We were recommended Guardian Cellars by one of our wine club winemakers, and decided to visit their Woodinville tasting room (Apple Farm Village) the day after Christmas. Proprietors and winemakers, Jen (previously Seattle Times reporter) and Jerry (an ex-cop) happened to be there. Opened since 2007, they offer Bordeaux-style wines, blends and single varietals under the Guardian label and Newsprint label.
Tasting Notes are directly from GUARDIAN CELLARS
2020 Chalk Line
Chalk Line is our version of the perfect Washington blend to pair with your fanciest dinner, or your most casual pizza night. Featuring 43% Cab Sauv, 25% Syrah, 26% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot. Chalk Line is from all our vineyards throughout the Columbia Valley and Red Mountain. This wine pops with dark fruit on the nose followed with nuances of barrel spice, sage, and even chocolate covered cherries. The aromatics carry over to the palate with expressive notes of cherry cola, plum, and a hint of nutmeg clove. This vintage was aged 19 months on 33% new French oak.
2020 Confidential Source
Confidential Source is always our cozy fall wine with its notes of rich raspberry, spiced Mexican chocolate, cranberry, cinnamon, and maybe, just maybe, the slightest hint of pumpkin spice! This 100% Merlot is sourced from Obelisco and Quintessence vineyards on Red Mountain; StoneTree Vineyard in the Wahluke Slope; and Connor Lee Vineyard in the Columbia Valley. This vintage was aged 19 months on 50% new French oak. Rich, and well-balanced, you'll understand why this wine is a fan favorite.
2019 Newsprint Cabernet Sauvignon - 400 cases produced
Here's the straight scoop, this is one spectacular Red Mountain Cabernet. For the 2019 vintage, this Cabernet features aromas of blackberry, cherry cola, and toasted marshmallow on the nose. The palate is juicy, bright, and lively with notes of cherry, vanilla bean, and fresh raspberry as well as hints of black pepper and sweet oak. The tannins will greet you with a big "hello," then soften quickly to create a balanced and beautifully structured wine.
2019 The Alibi -450 cases produced
One of our pillar Bordeaux-style blends here at Guardian Cellars, The Alibi is ripe, juicy and super delicious. This Red Mountain stunner showcases notes of fresh plum, black licorice, tobacco, cigar box and black currant on the nose. A blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot from Obelisco and Quintessence vineyards, we aged The Alibi for 22 months on 60% new French oak before bottling. This wine is well-balanced and harmonious.
2019 The Rookie-450 cases produced
This IS Washington Cabernet! Timeless and always in style, this lovely wine is integrated, balanced and in our view a perfect example of a classic Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. This vintage showcases notes of fresh blackberry, ripe black cherry, bay leaf, thyme, wildflowers, dark chocolate and cracked pepper on the nose. Swirl, sniff and sip, this wine features a nice balance between fruit and the new French oak it was aged on. The Rookie was sourced from Obelisco and Quintessence vineyards and aged 22 months on 65% new French oak.
2019 Newsprint Syrah - 250 cases produced
This Syrah is full of classic fruit flavors with a savory twist. Sourced from our own plantings in Quintessence vineyard on Red Mountain, this 2019 Syrah uses some stem-back and whole cluster fruit for a chewy, rich mouthfeel. The nose opens with mixed berry jam, grilled bread, and wood smoke. The palate is a delicious blend of dark fruits, with some gamey meats such as peppered jerky, and teriyaki. A perfectly bold and ripe wine to pair with your barbeque, or meat dishes.
Guardian Cellars makes some amazing understated wines. The tasting experience was also great. Being able to chat with Jen and Jerry enhanced our understanding of their wines, and their passion clearly shined through.
I personally loved the 2019 Alibi the most. This ripe and juicy bordeaux-style blend was solid. The 2019 Rookie was an excellent, smooth and luscious Cabernet Sauvignon. For the lower price point, their 2019 Newsprint Cabernet Sauvignon makes a great every day drink at $28. Finally, the 2020 Chalk Line was a very well rounded Washington blend at a great price for $25.