We have a long history with Ali and Jarrod Boyle, owners of Alexandria Nicole Cellars (ANC), so we didn’t stop smiling when we saw them again recently and tasted their wines. We first wrote about ANC when we launched this site in 2007, inspired by some fabulous wine at ANC’s new (at the time) Woodinville tasting room. Subsequently, we were among the initial members of their original wine club, and attended many of their harvest parties. We first visited Destiny Ridge Vineyard in 2009, and we glamped there in 2011, when most people hadn’t even heard the word “glamping” yet. And we drank ANC Quarry Butte as our go-to wine during the Seahawks’ road to their Super Bowl win in 2014. From day one, we’ve always said it’s the people, the wines and the events that make a winery special. And ANC continues to check off all those boxes.
We became ANC wine club members in 2007, the same year we launched this site. Over the years, owners Ali and Jarrod Boyle became our good friends. But it all began with the wine. Jarrod and his team planted 22 varieties at their estate Destiny Ridge Vineyard. Located in the Horse Heaven Hills, this 327-acre vineyard is on the bluffs overlooking the Columbia River. ANC’s belief is that quality starts in the vineyard. In addition, the winery’s motto is “approachable elegance,” which is evident in the six wines we tasted last month.
As mentioned, the outstanding wines brought us to ANC 16 years ago. But the trademark warmth, down-home friendliness, humility and generosity of Ali and Jarrod, and the kindness of the ANC team, played a big role too. For example, longtime Prosser tasting room manager (for 17 years), Theron Phillips, and assistant Prosser tasting room manager, Keri Wells (pictured) were excellent hosts during our visit.
These days, ANC offers five tasting rooms: Prosser (flagship), Hollywood Schoolhouse in Woodinville, Woodin Creek in Woodinville, their estate Destiny Ridge Vineyard, and Audacity Wine Bar in Seattle.
ANC Adulting Sparklers ($24) and 2022 Affinity Alabriño 2022 ($26)
At the Prosser tasting room, we sipped Adulting Sparkling White and Rosé, and immediately thought of summer parties. Adulting White blends 32% Riesling, 30% Orange Muscat, 15% Albariño, 12% Viognier and 11% Pinot Gris. We love the aromas of tropical fruit, stone fruit and pears, leading into citrus flavors such as zesty lemon and key lime pie, backed by refreshing acidity. Adulting Rosé features aromas of fresh strawberries, cherries and watermelon, echoed on the palate. Serve both bubblies very cold. Ali recommends opening a bottle of Adulting “to celebrate getting the laundry done, paying the bills on time, or the latest splurge of shopping.”
2022 Affinity Alabriño is crisp and fresh, with lower sugar and higher acidity due to the cooler site of Crawford Vineyard in the Yakima Valley. We adored this Albariño, particularly its pretty aromatics and citrus flavors. Not surprisingly, the recent 2023 Savor Northwest Wine Awards gave it a Double Gold Medal. Pair it with oysters, halibut, or pasta with cream sauce. I think we’ll pair it with our deck on the lake.
2021 Sangiovese ($45), 2019 Wild One Cab Franc ($42), and 2019 Destiny ($56)
After the sparklers and white wine, we tasted these three reds. The 2021 Sangiovese is new to ANC’s portfolio, and only available to their wine club. (A good reason to join!) This is one beautiful wine. Concentrated red fruit flavors, spices, licorice and a hint of minerality entice. This is a medium-bodied red, which would complement Dave’s delicious spaghetti, or any beef dishes with a savory tomato sauce.
2019 Wild One is 90% Cabernet Franc, blended with 5% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Jarrod’s vineyard team hand-selected the grapes from Destiny Ridge Vineyard and fermented them using native “wild” yeasts (hence the name Wild One). No wonder why we liked it so much. This Cab Franc is textured, complex and well structured, with aromas and flavors of red and dark fruits and spices, with notes of herbs and anise. Ali recommends serving it with a plate of warm toasted walnuts, pears, and blue cheese, or beef tenderloin medallions with mushroom gravy. Amazing!
2019 Destiny Estate is one of our favorite ANC red wines. We’ve been drinking it since the 2006 vintage. Six Bordeaux varieties blend into this voluptuous red: Cabernet Sauvignon (68%), Merlot (12%), Cab Franc (8%), Petit Verdot (7%), Malbec (3%) and Carménère (2%). As a result, rich, luscious black and fruit is prominent on both the nose and palate. Think black cherries, blackberries, plums, raspberries, and a hint of dark chocolate. Bring on the BBQ! Destiny is drinkable now, with decanting. Or put it away in the cellar for 5-10 years.
In conclusion, we recommend stopping by any of the ANC tasting rooms listed above. Over the years, we have had the pleasure and honor of becoming friends with Jarrod and Ali. This visit confirms what we have always believed: ANC offers fine wine, wonderful events and great people.
Credit for the photos in this article goes to another friend Chuck Kinzer, a professional photographer, who joined us on this trip with his wonderful wife, Rita.
Margot and Dave