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Brian Carter Cellars
July 30, 2019 | Brian Carter Cellars

Spotlight on 2015 Takahashi

This is the second release of our Dedication series, a unique blend released each year to celebrate a person who has had a significant impact on my life. This wine is dedicated to Robert Takahashi who, for the last decade, has been essential to the success of Brian Carter Cellars. Robert, a nearly 20-year veteran of the Washington Wine industry, holds an essential role in making every Brian Carter Cellars wine since 2008. He is a ‘steady hand’ who works hard and can always be counted on, from early morning punch downs to late-night cleanups. He is a great winemaker in his own right, and I rely on his palate and his winemaking advice daily. Thank you, Robert!

Robert has always had a special passion for Malbec, a variety well suited to Washington’s soils and climate. I asked him to blend a 2015 Malbec- based Bordeaux blend and the result is the 2015 Takahashi, dominated by Malbec with smaller amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. This wine has already won several Gold medals and recently took home a Double Gold at the Cascadia Wine Competition where all the judges must unanimously agree it is deserving of this accolade.

When you pour this wine, you see the color is like a black hole from which no light can escape. With aromas of blueberries and damson plums, on the palate, you will find lots of body, balanced acidity, and modest tannins supported by plenty of fruit.  Pairing this wine with food will not be difficult, just don’t pick anything too subtle, or this wine will dominate. I suggest rib-eye steaks smothered in mushrooms. Enjoy!

Malbec is one of the classic varieties approved in the Bordeaux district of France. However, on my last trip there, I found that Malbec was scarce or non-existent in Bordeaux today. More popular before Phylloxera, the variety did not survive the post-Phylloxera planting, not because of the quality of the grape, but because of several viticultural problems including frost, coulure (which prevents berry set) and downy mildew. However, Malbec is the dominant grape in the nearby area of Cahors, where the wines are distinctive and worth seeking out. Malbec is also a stalwart performer in Argentina where it can be found bottled on its own and in Bordeaux-style blends with varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The variety has found a home in both California and Washington as well, where its popularity is on the rise.

For fun and education, I recommend going to your local wine shop and picking up a Cahors and an Argentinian version of Malbec and try them together with the Takahashi. You will see some commonalities such as the darkness in color, but you will also see some differences as well. Keep drinking, keep learning, and keep enjoying wine!

Brian Carter Cellars
September 11, 2018 | Brian Carter Cellars

This is ACE

We recently received a great article from a local wine writer about our first dedication release, "ACE" ~ Enjoy!

Ace is a tribute wine to Brian Carter’s beloved Grandpa, Nick Carter. It is also the first offering of an annual release; The Dedication Series; inspired by people who have contributed to Brian’s life directly. Therefore, the bar is set high for “Ace”.

Nick Carter learned to fly before he drove a car. He and his parents paid for flight school; even though they didn’t have a plane. It finally arrived . . . in a box! After assemblage, they melted the engines twice. The third time was the charm because they switched from aluminum pistons to steel. Nick was first to volunteer to fly with the instructor. They almost crash-landed on a beach. The instructor was so shaken, he quit on the spot.

Nick didn’t quit. He went on to fly hundreds of missions out of France and was awarded The Distinguished Service Cross and other medals for winning 17-0. He lived on to give Brian many best memories from boyhood. Nick is pictured on “Ace”; in uniform, standing next to his tri winged plane. You can see his swag; so it’s fitting his wine would be a Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah blend that was popularized in Australia; where swag is in men’s DNA.

When I decanted “Ace”, I expected it to be boldly flavored . . . but not immediately! Usually, I decant for an hour or sometimes a day, if it needs it. It allows the fruit and secondary traits to surface and have a chance to blend. After only 30 minutes, I stopped decanting; to save the pleasure of unfolding components to be enjoyed over dinner. There is no meltdown in Ace. Its flavors are solid to the last drop. Its immediate gratification makes it a good choice for opening on short notice; like in a restaurant.

I imagine Brian gave a lot of extra effort to “Ace” to best eulogize his beloved Grandpa, as well as to set the bar high for his first Dedication Series bottle. Suppose you wanted to honor through your art, a person you love deeply. How would you that, compose the music, or write the poem? You would spare nothing, bringing your best to it. That worked for Brian. He recently won Double Gold Medal and Best of Class for “Ace”.

It was at the Northwest Wine Summit; the largest competition for exclusively Northwest wines. He won so many medals there (12 across varieties and blends) that they judged him THE 2018 Winery of Distinction out of the 320 wineries considered.

That is why you need to stop in at Brian Carter’s Woodinville tasting room or simply buy a bottle of his at your local wine store. Brian Carter Cellars has had more huge wins than ever, since 2015. That is when he was named Washington’s Winery Of The Year by Winepress NW. Since then, everything is coming up Aces.

