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Brian Carter Cellars 2017 One Grenache, Yakima Valley, $85

By Great Northwest Wine on December 11, 2021
See full article [here]

Colin Morrell’s transformation of a sheep ranch near Prosser, Wash., into Lonesome Springs Ranch is embraced by a number of Washington winemakers and their supporters. Among them is Brian Carter, who took a bit more than three barrels of Grenache and crafted a wine of elegance with raspberry, Chelan cherry and black currant aromas and flavors, which come with some spicy accents. Awards: Wine Press Northwest peer-judging (Unanimously Outstanding!), Savor NW (best of class).

Rating: Platinum, 94 points


Brian Carter Cellars 2016 Opulento Dessert Wine, Yakima Valley, $24. 

By Great Northwest Wine on August 1, 2021 
See full article [here]

Also listed on The Seattle Times Top 20 Wines of 2021 [here].

Woodinville’s Brian Carter, whose past four decades have been spent becoming one of Washington’s best-known wine blenders, uses four classic red grapes of Portugal to make his Opulento fortified wine. His expression from the 2016 harvest — named for the Portuguese word for opulent — is Touriga Naçional (50%), Tinta Roriz (19%), Souzão (17%) and Tinta Cão, all from the Yakima Valley, and the result is a wine with aromas of dried red and blue fruit, dates and sweet flavors of blackberry, blueberry and plum that finish with restrained tannins and subtle alcohol. This cruised into the sweepstakes of the 2021 Cascadia International, earning a double gold medal on its way to the award for Best Sweet Wine. 


David's Wine Pick of Week
'13 Brian Carter "Abracadabra"
Washington Red Blend

The bunny is really not about Easter at all, but more about the "magic" of the vineyard, but who cares, close enough right? Abracadabra is a red blend crafted from the same grapes, sourced from the same great vineyards and aged in the same European and French oak barrels used to produce the other Brian Carter Cellars red wines, but the varietal mix used in Abracadabra varies each year depending on the ‘Magic’ of the harvest.

This wine is a bit unpredictable from vintage to vintage, but usually pretty delicious. Some wineries buy bulk wine to offer a "second label" wines at a lower price. But not Brian, who is considered by most winemakers one of Washington's premier "Master Blenders." Brian makes a fun array of premier wines, all blends of course, and most are around $40-$50+. After he's done blending his flagship wines in the proportions he wants, he always has a little of this left over and a little of that, all the exact same wines he put in his best wines.

With a barrel of this, a half barrel of that, he then assembles his final blend of the year, Abracadabra. In 2013 he only used 11 grape varieties! Check out what's in this fun wine: 16% Malbec, 14% Merlot, 13% Sangiovese, 12% Cabernet, 10% Syrah, 9% Tempranillo, 8% Cab Franc, 8% Grenache, 5% Mourvedre, 3% Cinsault, and to top it off, 2% Counoise! I know huh, that's all?

The wines is then treated just like his expensive releases, oak aged 18 months in French (70%) and European (30%) oak, 34% new & 66% used barrels. It's pretty dark in color, and the aroma is full of blackberries, black cherries and cedar with pinches of pepper and vanilla bean. Full flavors show soft, well-integrated tannins and a nice balance.

The 2013 is just about sold out, I'm pretty sure we got the last 5 cases. So if you want a good wine that's packed with flavor and also everyone can like for under $20, get a couple of these for your Easter dinner while we still have them!


Great Northwest Wine: Find your wine-buying price threshold 

2013 Abracadabra

“How much are you willing to spend for a bottle of wine to enjoy tonight? What is your threshold for everyday wine? … we tasted more than 300 red wines priced at $30 and under. Here are a few of our favorite red blends from that tasting… Brian Carter Cellars 2013 Abracadabra, Columbia Valley, $24: Longtime Washington winemaker Brian Carter blended no fewer than 11 grape varieties, leading with Malbec. The result is a complex red with aromas of dusty minerality, cocoa powder and…”

Read the full article at Tri-City Herald


2012 Corrida review

2012 Corrida
Brian Carter, has a well-earned a reputation as a master of blending. His 2012 Corrida (Spanish for bullfight) red blend of 62% Tempranillo, 17% Graciano, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon 6% Merlot and 4% Garnacha illustrates why and shows his skill with building a blend focused on the grapes of Spain.

Read the full article at Great Northwest Wine


425 Business

Brian Carter Cellars Celebrates 10 Years
When Brian Carter Cellars set up a tasting room in an old house on Woodinville-Redmond Road, there only were a handful of other tasting rooms in the area. At the time, a tasting room separate from where wine was made was a unique, new trend.

Read the full article at 425 Business

NW Wine Night

Syrah Tasting with Brian Carter
Brian Carter at the Schoolhouse and at the BCC tasting room with Brian Calvert of NW Wine Night tasting Syrah.

