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Browne Family Vineyards Tribute Red Blend 2011

Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • TP94
  • W&S92
13.3% ABV
  • WS90
  • W&S90
  • WS91
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4.0 9 Ratings
13.3% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2011 Browne Family 'Tribute' Red Blend is introduced with aromas of leather, cigar box, and a hint of black cherry. The palate continues with notes of plum, maraschino cherries, dry cocoa and a touch of baking spice. Lingering vanilla and fruit notes give way to balanced tannins on the finish.

Critical Acclaim

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TP 94
Tasting Panel
In this blend of 47% Merlot, 23% Malbec, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and 7% Syrah, Andrew Browne pays tribute to his sons Pavin and Riley with this bodified red. Juicy, lush and textural: a dynamo. coffee beans and black berries merge into the fast lane to deliver a ripe-fruited, dry tannin superstar. Spiced rhubarb, pencil shavings, violets and jammy blackberry add even more depth.
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
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Browne Family Vineyards

Browne Family Vineyards

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Browne Family Vineyards, Columbia Valley, Washington
The Browne Family wines were developed to showcase the high quality Washington wine that their world class growers and winemakers produce. Browne Family has been a work in progress for the past fifteen years from the development in the vineyards to selecting the winemaking team that understood their vision of what a great wine meant. The finished product is a wine that over delivers. Browne is the family name and with it comes a responsibility for quality, craftsmanship and commitment now and in the future.

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington State’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

SWS347801_2011 Item# 127204