannins, approachable.
Finish: Blackberry, cherry, herbal note, mineral, smoke, oak, lingering coffee, bright.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Maison Bleue Frontiere'  Syrah Funk Vineyard

Plumb Cellars
Damn Straight 2017 Red Wine

(Columbia Valley, WA)  Bordeaux-style red blend.  $39

Aroma: Cherry, dark cherry, currants, blackberry, sweet berry, plum, jammy, mushroom, eucalyptus leaves, allspice, smoky.
Palate: Black cherry, ripe cherry, sour cherry, blackberry, cassis, plum, jammy, fruit forward, cocoa, herbal, green bell pepper, spicy, stone, tangy, smoky, pleasantly balanced, fresh, rich, approachable.
Finish: Ripe plum, blackberry, clove, black pepper, spicy, leather, tannins, some funk, easy to pair with duck & lighter red meats, intense, concentrated, beautiful.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Plumb Cellars Damn Straight Red Wine


Mansion Creek Cellars 2018 Reserve Tempranillo
(Red Mountain, WA)  $58

Aroma: Cherry, sweet berry, Twizzlers, Jolly Rancher, plum skin, herbal, tea leaf, leather, musky, earth, smoke, toast, oak.
Palate: Black cherry, ripe raspberries, blackberry, blueberry, plum, sugar plum, Concord grape, a bit spicy, oak, toasty, easy tannins, soft, velvety.
Finish: Grape candy, smoky, rounds out, fresh, soft, very smooth, easy drinking.

Silver Medal
Silver medal


Barons 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon
(Red Mountain, WA)  $70

Aroma: Raspberry, plum, olive, leather, mineral, earth, smoky, timber, oak, cedar.
Palate: Black cherry, sweet plum, blackberry, blueberry, currant, balanced red berries, vanilla, flint, a bit spicy, light tannins, delicate.
Finish: Black cherry, ash, tannic, complex, balanced, no complaints, nice, easy going.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

Barons Cabernet Sauvignon

Caprio Cellars Sanitella 2018
Estate Red Wine

(Walla Walla Valley, WA)  Bordeaux-style red blend.  $80

Aroma: Raspberry, mixed berry juice smoothie, citrus, honey, toffee, buttery, dark chocolate, earthiness, gamey, campfire, aromatic.
Palate: Cherry, raspberry, ripe plum, blackberry, blueberry, honeydew, muted bell pepper, wheatberry, chocolate, raw wood, some complexity, round, balanced, soft.
Finish: Ripe cherry, raspberry, blackberry, bell pepper, mocha, cinnamon, slightly tannic, rounded, melding of flavors, velvety, soft, rich, enjoyable.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

Caprio Cellars Sanitella Estate Red Wine





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