Watch the video at NW Wine Night

Burgundy & Provence Wine Cruise

2017 Wine Cruise part Deux!
The South of France beckons. The wines of Burgundy and the Rhone are the focus for French Rivers part Deux. We’re chartering the entire vessel again for seven fun-filled days and nights, May 14th – May 21st, 2017.

Read more about this exciting trip


Great Northwest Wine

2016 Cascadia Wine Competition
Brian Carter Cellars 2012 Corrida has won a unanimous double Gold and best of Class in the Great Northwest Wine Competition which just concluded…

Read the full article from Great Northwest Wine


Touring And Tasting

Platinum List 2016 — Washington Unforgettable Atmospheres
The little yellow house has an outside covered patio area and wines by the illustrious Winemaker Brian Carter…

Read the full article from


Rob Tiffany on Brian Carter Cellars Solesce

Rob Tiffany
Drinking the 2008 Solesce from Brian Carter Cellars. This Bordeaux-style, red blend from the sunny Columbia Valley is dominated by Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon with lighter amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. It’s aged perfectly with…

Read the full article at


Determining the “Best of the Best” in the Pacific Northwest

Platinum Award
Brian Carter has been crafting wine in Washington for 35 years and has access to some of the best grapes in the state. This Rhône-style red leads with Grenache and is simply gorgeous. Aromas and flavors of cranberry, red currant and strawberry jam are backed by cleansing acidity and just enough tannin to…

Read the full article at Wine Press Northwest


Jefferson Invitational Wine Competition

Brian Carter Cellars scores big at Jefferson Cup Invitational
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Capping what has been another superb year, Brian Carter Cellars in Woodinville, Wash., has earned two prestigious Jefferson Cup awards. The Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition is conducted by Doug Frost, one of the world’s foremost wine experts. Unlike most competitions, the Jefferson Cup is open only to wineries that are invited to enter. “We select the best of the best, culled from tastings and competitions in America throughout 2015,” Frost stated…

Read the full article at Great Northwest Wine


Jefferson Invitational Wine Competition

Brian Carter Cellars earns two Jefferson Cups!
Brian Carter Cellars earned two Jefferson Cups for Byzance and Opulento, and was awarded a Medal of American Excellence, and two Medals of American Merit…

Read the full press release from the Jefferson Invitational Wine Competition


Tri-Cities Wine Festival

Brian Carter Cellars wins Tri-Cities Wine Festival
Woodinville winemaker Brian Carter continued his impressive run of top awards from West Coast wine competitions as Brian Carter Cellars claimed best of show at the 37th annual Tri-Cities Wine Festival for the 2011 Byzance Red Wine. An international panel of judges was charmed by Carter’s GSM-style blend of Southern Rhône varieties, which leads with…

Read full article at Great Northwest Wine


Tri-Cities Wine Society

Brian Carter Cellars 2011 Byzance wins 2015 Best of Show, Double Gold!
Brian Carter Cellars 2011 Byzance won 2015 Best of Show, Double Gold at The Tri-Cities Wine Festival. The Tri-Cities Wine Festival is the longest, continuous judged wine competition in the Pacific Northwest. The Tri-Cities Wine Festival began in 1979 as a fundraiser for a new copier for the Tri-Cities Visitor & Convention Bureau. However, it was also envisioned as a vehicle for promoting Northwest wines, and the Tri-Cities as a tourist destination…

Read full article at Tri-Cities Wine Society


Worldly Wino

Brian Carter Cellars Winemaker dinner at Orfeo
A Fall Soiree with Brian Carter Cellars was held at Orfeo restaurant on October 15, 2015. Brian Carter was there to present the latest releases of his wines and Chef Kevin Davis prepared the menu to accompany the wines. Brian started making wine back in 1980 when there were only 16 wineries in Washington state…

Read full article at Worldly Wino


Great Northwest Wine Competition

Brian Carter Cellars Wins Gold
The third annual Great Northwest Wine Competition took place March 25th & 26th 2015, in Hood River, Ore. Brian Carter Cellars won Gold for 2011 Tuttorosso, Silver for 2010 Solesce, Silver for 2011 Le Coursier, and Bronze for 2011 Byzance. Please note all wines mentioned have not yet been released. The Byzance will be released Nov 2015 and all others will be released throughout 2016…

Read full article at Great Northwest Wine

Tuesdays with Laurie

What type of magic do you enjoy?
Much like a book’s jacket, the label (of what turned out to be my favorite) is the first thing that grabs my attention. ABRACADABRA – Brian Carter Cellars, Columbia Valley, Washington State – is a blend of… red varietals aged in quality oak barrels. If this were a dog it would be a mongrel; a Heinz 57…

Read full article at Tuesdays with Laurie


Seattle Refined

Double Gold Award Winning
Brian Carter Cellars has long been known for their wines, and for good reason. At the Gold Medal Experience, their two Double Gold winners, 2011 Byzance Rhone-style blend and 2010 Solesce Bordeaux-style blend, were excellent and reaffirmed their position to wine drinkers…