~ Scot Overturf 


Scot Overturf, sommelier in Seattle. Overturf is a longtime wine expert, judge, and writer in the greater Seattle market. He has written for publications around Washington for several years.

Time Posted: Sep 11, 2018 at 12:40 PM Permalink to This is ACE Permalink
Brian Carter Cellars
April 6, 2018 | Brian Carter Cellars

It's Time for Bottling

Here it is April and the time has arrived to put wines into the bottle. Specifically, our Solesce, Oriana, Abracadabra Red and Rosé all typically get bottled in April. Needless to say, this is a very important time in the life of the wine. It’s not really the beginning of the wines’ life like harvest and it certainly isn’t the end when it is poured into a glass to enjoy. We could call it the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end, but in any case, it is the winemaker’s last chance to make a difference in the wine. And what a difference it can make! Simply put, other than the picking and time of fermentation, there is no point in the wine’s life that is more critical. That is why winemakers sweat the details at bottling time and consequently feel some anxiety. Not only are we unable to change the wine after the cork goes in, but there are a lot of logistics that must come together at bottling time, any one of which can blow the whole thing.

Getting the wine ready can be simple, in the case of reds like the Solesce and Abracadabra: we just pull them out of the barrel, give them a quick filtration, adjust the SO2, check the oxygen level and they are pretty much ready to go. The Oriana and Rosé have more stability issues that need be addressed namely heat stability, which requires bentonite fining to fix, and cold stability which requires chilling the wine often for several weeks. We also do more extensive fining trials especially if the wine has some unwanted astringency. Carbon dioxide levels are also checked as there is a risk of ‘spritzy’ wines if they were fermented within the last few months.

Now we get onto the logistics which start months in advance when the bottling truck is scheduled. Capsules, corks, glass and labels require lots of advanced planning.  Each wine often has its own packaging requirements, and winemakers must work with many suppliers to order and schedule everything to arrive well ahead of bottling day. Just getting the labels done requires getting the right information to the printer including the AVA, alcohol and varietal, calculating numbers including waste, and getting federal label approval. Corks require inspection and sensory testing before ordering. Each item requires special attention and if one is not right the bottling cannot take place, the package will be wrong, or the wine will be off.  When getting several wines ready for bottling there is often a logistical issue of how many tanks are available, which wines fit into which tanks and in what order you move them from tank to tank when racking and filtering. Then there is figuring out the warehouse for the best place to store the wine. Oh, and don’t forget the bottling crew has to be arranged, which is something Robert does a great job organizing. Altogether, it’s a lot to think about.

Finally, there is bottling day itself which should go smoothly if advance planning was properly carried out. There are over a dozen quality control items to watch out for, from selecting the right packaging (don’t put those rosé labels on the red Abracadabra) to getting the label positioned properly to fill height and cork depth. Perhaps the best part of bottling is when it is over. We have freed up barrels for next year’s harvest. In the case of Rosé, we have fresh wine to sell. Time to relax and enjoy a special bottle of wine from a previous bottling. And we don’t have to worry about bottling again until July. Time to start working on the 2017 blends! That is the real fun.

Time Posted: Apr 6, 2018 at 11:59 AM Permalink to It's Time for Bottling Permalink
Brian Carter Cellars
February 8, 2018 | Brian Carter Cellars

February 2018 Newsletter

Love is in the Air at Brian Carter Cellars


All you need is Love
… and Wine
… and Chocolate!

Chocolate and port-style wine have always made the perfect pair (almost as perfect as the pairing of you and your lover!). Not to worry because this year we’ve made it easy for you with our Valentine Special.

One bottle of our 375ml Opulento
and a box of Wellington Opulento Chocolates.

Retail: $29
Sale: $22 (25% off retail)

Brian Carter Cellars Opulento is a deep impenetrable garnet color, aromas of raspberry, cherry and chocolate with hints of almond and orange peel. On the palate this wine has opulent flavors of chocolate and berry fruits with a perfectly balanced and satisfyingly sweet finish.

Paired with your favorite Wellington dark chocolates infused with the same decadent wine.


Valid while supplies last. Additional discounts do not apply. Sale valid through: February 28, 2018


Winery News


Pacific Northwest Wine Press Platinum Awards

Excerpt from Wine Press Northwest Article by
Eric Degerman, Ellen Landis and Ken Robertson


This year Brian Carter Cellars, moved up on the Platinum’s all-time tote board with six awards and doing so in extraordinary fashion. Perhaps the region’s most decorated when it comes to proprietary blends, Brian Carter Cellars earned a total of five platinum awards and one double platinum this year.  Brian’s Petit Verdot-based 2013 Trentenaire earned Double Platinum while the 2007 received a Platinum. He also continued his stellar work with his Byzance. The 2013 vintage marked the fourth time in the past six years he’s earned a Platinum for this Southern Rhone-style blend based on Grenache.

