Browne Family Vineyards opened a new tasting room in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square in February, and kindly sent us some samples of their new rosé release and some Bordeaux-style red wines.
Browne Family still has a tasting room and vineyard in Walla Walla, where they’ve been producing wine since 2005. In addition, Browne Family creates two wines exclusively for one of our favorite Asian restaurants, P.F. Chang’s.
We enjoyed their 2017 Grenache Rosé and the 2013 Klipsun Merlot at a media preview of Taste Washington last month, where we met Courtney Browne, proprietor with her husband and owner, Andrew Browne, who is also CEO of Precept Wine.
Here are the wines we received and tasted.
Browne Family Vineyards 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon ($35)
This full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon (96%) is topped off with 3% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec, bringing aromas of dark berries, barrel spice and fresh tobacco, followed by flavors of black cherries, licorice, cedar and chocolate. Bring on a juicy hamburger or grilled steak!
Browne Family Vineyards 2014 Tribute Red Blend ($30)
What a blend! Merlot (39%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (24%) are followed by Malbec (15%), Petit Verdot (10%), Petite Sirah (6%) and Carménère (6%). Aromatics feature dark fruit, vanilla, flint and baking spices, leading into a full-bodied “fruit bomb with Van Cherry, currant and all spice,” according to winemaker John Freeman. Pair with meat dishes, chicken or pork.
Browne Family Vineyards 2015 Cabernet Franc ($45)
This 100% Cab Franc offers aromas of cherries, chocolate and cedar, with flavors of red fruit, cinnamon and a hint of oak and smoke. Since Cab Franc is a food-friendly wine, you can pair it with almost anything, including chicken, pork, beef, hearty fish dishes and a variety of cheeses.
Browne Family Vineyards 2015 Malbec ($45)
This is 100% Malbec, rich, dark and beautiful, and dedicated to Andrew’s wife, Courtney. It’s everything you’d expect from a medium-bodied Malbec, smooth, silky and delightful. Think about milk chocolate, mocha, coffee, blackberries and vanilla, with earthiness and elegance. Approachable now, you could also cellar it for several years. Malbec goes well with flank, sirloin and skirt steak, in addition to chicken and pork.
Browne Family Vineyards 2013 Merlot ($45)
An opulent, full-bodied 100% Merlot, with aromas of dark chocolate and mocha, followed by flavors of red and dark fruit and a long, silky finish. According to Freeman’s tasting notes, “This beautiful wine should make a believer out of anyone questioning the potential of Merlot.” Another food-friendly wine, pair it with flat-iron steak, roasted chicken, lamb, meatloaf, beef stew or hamburgers.
Browne Family Vineyards 2014 Petit Verdot ($45)
Again, a full-bodied wine, this is 100% Petit Verdot with aromas of flowers, dark chocolate, cigar box and cherries, leading into leather, spice and a hint of black olive. Robust, rich and structured, this wine calls for a big juicy steak! But it will also pair well with spicy dishes and a range of soft and hard cheeses.
Browne Family Vineyards 2017 Grenache Rosé ($20)
Just released, this is a perfect rosé for spring and summer. A pretty pink color, this Rhône-influenced rosé is 100% Grenache, showing aromas and flavors of red berries and some minerality, with hints of wet stone. Pair it with salads, pasta and rice dishes, seafood, shellfish and cheesy dishes. Or simply drink it without food, pairing it with your patio or deck on a warm afternoon or evening.
We are looking forward to meeting more of the Browne Family at Taste Washington later this month.
Margot and Dave