This Cab Finally Validates Washington!


1200 Washington Wineries

Where Are The Other 1190?

As Captain Washington and not being in charge of my own Wine List anymore as in the Restaurant Sommelier Days, I have been touting the quality to price ratio that you can’t find anywhere in the world like Washington State. I am limited to offering what wines from Washington State we have and they do provide in my opinion a double the quality of a Napa Valley Wine at 1/3 the price but we are still looking at $20- $30 which beats $50- $100 out of Napa but it still doesn’t validate my point that there are amazing $12 wines from at least 1100 Producers that drink like $30 bottles. I have been very disappointed with the ones so far that taste nothing like the varietal on the label. I was so excited to finally be able to prove my point with a line of wines we just brought in from the famous Butch Milbrandt and his amazing experienced winemaker Kendall Mix.

The Milbrandt Story

Butch Milbrandt

Founded in 1997 by brothers Butch and Jerry Milbrandt. Above is Butch

Winery owners are Butch and his children Buck and Kerri Milbrandt.

Grew from a potato and apple farm into a world-class winery.

Pioneer of the Columbia Valley wine region, Butch Milbrandt saw potential in Eastern Washington. He’s one of the first to drive a stake into what is now known as a world-class wine destination. In 1997, this fourth-generation farmer took a risk in planting grapes and soon became recognized for helping establish two of the top AVAs in Washington State: Ancient Lakes and Wahluke Slope.

The Milbrandts are celebrating nearly two decades of 90-point wines. Their Evergreen Vineyard was named “Vineyard of the Year” by Seattle Magazine and over 12 varietals have been awarded “Best Buy” or “Editor’s Choice” by Wine Enthusiast.

Now a multi-generational brand with Butch and his son Buck taking the lead, Milbrandt Vineyards remains a symbol of perseverance and reward.

Winemaker Kendall Mix

Kendall Mix Milbrant

Canadian-born Kendall Mix is one of Washington’s most talented. Mix arrived in Washington in 1993 and ranks among the state’s most important winemaking figures. He’s worked for two of Washington’s largest producers–Chateau Ste. Michelle and Goose Ridge Vineyards. His career in the wine industry began after he graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in microbiology. He then studied viticulture and enology at the University of California-Davis. What a talent!!!

The Traditions Line $12.99

Milbrandt Front

Milbrandt Rear

The “Traditions” Line is the Milbrandt line of wines that we are offering at ABC. They are still made with the Milbrandt philosophy, from vineyards mostly in the Wahluke Slope in Columbia Valley all sustainably farmed, very little if any manipulation besides oak aging and it shows in the quality of the wine. These wines finally are an example of what me, Captain Washington, has been talking about. For those of my guests who question my statement of the quality to price ratio I finally can validate my point. I reviewed the Cabernet Sauvignon and no, it doesn’t taste like a Welch’s Grape Juice but actually a quality Cabernet Sauvignon. lol 

Review 2016 Milbrandt Cab

Varietals – 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, (only requires by law 75%) 7% Syrah, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc.

Milbrandt Glass

13.5% Alcohol…YAY!! It even looks in the glass like a Real Cabernet Sauvignon. The tradition line all comes with Stelvin Closure Screw Caps so no Cork Taint. The winery is selling it for $16.99 and ABC at $12.99. The wine is dark, dark almost black in the center and purple hues come shining through on the outer rim. No red fruit aromas at all which is what I want in a Cab. Dark Blackberry, Dark Black Currant, Dark Black Cherry, Dark Black Plum with hints of Tobacco notes. On the palate a nice medium plus mouth feel with non sugary dark cassis and prune notes gliding across the mid palate to a finish of ripe integrated soft tannins and hints of earl grey tea and toasted bread or as us cork dorks say Pain Grille. Very inviting persistent finish  which made me want to sip and sip and sip. This is a crowd pleaser that I will score 90 Points out of 100. The 2015 was awarded 91 by Wine Spectator Magazine. TRADITION!!!!!  Great job by Kendall Mix… The “Other Kendall ” lol
Milbrandt Cheese Pairing
It was later at night when I paired this wine. I happen to be a fan of New York’s Yancy Fancy cheese line and this is a Smoked Gouda Style with bacon bits and how can you go wrong with any bacon or smoky notes of any type of food with a well made Cabernet Sauvginon?

The Summary

I wouldn’t expect anything less from a Washington Pioneer who turned a Potato Farm and Apple Orchard into vineyards and a winery. We carry the Merlot, the Riesling and the Dry Rose as well as the Cabernet Sauvignon but I haven’t yet tasted them. I am sure they all bring home the value as this. Now I am happy that Captain Washington can use this Cabernet to say…. You have been asking for Washington State Reds that taste like $25-$30 for Under $15.00….Here it is. I can’t see any Cabernet Lover even a Napaholic not liking the quality to price ratio on these Milbrandt Wines. No Brainer!

Grapefully yours, Larry

One thought on “This Cab Finally Validates Washington!

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