A winery that impresses each year, Baer has produced some incredible new wines in the 2014 vintage. It has now been a decade since the founder of Baer winery, Lance Baer, passed away at age 39. While Lance produced some extraordinary red wines while he was still alive, he sadly was not able to see his most famous wine, Ursa, get named as one of the top 100 wines (#6 on the Top 100) for their 2008 effort. Scoring 95 points from Wine Spectator really put Baer on the map, as they began selling out of their wines almost immediately.
Based in Woodinville in the warehouse district, Baer wines capture art of blending. Head winemaker Erica Orr is one of the state’s great winemakers. Her wines are structured and Bordelaise, yet utilize the richness of each vintage. The recent releases come from a warm growing season, but her wines still maintain a wonderful sense of balance and terroir. Erica sources her fruit from the Stillwater Creek vineyard, which is a cooler site that produces some of the best Merlot, Cabernet, Cab Franc, and Chardonnay in the state. Look for their 2014 ‘Ursa’ Red Wine (WWB, 93) which shows wonderful poise and a feminine flavor and aromatic profile. Similarly excellent was the 2014 ‘Star] (WWB, 94) which is one of the best Washington Merlots that I have sampled in the past year. Learn more about this fantastic Woodinville winery at baerwinery.com Here are the great new releases by Baer (all released in future).
2016 Baer 'Shard' Chardonnay- (Release June 2017) Sourced from the Stillwater Creek Vineyard, this unoaked Chardonnay begins with a bouquet of poached pear, Pazzaz apple, cantaloupe and baking spices. With lovely minerality, this has a lush mouthfeel. There are ripe flavors of New York apple, vanilla cream and baked pineapple. This has lovely texture and a silky mouthfeel. The minerality is wonderful as superstar winemaker Erica Orr had produced a stunner here. Drink 2017-2026- 92
2015 Baer 'Ursa' Red Wine (Barrel Sample)- This has lovely dark fruit aromatics of blackberry cobbler, black cherry and black olive with oaky and creosote accents. The palate shows wonderful density. There are flavors of boysenberry liquor, coffee grounds, blueberry compote and sandalwood. This shows wonderful density and weight. 93-95
2014 Baer 'Ursa' Red Wine-(Release Fall 2017) This outstanding wine is a blend of 38% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Franc, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Malbec. This begins with aromatics of black cherry, cranberry and baking spices with milk chocolate. There are ripe flavors of red cherry preserves, milk chocolate, wild blackberry jam and hints of cigar box. This has a feminine edge and a silky mouthfeel. Be sure to give this a two hour decant if enjoying young. Drink 2017-2029- 93
2014 Baer 'Star' Merlot- (Release June 2017) The 2014 Baer ‘Star’ follows up the outstanding 2013 bottling and is an impressive effort in this warm vintage. This 100% Merlot wine was sourced from the Stillwater Creek Vineyard and shows the lively acidity that the vineyard is known for. This has a gorgeous nose, displaying red cherry, black olive tapenade, milk chocolate shavings and licorice. There are deep flavors of black cherry cough syrup, boysenberry jam, mocha and spicebox. The silky tannins and smooth mouthfeel shine though, as this is another gorgeous wine made by Erica Orr. Try to give this at least a one hour decant prior to savoring. Drink 2017-2029- 94
2014 Baer 'Callisto' Red Wine- (Release Fall 2017) The 2014 Baer 'Callisto' Red Wine is a standout blend comprised of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Syrah, 15% Petit Verdot and 1% Merlot. The deep hued wine opens with aromatics reminiscent of sagebrush, sandalwood, black cherry and anise. The palate is plush and layered showing blackberry jam, black olive, Turkish coffee and sweet pipe tobacco flavors. This is gorgeous now but needs some time to develop in the bottle. Drink 2018-2030- 93
2014 Baer 'Arctos' Cabernet Sauvignon- (Release June 2017) This wine is a fantastic blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon with 15% Petit Verdot and 4% Merlot. Needing more than a two hour decant, this wine emerges from its slumber with aromas of black tar, black currant, creme de cassis and mocha aromatics. With a lovely minerality and polished tannins, this silky Cabernet wine glides along the mid-palate, leading to a long, dark fruit and mineral driven finish. Try to resist this beauty for at least another year. Drink 2018-2030- 93
2014 Baer Malbec- (Release November 2017) This limited, 100 case production wine by Baer is another gorgeous wine crafted by the talented hands of superstar winemaker Erica Orr. Inky and brooding, the wine has plush aromatics of mocha, violets, creme de cassis and ripe blueberry. The mouthfeel is gorgeous as this wine shows dense fruit flavors of boysenberry jam, blueberry compote, sage and suggestions of milk chocolate shavings. This has the structure to cellar for a decade or more. Be sure to give this at least a one hour decant if enjoying in the near future. Drink 2017-2030- 93