One of the great stops in Walla Walla, Dunham Cellars was first founded in 1995, and is located in the Airport District. Dunham produces one of the great lineups in Washington, ranging from their Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Trutina (Bordeaux style blend), Three Legged Red (red table wine) and the "Shirley Mays" Chardonnay, a dedication to Eric Dunham’s grandmother. With their friendly and knowledgable staff and laid back atmosphere Dunham has been a favorite stop of mine for more than fifteen years.
Rob Campisi resides over the winemaking at Dunham. He has been at the winery for many years and has crafted a really good new lineup. Look to the 2015 Dunham Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 92), which is downright delicious and delivers serious dark fruits. Dunham has gained a national reputation for their Riesling wines and the 2015 Dunham ‘Lewis Vineyard’ Riesling (WWB, 91), shows a wonderful bouquet and tension. This is a serious wine that will pair marvelously with shellfish and sushi. The best wine that I sampled in this great lineup was the 2016 Dunham Cellars ‘Late Harvest’ Riesling (WWB, 95) which is insanely good and is one of the best Washington dessert wines that I have tried in a year. Learn more about this great winery at dunhamcellars.com. Here are the wonderful new release wines from Dunham Cellars.
2015 Dunham Cellars ‘Lewis Vineyard’ Riesling- This shows nice freshness and tension, as tree and citrus fruits dominate with a touch of Meyer lemon rind. This shows really good persistence and will cellar well over the next five to seven years. Drink 2018-2024- 91
2016 Dunham Cellars Late Harvest Riesling- A limited case production this outstanding Riesling (27.3 RS) sourced from the Lewis Vineyard. The wine shows a golden hue and takes on apricot jelly, bananas foster and Meyer lemon oil. The palate brings so much intensity and purity of fruit. Candied pineapple, mango, apricot jelly and Meyer lemon oil flavors all marvelously come together in the glass. Drink 2018-2028- 95
2016 Dunham Cellars ‘Shirley Mays’ Chardonnay- Sourced from the Kenny Hill Vineyard, as well as the Lewis Vineyard, this begins with wonderful aromas of banana, poached pear and brioche;. The wine shows a seamless mouthfeel as it glides through the mid-palate. Brioche, vanilla creme brulee, and bananas foster all come together beautifully in the glass. Drink 2018-2026- 92
2016 Dunham Cellars ‘Three Legged Red’ Red Wine- This begins with aromas of smoke, black olive tapenade and black tea and a touch of milk chocolate. The palate shows good richness and tension with black tea, blackberry cobbler and mocha flavors. Drink 2018-2024- 89
2015 Dunham Cellars ‘Trutina’ Red Wine- The wine shows 54% Cabernet with also a smaller percentage of Merlot (34%) with lesser parts Malbec and Cabernet Franc that was aged in 30% new oak prior to bottling. This wine begins with aromas of black tea, Asian spice, sagebrush and blackberry cobbler. This shows a good combination of richness and tension from this warm vinatage. Drink 2018-2026- 91
2015 Dunham Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon- The 2015 Dunham Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon is a fantastic effort from this warm vintage. The wine shows toasty oak that wraps around blackberry cordial and smoked meats with sagebrush undertones on the nose. The palate is soft, delivering a silky mouthfeel. Light tannins connect with copious dark fruits and chocolate flavors. This is downright delicious now. Enjoy this in the next eight plus years. Drink 2018-2028- 92
2015 Dunham Cellars ‘Columbia Valley’ Syrah- The 2015 Dunham Cellars ‘Columbia Valley’ Syrah was largely aged in puncheon (40% new) as it is sourced from the Lewis, Phinney Hill Vineyards as well as the Kenny Hill Vineyard. This starts off with smoked pork shoulder, blueberry compote and cocoa powder. This is truly outstanding Syrah that is drinking beautifully now but will continue to evolve well over the next decade. Drink 2018-2028- 93
2014 Dunham Cellars ‘Lewis Vineyard’ Syrah- The ‘Lewis Vineyard’ Syrah by Dunham Cellars was aged in French oak puncheons. The wine is Phelps clone Syrah that was planted in the late 1990s. This shows a wonderful purity of fruit with black fruits being dominant and chocolate edge as well. Drink 2018-2030- 93