Double Platinum • 2013 Trentenaire Red Wine, Yakima Valley • Few winemakers would attempt to create a Bordeaux-style red wine using Petit Verdot (62%) as the foundation, but master blender Brian Carter shows the way with this wine that references, in French, the Oregon native’s three decades as a winemaker in Washington. StoneTree Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope contributes much of the five-variety Bordeaux blend, which offers violets and dark fruit on the nose. The palate, rich in flavor with black raspberry, licorice and Montmorency cherry, includes a touch of herbs and a thread of minerality. It’s complex and remarkably balanced through the cocoa-dusted finish.

Platinum • 2013 Byzance Red Wine, Columbia Valley • Inspired by Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Brian Carter’s winning formula of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre from Boushey, Lonesome Springs, Stillwater Creek and StoneTree also includes Counoise and Cinsault. Alluring signs of barrel influence include caramel and mocha that allow for a rush of cherry and raspberry that’s finished by a pinch of sweet dill, toasted walnut and clove.

Platinum • 2016 Abracadabra Rosé, Columbia Valley • Master blender Brian Carter takes a winning, albeit unusual, approach by weaving five varieties that do well on their own as rosé - Sangiovese, Grenache, Syrah, Malbec, Cinsault. He used it to top a field of 122 entries for our spring rosé tasting, and it continues to sing using a crisp approach with cranberry, Rainier cherry, melon and orange slices.

Platinum • 2012 Solesce Red Wine, Columbia Valley • It is fitting that Brian Carter’s Left Bank-inspired blend, which he names for a Latin reference to “sun and essence” features Cabernet Sauvignon from Klipsun Vineyard on Red Mountain. Berries and spice on the nose turn juicy with cassis and dark plum flavors as tobacco walks among nicely understated oak and subtle tannins.

Platinum • 2007 Le Coursier Red Wine, Columbia Valley • It was two years in barrel and two more in the bottle before Brian Carter first released this Bordeaux-style blend that leads with Merlot from Solstice (planted in 1980) and StoneTree vineyards. The blue and black fruit aroma leads to a spice-enhanced entry. Flavors of dusty dark plum, sweet tobacco, blueberry compote and sweet and savory notes are carried by a silky texture to a long, oak-kissed finish.

Platinum • 2007 Trentenaire Red Wine, Columbia Valley • A decade beyond its birth, Brian Carter’s blend of Petit Verdot continues to mature majestically. Brooding aromas open to a powerhouse of flavors — blackberry, plum, black cherry — and focused graphite elements then meld with a touch of herbs. It’s muscular and rich from first whiff to final drop.

Check out the full article for a full list of all the winners and see how a platinum is awarded.  Click Here


Winter Wine Club Release Party

Thursday, February 22nd or
Friday, February 23rd

Featuring music performed by Sheri Greimes
Food will be provided by Swift and Savory


This will be the first opportunity for Red Wine Lovers to pick-up your 2018 Winter Release, with three of our most exquisite wines.


2013 Byzance
The ripeness of the 2013 vintage expresses everything I want to get from this wine: a complex nose of bright red cherries, tar, white pepper and the garigue spice that you get walking the fields of Provence.  The wine explodes in your mouth with lots of bright fruit and finishes with a long slightly earthy mineral note.  Great balance and a hint of tannin make this wine a great match for a wide range of foods. My favorite would be a medium rare duck breast with cherry sauce.  Grenache (53%), Syrah (22%), Mourvedre (17%), Counoise (5%), and Cinsault (3%)

2013 Le Coursier
The wine has a beautiful garnet hue with a generous nose of wild blackberries, ripe Bing cherries and Damson plums with touches of oak and licorice spice. On the palate you taste a mouth full of complex ripe flavors with well-integrated tannins, age-worthy balance and a lengthy finish. Enjoy with flank steak marinated in red wine, garlic and soy sauce then grilled to perfection.  Merlot (54%), Cabernet Sauvignon (22%), Cabernet Franc (14%), Malbec (6%), and Petit Verdot (4%).

2014 Corrida
A beautiful garnet color, the wine greets you with bright aromas of black cherry, toasted cedar, pomegranate and black pepper with hints of baking spices.  On the palate, the ripeness of the vintage shows through with expansive fruit balanced with pleasing old-world acidity.  The wine lingers nicely in the mouth finishing with the presence of fine tannins.  Enjoy this wine with grilled meats such as perfectly cooked rack of lamb and grilled vegetables. Tempranillo (66%), Graciano (18%), Garnacha (10%), and Cabernet Sauvignon (6%)


Byzance Special
Sale ends February 15th


European Style blended wines are Brian Carter’s passion. No wine and no region has inspired him more than Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The terroir of Washington expresses itself with an identity truly reminiscent of the Southern Rhone.

