Brian Carter Cellars 2011 Opulento, Yakima Valley, $22

By on March 12, 2014

brian-carter-cellars-opulento-2011-labelFew in Washington state can match Brian Carter’s blending talent, especially when it comes to Port-style wine, and he affirms that reputation with this latest example of his now-traditional collaboration with Lonesome Springs Vineyard and Upland Vineyard in the Yakima Valley. He starts by relying on Portuguese varieties Souzão (36%), Touriga Naçional (33%), Tinta Cão and Tempranillo (aka Tinta Roriz). His use of French barriques for 18 months creates the opulent mood with whiffs of toasted marshmallow, Nutella, coconut and brown sugar, followed by plums, Raisinet, agave nectar and steamed milk. Big rich flavors focus on black plum, dark toast and lingering chocolate. The residual sugar (4%) is far from cloying, while the alcohol is managed brilliantly. It’s a complete package, which allowed this to earn best of show honors at the 2014 Seattle Wine & Food Experience Wine Competition. Enjoy with a wedge of Stilton and a fistful of toasted filberts.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 720 cases

Alcohol: 19%

Winery website

About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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