Kyle MacLachlan is a versatile leading man, best known for his role as special agent Dale Cooper in “Twin Peaks.” Across a 40-year career, the Emmy Award-nominated actor has given fans plenty to adore. Now, he’s giving them something to pour.
Fifteen years ago, the Washington State native returned home to follow his oenological muse. The result: Pursued By Bear, a limited production of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon bottlings showcasing the rich complexities of the Columbia Valley. Rather than offer his famous face alone, MacLachlan has opted for a decidedly more hands-on approach. He regards himself a vintner and, since 2008, has been working with winemaker Daniel Wampfler to bring this passion to life.
The 2016 vintage Cabernet is most deserving of a standing ovation, offering dark-fruit notes that have been typical of the house style since the start, but building on it with 28 months of aging in new French oak. Its texture and finesse justify its $70 price tag.
Despite the seriousness of the juice, MacLachlan shows no signs of surrendering his playful nature. The brand’s name and label designs allude to one of Shakespeare’s most memorable stage directions; and on its website, MacLachlan is seen sipping beside a bear-playing companion, the two seated in matching Adirondack chairs. As MacLachlan’s words below suggest, it takes a character to make a wine with much of the same.
1. What’s your desert-island drink?
I’m imagining it’s going to be warm on that island, so I’d have to go with a cold lager.
2. What do you typically order when you’re out with friends, or hanging out at home?
When I’m out with friends, it would depend on the restaurant/bar, but I’ll usually check the specialty cocktail list and choose something unexpected or recommended by the bartender. This past December at Verōnika in New York, I tried one of their signature cocktails, All That Glitters. It was perfect. I like discovering new flavors or alcohols I’m not familiar with, particularly if the flavors are interesting or unexpected. Home is always wine.
3. How have your tastes changed over the years?
Maybe they’ve gotten a little more sophisticated, but honestly, that has more to do with being able to afford a more expensive bottle of wine or Scotch. I think I’ve also become more traditional in my choices. The days of Bacardi and Coke are gone, I’m afraid. Not forgotten, necessarily.
4. What are some of your favorite drinking destinations, and what do you like to drink in each?
Single malt, neat with a touch of water sitting at the upstairs bar at the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, Scotland with my playing partners after a round in the Dunhill Links golf tournament.
A pint of Guinness at Café en Seine in Dublin with Paul McGinley and friends.
A glass of white Burgundy with Ken Harrison and my winemaker Dan Wampfler on the back patio at Abeja in the late afternoon in Walla Walla, Wash.
As you can deduce, it’s about the quality of the drink and the quality of the friends.
5. What’s the best and worst bottle in your fridge, kitchen, or bar right now?
I have two empty bottles of Tiroler Schnapsbrennerei from Rochelt that I can’t part with, even though they’re empty because they are so beautiful. I also have a bottle of wine with a label from a TV show I was on that I’m scared to open.
6. What’s your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure would be wine with lunch! The rest of the day would be shot because I’d be unable to function.
7. Is there a category you’re into learning about these days? What interests you about it?
I never tire of learning about wines from my home state of Washington. As new vineyards are opening and new wines appear, I’m always interested to taste what’s happening. I’m also curious about vineyard sites around the state. I purchase all my grapes from growers, and I love learning about what’s working best from vineyards in each of the AVAs in Washington.