It may come as somewhat of a surprise to many that wine producers from Napa and Sonoma have been heading to Washington State over the past few years, but as the planet has continued to warm, and real estate has continued to get more and more expensive in California, that’s exactly what they’ve been doing. One notable producer to do just that is Dennis Cakebread of the famed Cakebread Cellars. While Cakebread seems to be doing just fine it’s natural for producers to want to branch out, and the result is Mullan Road Cellars, a delicious Bordeaux-style blend that is much more of an old world style wine than you might expect.
While American red blends have gotten somewhat of a reputation over the past decade or so for being big, bold fruit bombs, Mullan Road instead exhibits a lot of retro charm, with much more restraint and classic Bordeaux-style Cabernet flavors. This seems to be Dennis taking advantage of Washington State’s differing climate, and the region’s ability to create a wine that exhibits fruit, but doesn’t also hit you over the head with ripeness and sugar.
In the glass, the wine pours a dark red with aromas of plums, tobacco and oak. It’s a full-bodied red wine with tons of flavor including lead pencil, blackberry and spice. At $45 a bottle, it’s a fantastic opportunity to get a wonderful wine from a quality producer at a price that’s far less than the wines under his Cakebread label. Drink it now, or hold on to it for a few years — it will get better with age.