Club 2901

Wine Club Release

December 2020

WATCH: Winemaker Dirk Brink shares his thoughts on your allotment.

News from the Cellar

It is mid-November, and another year is almost gone. Fall is in full swing and the snow-capped Blue Mountains are a clear sign winter is just around the corner.

Our 2020 fall kicked off milder than normal, but yet again we experienced freezing temperatures in the third week of October. All of our precious fruit was picked prior to the freeze and our distinct lots came in at optimal ripeness. Similar to last year, we endured a compressed season, and smoky conditions from the wildfires, but for the most part had ideal temperatures for ripening in September and in the beginning of October. So far every block is showing beautifully, developing true character and building a firm foundation.

It is always a satisfying feeling to put another vintage “to bed” and our vibrant red wines are being barreled down (a term to demonstrate wine being transferred to barrels). We carefully select the proper oak to integrate with each specific lot to display genuine varietal characteristics. These young wines will age in mostly second and third fill French oak barrels, with a significant portion being new barrels. The new wood will provide freshness, complexity and color to the wine’s profile, while generating subtle yet fascinating layers between the fruit flavors.

Our expressive whites are completing their long, slow, cool fermentation and are showing bright and vivid nuances at this time. They will remain on the lees for another month or two before they are bottled earlyin the New Year. One of the striking whites from this vintage is the Old Vine Chenin Blanc from McKinley Springs Vineyard. This majority of this “Steen” fermented all in stainless steel, with a small portion finishing fermentation in barrel, to create beautiful texture, roundness and diversity in the end result. I am excitedto see how this “Chenin” will age over time.

In your December shipment you will receive an expressive and intriguing 2018 Carménère and a complex and balanced Merriment from the 2017 vintage.

The Carménère, our own “lost grape of Bordeaux” is showing elegantly at this moment with ample yet modest tannins. It can definitely lay down for another 5-7 years in your cellar. The structured Merriment holds firmer tannin and acidity and will mature gracefully for at least another decade. The following food pairings will enhance these wines even more:

2018 Carménère - pasture raised grilled pork chops with peppers

2017 Merriment - rosemary-infused lamb burger with duck egg

From our entire team here at Basel Cellars, we would like to thank you for your loyalty and continued support and we wish you a festive holiday season and a prosperous 2021! We look forward visiting with you in the New Year.


All the best,





Our 2017 Merriment is a true representation of the best we have to offer from our unique Bordeaux range in our cellar. A cooler season delivered bright and expressive fruit well supported by beautiful acidity. This exceptional cuvée is yet again comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. These one-of-a-kind lots matured in 100% French Oak, with only 56% new oak selected for the final blend, providing outstanding complexity, structure and balance.

Striking notes of red fruit are clear on the aroma. Raspberry, dried strawberry, ripe cherry and plum will linger on the bouquet. Blue fruit, with notes of blueberry,currant and blackberry will come to life after a few minutes. A floral and perfumy note of lavender will be a surprising element behind the fruit. The initial mouthfeel is supple and round, with ripe and dark berries blending well with balanced acidity and generous tannin, providing this wine with great aging potential. A fusion of brambly flavors and toasty oak delivers extraordinary integration.

Our flagship wine will pair well with roasted veal, an aged parmesan or a rosemary infused lamb burger with duck egg. Cheers!


50% Cab. Sauvignon
25% Malbec
12.5% Merlot
12.5% Cabernet Franc


Columbia Valley


Double River Vineyard

Oak Program

100% French
56% new
20 months




389 cases




Phinny Hill Vineyard
Our 2018 Carménère was sourced from a unique site at Phinny Hill vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills. Rooted in well-drained, flinty and rocky soil, on a south facing hill side, this vibrant and young block delivered intense, expressive and peppery fruit from the beginning. A slow and controlled fermentation, coupled with a moderate but definite extended maceration provided excellent balance and mouth feel in this wine. We decided to mature this elegant wine in subtle French oak and prominent American oak, to create beautiful texture and complexity.

This wine will exhibit nuances of white pepper, leather and cured meats on the pleasing aroma. Alluring tones of anise, warm cedar and tobacco leaf will create an attractive accent on the bouquet. Beautiful fruit-driven notes of dark berry , dried cranberry and overripe cherry will showcase the exceptional layers and diversity in the mid -palate.

The mouth feel is silky, round and soft, exploding with ripe berry fruits and subtle oak. Surprising hints of mocha and fine coffee bean creates an extended finish,complimented well by modest tannin.

This limited release can for sure be enjoyed by itself, but will be even more pronounced when paired with roasted eggplant, a bacon and blue cheese salad or grilled pork chops with peppers. Enjoy!


100% Carménère


Horse Heaven Hills


Phinny Hill


71% French
29% American
57% new
10 months




160 cases


Wine Pairing Recipes

Lamb Burger
with Duck Egg

Pairing: 2017 Merriment
Serves: 6
Total Time: 60 Minutes
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 lbs ground lamb, grass fed
1 onion, finely chopped
6 duck eggs
12 strips of bacon
6 slices tomatoes
1.25 Tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
12 Tbsp feta cheese, crumbled
6-10 lettuce leaves
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 hamburger rolls
Salt & black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Balls Chutney, if desired
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Cook bacon until crispy. Transfer to paper plate to drain. Save bacon grease in skillet.

Peel and dice onion and crush garlic.

Add lamb, onion,garlic, 1 tbsp. rosemary, salt and pepper in mixing bowl. Mix together and form 6 patties.

In large skillet, over medium heat, cook patties for 4-6 minutes each side. While patties cook, prepare lettuce and tomato.

Transfer patties to prepared baking sheet, cover each patty with 2 tbsp. Feta,use 1/4 tbsp. rosemary and sprinkle over cheese.

Preheat oven and place baking sheet with patties to melt cheese for about 5 minutes.

Fry duck eggs in bacon grease on skillet. Set aside until ready to assemble burgers.

Remove patties from oven and assemble on rolls.

Add lettuce, tomato, bacon, egg, and chutney(if desired).

Serve on plates.

Pasture Raised
Grilled Pork Chops
with Bell Peppers

Pairing: 2018 Carménère
Serves: 4
Total Time: 35 Minutes
1 Tbsp crushed fennel seeds
3 Tbsp olive oil
1.5 Tbsp garlic, chopped
1.5 tsp rosemary, chopped
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp clove, finely ground
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
4 pork chops, 12oz each, bone-in
14 baby bell peppers
In a large bowl, mix fennel seeds, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, clove, salt and pepper.

Add bell peppers and coat well evenly, transfer to plate.

Add pork chops, coat well in same mixture.

Pre-heat grill to high heat.

Grill peppers over high heat, turn often until charred in some places.

Grill pork at the same time, roughly 4-6 minutes each side until cooked through.

Serve on plates.

Walla Walla

2901 Old Milton Hwy
Walla Walla, WA 99362


15029 Woodinville-Redmond Rd #400
Woodinville, WA 98072
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