Review: Kiona Vineyards NV Fortuna and 2018 Lemberger
Kiona is another Washington vineyard and winery with holdings in the Columbia Valley and Red Mountain. Today we look at two bottlings from the latter AVA.
NV Kiona Vineyards Fortuna Estate Red Mountain – This is one of the most curious blends I’ve ever seen, a nonvintage offering of one-third each 2015 cabernet sauvignon, 2017 carmenere, and 2018 malbec — all from Kiona’s estate vineyards. Tannic but fruit-forward, this is a curious conflagration of fig jam, walnut oil, and dried raspberries — all dusted with a note of allspice. It’s a wine that takes you to a lot of places in a short amount of time, which can be a bit disarming, while the finish is exceptionally drying. The meatiness of the carmenere hits late in the game, with some chocolate lingering on the back end. B+ / $NA
2018 Kiona Vineyards Lemberger Red Mountain – Lemberger is a cool climate grape that I’ve never encountered before, and this blend is 85% lemberger and 5% each of cabernet sauvignon, carmenere, and mourvedre. The character is intense and earthy, a syrah that’s burrowed into the ground and just came up for air. Notes of anise, tobacco leaf, and leather give this wine a dusky pungency, almost sweaty at times. The brooding character comes across as more of a hot weather experience, replete with tannin and very restrained fruit notes that reminded me a bit of a hot-climate tempranillo. The wildly muddy-meets-herbal finish though, that’s a trick that perhaps belongs to this grape alone. B / $17