Read full article at Seattle Refined


Great Northwest Wine

Brian Carter Cellars 2010 Tuttorosso
Wine Press Northwest’s reigning Washington Winery of the Year works with some of the state’s most well-known vineyards — Boushey, Klipsun, Olsen and StoneTree — for his annual Super Tuscan-style blend of Sangiovese (67%), Cabernet Sauvignon (23%) and Syrah. The alluring nose of cherry taffy, roasted marshmallow and chalkboard dust also offers up hints of crushed leaf and rose petal. There’s a delicious and bold array of fruit flavors…

Read full article at Great Northwest


Great Northwest Wine

Brian Carter Cellars 2012 Opulento
It’s a rich, deep and intense take on dessert with qualities of poached plum, dark cherry and raisin, joined by mocha powder and fresh-baked brownies. The alcohol is well-integrated and there’s a hint of dried cranberry in the finish to accent the residual sugar of 10%. It picked up a silver medal at the 2015 Seattle Wine and Food Experience Wine Awards….

Read full article at Great Northwest


The Seattle Times

Brian Carter Cellars Wins 2015 Winery of the Year
Wine Press Northwest, a local publication that covers wines from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, honored Woodinville’s Brian Carter Cellars as its 2015 Winery of the Year. The award is judged by Andy Perdue and Erig Degerman, editors and publishers of Great Northwest Wine, and Greg McConnell, publisher and editor of Wine Press Northwest…

Read full article at The Seattle Times



Brian Carter Cellars Wins 2015 Wine of the Year
Wine Press Northwest, a local publication that covers wines from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, honored Woodinville’s Brian Carter Cellars as its 2015 Winery of the Year. The award is judged by Andy Perdue and Erig Degerman, editors and publishers of Great Northwest Wine, and Greg McConnell, publisher and editor of Wine Press Northwest…

Read full article at 425Business


Dan The Wine Guy

Wine Press Northwest Names Wineries of the Year

Here are Wine Press Northwest Magazine’s 2015 Wineries of the Year:
Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year – Maryhill Winery
Washington Winery of the Year – Brian Carter Cellars
Washington Winery to Watch – Palencia Wine Co.

Read full article at Dan The Wine Guy

Brian Carter Cellars Honored as 2015 Washington Winery of the Year
There is no greater honor than receiving an accolade from the discerning media, and Brian Carter has just received a landmark one. Wine Press Northwest, the quarterly magazine focused on the wines of Washington, Oregon and Idaho, has just announced the selection of Brian Carter Cellars as 2015 Washington Winery of the Year. This highly regarded award is based on a set of criteria including longevity, quality, reputation, industry involvement, facilities and other considerations…

Read full article at


My Van City

Wine Press Northwest Names Wineries of the Year
Led by industry pioneers and innovators Brian Carter and Mike Stevens, the win comes on the cusp of the 10thanniversary of Brian Carter Cellars “little yellow tasting room”. Opened in 2006, it is now a major draw for millennials to boomers in Woodinville wine country, where dedicated and knowledgeable members of the winery team pour award winning wines and hold highly popular special events for wine club members…

Read full article at My Van City


POTUS State Dinner Menu

Brian Carter Cellars Wine served at President’s State Dinner
Apparently The President of the United States drinks the good stuff! President Obama’s State Dinner included Brain Carter Cellars 2011 Oriana. You can purchase the same wine The President of the United States drinks on our online store

View President Obama’s State Dinner Menu


Trentenaire is a Wine that will Blow your Mind… and your Palette

Rob Tiffany
Trentenaire means “Of Thirty Years” en francais. This is in commemoration of Brian Carter’s 30+ years of exceptional winemaking in Washington State. I’ve had this wonderful wine with dinners ranging from chicken parmesan to a casual meatball sandwich. I’ve been drinking the 2008 vintage and I find it to be bold enough for a steak while smooth enough to drink on its own. Amazing balance! It clearly pairs well with Italian dishes that include red sauces.

This is my favorite wine so far this year and I’m happy to award it a strong 92!

Read full article at


Steve Foisie, Chair, Wine Education | Boeing Employees Wine Club

Just a quick note to say “its about time”. Brian, I have admired you and your wine making skill for decades and in the interim, learned a thing or two from all you’ve shared. Your wines have always been for me extraordinary examples of elegant craftsmanship, consummate artistry, and fine Washington fruit. Congratulations on being recognized as Winery of the Year.

Best regards,
Steve Foisie
Chair, Wine Education | Boeing Employees Wine Club

Chef Bill Paterson | The Random Howse Restaurant, East Sound Orcas Island
…The first words out of my mouth…after tasting Brian’s Tuttarosso were “this is the finest domestically produced Sangiovese blend I have ever tasted.” What made the wine so good? Balance, seamlessness, harmony and proportion… (Read full letter below)

Read Chef Bills' full letter to his customers

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