The Cakebread empire’s latest acquisition is Mullan Road* Cellars, a Washington winery focusing on this Bordeaux-style red blend. The 2012 vintage of Mullan Road Cellars Red is 51% cabernet sauvignon, 37% merlot, and 12% cabernet franc.
Mullan Road may be young, but it’s already showing some impressive chops with this blend. The wine is initially heavy with notes of tobacco and leather, then — gentle relief as notes of cassis, rhubarb, and blackberry take hold. Some pepper and cloves hit on the back end. All told, it’s a wine that jumps between both sweet and savory with considerable dexterity, offering a touch of the brooding character so common in Washington wines with a more southernly liveliness. Well done.
* Per Wikipedia: “Mullan Road was the first wagon road to cross the Rocky Mountains to the Inland of the Pacific Northwest. It was built by U.S. Army troops under the command of Lt. John Mullan, between the spring of 1859 and summer 1860.”
A- / $40 / kobrandwineandspirits.com