Well-Priced, Tasty Wines From Washington State’s Maryhill Winery
Founded in 1999, Maryhill Winery produces more than 80,000 cases of wine annually. To produce those wines, they source fruit from eight different growing regions and work closely with a dozen growers. That allows them to have a portfolio of offerings that are diverse both in style, intent, and price point. Craig and Vicki Leuthold founded and still own this family business. Their wines are available throughout the country. Maryhill Winery itself is located on the Columbia River in Goldendale and has become a go-to destination, drawing more than 75,000 visitors per year. I just sat down and tasted through a handful of their wines and found a lot to like.
Maryhill Winery 2012 Winemaker’s Red ($15)
This offering is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah, and cabernet franc. Fruit was sourced across numerous Washington state regions. Aging took place in tank, using oak staves over a period of 11 months. Booming cherry aromas burst from the nose of this red; a bit of leather provides a lovely aromatic counterpoint. The extremely appealing palate is loaded with a plethora of sweet but proportionate red and black fruit flavors. Plum, bits of earth, and a dollop of chocolate emerge on the even-keeled finish. Firm acid keeps everything in check here. If you’re looking for a great barbecue wine, look no further. When I seek everyday wines to satisfy a crowd, it’s precisely offerings of this nature I’m looking for. It has enough up-front fruit to satisfy the masses and more than sufficient depth and restraint to keep savvier wine lovers happy.
Maryhill Winery 2012 Aurelia Proprietor’s Reserve ($20)
All of the fruit for this selection came from two vineyards in Columbia Valley. It’s a blend of roussanne (54 percent) and marsanne (46 percent). After a cold fermentation, it was aged in neutral French oak for six months. A hint of pie crust leads the nose here, but quickly gives way to lychee fruit, apricot, and nectarine. Those characteristics continue on the palate, which is studded with stone fruits. Orchard fruit flavors stick their heads in along with a touch of mango as well. The finish is long, clean, and crisp with racy acidity. What I love most about this wine is the gorgeous mouthfeel. Aurelia works equally well paired with light foods as it does all by itself.
Maryhill Winery 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon ($24)
Two vineyard sources were tapped for the fruit in this wine. It’s 100 percent cabernet sauvignon. Barrel aging was accomplished over 18 months in a combination of American, French, and European oak. Black plum, tea, and earth aromas are each part of the beautifully perfumed nose of this cabernet sauvignon. Dried black cherry flavors lead the refined palate, which also shows off a host of other fruit flavors as well as a core of spices and hints of mineral characteristics. Dried fruit flavors continue on the finish along with more earth and a touch of chicory. This is an extremely elegant example of cabernet sauvignon for the money. It’s delicious now and will age well for the next six to eight years.
This trio of wines is a nice introduction into the Maryhill portfolio. In all three cases, these wine over-deliver quality and drinking enjoyment relative to their prices. Grab them without hesitation; you’ll be glad you did. I look forward to exploring more of their portfolio in the future.