Today is a David and Goliath story: Washington Malbec (David) takes on Argentine Malbec (Goliath).
Washington isn't known for Malbec and doesn't have the acreage to compete globally. We wager that there's more wine spilled during bottling of your average Argentine Malbec than the entire production of today's small-batch gems. Between the two, only 296 cases were produced -- the equivalent of less than 12 barrels.
These micro-monsters can take down a giant. They'll never have the market power of the big guys, but they are world-class Malbecs from two of Washington's outstanding wineries.
$32.35 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($35.95 regular)
Of course this is fantastic -- we expect no less from Andrew Will, a winery at the top of their craft for years. Beautiful, beaming fruit of the purple, blue and black variety joins classic Champoux notes of sun-baked earth, adding a hint of turkish coffee. That alone would be sufficient to make it worthy of recommendation, but add the brightness and you find yourself coming back for more and has us saying, you want this juice.
While labeled as "Columbia Valley," this is from 37 year-old vines in the iconic Champoux Vineyard. We're the only listing for this wine in the country right now, so we can go crazy on the tiny 117 case total production. - Marcus
$44.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($49.95 regular)
Whooooooooa. Like the 2011, Latta's 2012 Malbec is the best I've tasted from Washington. Intense in the best of ways, it's the layered refinement and elegance that sets it apart. Super-rich and texturally gorgeous, this sails endlessly on the finish playing a harmonious chord of dark fruits, subtle spice and floral notes, cocoa and cream. It's a big wine that retains a sense of levity and freshness, and we love it. Only 179 cases produced. - Marcus
94 points Wine Advocate: "This big, hedonistic, layered beauty offers up tons of jammy black raspberry, plum, crushed violets and licorice to go with full-bodied richness and depth, a seamless texture and a terrific finish. It will be better in another year or two and keep for a decade."
Andrew Latta isn't exactly a household name...yet. After a decade crafting many of Washington's highest rated wines for K Vintners/Charles Smith, he debuted his own label to much critical acclaim. Count us as fans, already.