Baer Winery, founded by Lance Baer, is a story about a man with a passion for winemaking. What started with 200 case production grew to 3000 because of the quality of the winemaking. Before Lance’s tragic death, his wines gained worldwide acclaim and helped put Washington Merlot and Cab Franc on the map with his impressive blend, Ursa.
Lance used choice fruit from Stillwater Creek Vineyard when few were sourcing from there. Following his death, Lance's father Les, and sister Lisa, took over the winery. During my recent tasting at Baer, Lisa poured for me and talked about her experience in the winery. Lance would be incredibly proud for the 2008 Baer Ursa being named the #6 Wine of the Year in Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of the Year. This wine also put superstar winemaker Erica Orr on the map.
Orr has a masters degree from the famed wine program at UC Davis and trained at Napa heavyweights Corison and Cain. Today she continues to utilize great fruit from Stillwater Creek Vineyard to make her impressive Washington Red Blends. My recent visit to Baer impressed, as their 2012 releases were showing very well. Their 2011 releases were also impressive, considering the coldness of the vintage. Their 2011 Ursa was recently poured at the US Open golf tournament! Here are my new reviews from Baer. #baerwinery
2014 Baer Shard-This is a 100% unoaked Chard that is sourced from the Stillwater Creek Vineyard. It opens with aromas of banana, green apple and pear on the nose. Nice minerality and smooth mouthfeel that leads to flavors of pear, honeydew and cut grass with green apple. Great effort. -91
2012 Baer Star- This wine saw 22 months in French oak and is a blend of 75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc. A softer style of wine with a plush mouthfeel. Flavors of black cherry, black tea and black olive. Deep and rich with a long life ahead of it. Drinking nicely now but can improve. Drink 2017-2028. -93
2011 Baer Urasa-A blend of 43% Cabernet Franc, 43% Merlot, 8% Malbec, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine is one impresses each year and this colder vintage example is no exception. It saw 20 months in French oak and has developed a feminine nose of rose petals and red cherry. This reticent style yields flavors of black olive, black tea, blueberry and creme de cassis. Beautifully made wine, one of the better Cab Franc wines from this vintage. Drink 2017-2025. -92
2011 Baer Callisto- This 254 case production wine is an intriguing blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Syrah, 10% Petit Verdot. It saw 19 months of French oak and has been bottled for nearly 2 years. The nose has anise and black tea elements followed by raspberry, red cherry and blackberry Flavors. Needs two plus years for the fruit to fully integrate. Drink 2017-2025. -91
2012 Baer Arctos- This is their Cab dominant wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot. This opens with aromas of black cherry, anise and blackberry. Flavors of blackberry, cassis persist. As of now, this shut down with a vibrant acid backbone. Drink 2017-2028. -92