Wine Review: Alexandria Nicole Cellars Quarry Butte

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Often we visit a tasting room, love a wine, and purchase bottles to ship home, only to find that once at home, the wine does not live up to the tasting room experience.  This was certainly not the case with the 2008 Quarry Butte from Alexandria Nicole Cellars, a red blend crafted from their Estate Vineyard Destiny Ridge.

We visited the Alexandria Nicole Cellars Prosser Tasting Room on the last day of the WineCHATr WBC-or-Bust Tour. A truly top-notch tour of Washington wineries, the WineCHATr bus ride took us to a number of wineries between Seattle and Walla Walla. The last stop at Alexandria Nicole Cellars was a perfect way to cap a true blogger-focused week!

Alexandria Nicole Cellars produces small lots of hand-crafted wine from their Destiny Ridge Estate Vineyard. The 263-acre estate vineyard is located high above the bluffs on the Columbia River, near the town of Paterson, Washington, where grapes thrive in the soils and climatic conditions of the Horse Heaven Hills. The first vines were planted in the fall of 1998.

Ali and Jarrod Boyle treated us to the entire portfolio of both white and red wines. We began in the Wine Club Room, an intimate tasting lounge locked behind sliding bookcases. Reserved for ANC’s Wine Club members, the dimmed lighting and leather conversation areas bring to mind the by-gone era of the Prohibition speakeasy.

WBC-or-Bust Tour Winners and Friends at Alexandria Nicole Cellars in Prosser

We then moved into The Barrel Room for more wine and tasty pairings by Chef Brad. While all of the wines were enjoyable, we chose six to ship home.

Alexandria Nicole 2008 Quarry Butte

Historically known as Quarry Butte and once slated as a rock quarry, Alexandria Nicole Cellars’ Estate vineyard of Destiny Ridge is part of the Horse Heaven Hills American Viticultural Area (AVA). The Horse Heaven Hills AVA borders the Yakima Valley AVA on the north and the Columbia River on the south.

Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2008 vintage honoring the Quarry is a deep, rich ruby, much like the velvet curtains of the theatres in days gone by. A blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 15% Malbec, 13% Syrah and 2% Petit Verdot, this luscious red wine favors dark ripe berries with the smoky notes of charcurterie on the nose.

I tasted dark berries, black pepper and exotic spices along with leather, tobacco and oak on the palate. Joe noted cherry, blackberry, raspberry. leather and a hint of expresso. The long, rich finish tasted of black cherry, leather and black pepper. Wow.

Barrel aged for 18 months in French and American oak, the alcohol by volume is 14.3% We paired it with thin slices of rare skirt steak with marsala sauce, home fries (prepared in rendered duck fat, see recipe) with a bleu cheese sauce. Even the caprese salad loved it! And the best surprise of all? This tasty red blend is priced at only $20 a bottle! Again, WOW!

We wish we had purchased more of it. In fact, We were holding off writing up the review for fear our readers would buy all in stock before we could get some more. If you’re lucky enough to live in the Columbia Valley area, Alexandria Nicole Cellars hosts tastings at its Prosser and Woodinville locations, as well as a number of wine events. Wines are available for purchase throughout the Seattle area in a number of bottle shops and restaurants. If you don’t live in the area, and your state allows direct shipping, you can purchase from them directly via their website.

But please, save some for us!

Cheers!

The WineWonkette

About Amy Corron Power

A licensed attorney, Amy is a wine-lover, foodie, photographer, political junkie and award-winning author who writes about Wine, Food, Beer & Spirits. As Managing Editor & Tasting Director for Another Wine Blog, she travels all over the world's wine regions to share her experiences with her readers and nearly 10,000 twitter fans. She holds certifications from International Sommelier Guild, regularly attends Houston Sommelier Association events and is currently studying for her California Wine Appellation Specialist certification through the San Francisco Wine School.