As you make your way down Sunset Road off Highway 82 you will stumble upon a nondescript barn, set on acres of beautiful vineyards. A small sign marking the winery greets you. A relatively new winery, founded by Neil Cooper on Red Mountain, Cooper Wine Company, has impressed with their new release red and white wines. A small, family-run operation, Cooper focuses on Bordeaux-style reds that are sourced from their estate vineyard as well as other Red Mountain vineyards. In 2014 Neil Cooper bought an additional amount of acreage on Red Mountain to expand his program. Cooper made only 500 cases of wine in his first 2007 vintage, but he has recently expanded his production with the additional acquired vineyards. Cooper has hired Steffan Jorgensen (formerly of Bergevin Lane in Walla Walla, now owner/winemaker in the Elqui Valley in Chile) as his consulting winemaker. Jorgenson’s new release wines were absolutely fantastic. I had a chance to visit with him at the tasting room. He brings a wealth of experience in the Washington and Chile wine industries. Jorgenson is an upbeat and energetic guy that shows off his talents in the glass.
I was very impressed with the richness and mouthfeel of his 2014 Cooper ‘Estate’ Chardonnay (WWB, 91). This wine is not for those who despise oaky Chardonnays, as it is one of the more intense and voluptuous Washington Chardonnays I have sampled in the past year. I also had the chance to barrel taste their 2015 Cooper ‘Estate’ Chardonnay, which was showing nicely and displayed a similar lovely texture and viscosity. Another great release wine was the 2013 Cooper ‘Estate’ Cabernet (WWB, 91) which showed wonderful tension and richness from this warm vintage. Learn more about Cooper Wine Company at http://www.cooperwinecompany.com/ Here are the new release wines from Cooper Wine Company.
2014 Cooper 'Estate' Chardonnay-Needing to be warmed up a bit in the glass, the wine was aged for 9 months in new French oak. This wine starts with aromatics of poached pear, smoke, Pazzaz apple and creme brulee. This has lovely viscosity and mouthfeel, as this Chardonnay is not for the weary. While the oak treatment is evident, the winemaking is exceptional. Drink 2016-2022-
2013 Cooper 'Barrel Maker' Red- This wine is a blend of 50% Cabernet with 25% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. The wine begins with fruity aromatics of prune, red cherry, red raspberry and sandalwood. This leads to flavors of red cherry, red raspberry, black tea and black olive. This is polished with nice richness. Drink 2016-2022-
2013 Cooper 'Estate' Merlot- This fruit driven Merlot wine opens with aromatics of red cherry, guava, prune and spicebox and hints of red bell pepper. There are flavors of red cherry, prune, black plum and anise. This is delicious, fruit driven wine that has the structure to cellar well into the next decade. Drink 2016-2023-
2013 Cooper 'L'Inizio' Red Wine- This wine is an intriguing blend of 25% Cabernet, 25% Merlot, 25% Carmenere, 15% Malbec, 8% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. The wine opens with aromatics of green bell pepper, anise, pipe tobacco, cassis and spicebox. There are flavors of pipe tobacco, coffee grounds, red cherry and anise. Lively and light on its feet, this balanced wine will have at least another decade in the cellar. Drink 2016-2026-
2013 Cooper 'Estate' Cabernet Franc- The wine opens with herbaceous notes of red bell pepper, sage, anise and smoky accents. This leads to flavors of red cherry, dill, sage and mild tannins. This feminine style Cab Franc will cellar well into the next decade. Drink 2016-2024-
2013 Cooper 'Estate' Cabernet- This excellent Cabernet wine begins with aromatics of red bell pepper, anise, cassis and mocha. This leads to flavors of red cherry, coffee grounds, wild blackberry and moderate tannins. This shows nice poise and richness. The structure to this wine indicates that this has nice cellaring potential. Drink 2016-2027-
2013 Cooper 'Gatekeeper Bud's Break' Red Wine- A blend of 50% Zinfandel with 50% Syrah, the wine is named after the winery dog. There are aromatics of red cherry, smoke and blackberry jam. The wine has flavors of red cherry, blackberry pie and smoked pork shoulder. The balance is there in this one of a kind blend. Drink 2016-2024-