From: Columbia Valley, Washington
Taste: You’re greeted with an inky black hue, hinting at purples. The aromas promise blackberry compote and marionberry, with whispers of wet forest, mint, and caramel. The taste profile presents flavors of freshly baked blackberry pie, minerals, graphite, and an great acidity. Its texture, while deep and dark, gives off a sense of lightness, with ripe yet restrained tannins.
Pairing: The beauty of Malbec lies in its versatility for pairings. From steak, pork, lamb, to the fattier fish like salmon or the strong, meaty flavor of swordfish steak, it holds its own. Indulging in pork ribs, Cuban-style lechon, or even grilled salmon is a great idea while sipping on Malbec. Consider this: Curried Swordfish With Tomatoes, Greens and Garlic Toast. The robust taste of swordfish steak complements the intense character of Malbec seamlessly. The lusciousness of the tomatoes resonates with the wine's fruity undertones, and the spicy, earthy curry mirrors the wine's depth.
Curried Swordfish With Tomatoes, Greens and Garlic Toast
By Sarah Copeland
About: Established in 1999, Isenhower Cellars, the 18th winery to sprout in Walla Walla, was created from the passion of Brett and Denise Isenhower. With her farming roots, Denise grew up in the serene settings of rural Fairland, Indiana, and completed her Bachelor of Pharmacy from Butler University. While Brett traces his beginnings to rural Lebanon, Indiana. After a stint in corporate healthcare and an MBA degree, he pivoted towards a dream closer to his heart – winemaking.
Their journey began in 1998 when the duo made Walla Walla their home. Driven by Brett's research that showcased Washington's entrepreneurial spirit in the wine business, they embarked on this venture. In a few years, they built their winery in 2002, followed by the Woodinville tasting room in 2009. Presently, Isenhower Cellars takes pride in producing 7,500 cases annually.
But the Isenhowers aren't the only stars. With his illustrious background from Napa Valley and extensive expertise in high-ranking wines, Brett Brockmeyer joined the Isenhower family, bringing along his passion for wine and community. Alongside Brockmeyer is John Emory, a Washington native and Wine Sommelier, who has been steering the ship at the Woodinville Tasting Room since the summer of 2020.
Derived from the esteemed Champoux Vineyard in Horse Heaven Hills, a vineyard celebrated for producing exceptional wines. The location of Champoux Vineyard, situated between 600-800 feet elevation, experiences the diurnal shift, contributing to the creation of wines boasting natural acidity, balance, and longevity.
The 2018 harvest faced its challenges, with higher temperatures and significant air pollution. However, the bountiful sunshine from mid-September to late October saved the day, resulting in a fantastic vintage. The À Bloc Malbec underwent a meticulous process of hand-picking and hand-harvesting, with 80% destemming. The grapes experienced open-top bin fermentation and punch-downs twice daily and were eventually aged in French Oak barrels, adhering to the minimalist winemaking philosophy. This approach emphasizes limited intervention, leading to refreshing, intriguing, and age-worthy wines.
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