Experience the region of Châteauneuf-du-Pape yourself with our 2012 Byzance, with its complex nose of bright red cherries, tar, white pepper and the garigue spice it will transport you to the fields of Provence.

Save up to 35% off when you purchase a full case of Brian Carter Cellars 2012 Byzance, one of our most highly decorated wines.


Call for special Wine Club pricing: 425.806.9463

Valid while supplies last. Additional discounts do not apply. Sale valid through: February 25, 2018

Brian Carter Cellars Calendar


Spring Barrel Tasting at Brian Carter Cellars Winery
March 31, 2018 

Brian Carter Cellars Winery (14030 NE 145th Street, Woodinville, WA)
Taste the future releases straight from the barrel. Like eating cherries from the tree, our Spring Barrel Tasting offers the ability to enjoy a taste something right from the source. This is your opportunity to taste the 2017 wines before they are blended, as well as get a glimpse of the 2016 blends.

Stay tuned for ticket information coming soon.


Summer Music on the Patio – Friday, June 8th   4-6pm
Sip a glass of wine and enjoy the view from the patio as you take in the sounds of Gina Belliveau at Brian Carter Cellars Tasting Room.

Gina Belliveau is a Tacoma-based musician who plays looped, percussive acoustic folk with an Achilles heel for ridiculous pop cover tunes. Her ever expanding repertoire runs the gamut from Billie Holiday to Billie Jean.


Summer Music on the Patio – Friday, July 13th   4-6pm
Sip a glass of wine and enjoy the view from the patio as you taken in the sounds of David Flett at Brian Carter Cellars Tasting Room.

Singer, songwriter and guitarist David Flett plays solo acoustic originals and covers that captivate audiences with a deft hand and an open heart.


Brian Carter Cellars Tasting Room
14419 Woodinville Redmond Rd NE | Woodinville, WA 98072 | 425.806.9463
Open 12-5pm, daily | Last tasting begins at 4:30pm |

Copyright (C) 2017 Brian Carter Cellars. All rights reserved.

Time Posted: Feb 8, 2018 at 2:59 PM Permalink to February 2018 Newsletter Permalink
Brian Carter Cellars
December 18, 2017 | Brian Carter Cellars

Happy Holidays

Holiday Gifting Ideas

With Chanukah already here and just a few days left till Christmas, Santa is making his list and checking it twice. Brian Carter Cellars has you covered for all the wine lovers on your gift list, and of course you can always treat yourself! A little gift for yourself never hurt.

Have the crew coming over this holiday season? Our large format bottles, now on special, will make the wine lover on your gift list very merry...they might even share!

  • 10% off 1 Bottle,
  • 15% off 2 Bottles,
  • 20% off 3+ Bottles

Which is your favorite? We have large format bottles available in the following veriatals: 2012 Corrida, 2010 Tuttorosso, 2010 Le Coursier, 2010 Trentenaire, 2010 Solesce and even a few 2009 Solesce available. (Wine Club pricing is 20% off 1 bottle, 25% off 2 bottles, and 30% off 3+ bottles).



Drawing a blank on what to give that special someone on your list? How about an Opulento vertical holiday gift pack with one bottle each of 2013 & 2014 Opulento. It makes the perfect holiday or hostess gift. The wine is deep garnet in color with aromas of raspberry, cherry and chocolate with hints of almond and orange peel. On the palate this wine has opulent flavors of chocolate and berry fruits with a long, perfectly balanced sweet finish.

Stop by the tasting room for your gift packs today.
Reg: $80  Sale: $56 - a 30% savings!


We are closed on the following days to allow our employees to enjoy the holiday
with their families.
Christmas Eve & Christmas Day
New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day




Winery News!!

Now that grapes have been harvested and pressed, the winery crew can relax a bit, but the work does not stop. Our assistant winemaker, Robert Takahashi, is busy in the lab running the 2017 wines for TA, pH, alcohol, sugar and malic acid. Kelly, our cellar hand is busy racking red barrels, while the white and rosé barrels are about to be topped off.  Brian is planning ahead for spring bottling and thinking about putting the finishing touches on a couple of final 2016 blends. So far, the 2017 wines are looking good with deeply colored reds and balanced fruit, Brian is tasting the wines daily and he has not picked his favorites quite yet.



The Carter Collection

Brian Carter Cellars is the first Washington State winery to focus exclusively on blends which arose from Brian’s passion for blended wines. He loves the process of blending, starting with walking the vineyard thinking about how a varietal of grape will contribute to pairing these wines with seasonal food. As great as blends are, Brian acknowledges that some of the best wines in the world are 100% varietal.  Some of the best examples being Pinot Noirs from Oregon or Chardonnays from Burgundy. Although Brian might be slightly biased, he has been known to stick his neck out and say that blends are among the finest wines made in Washington.

In 2010, Brian Carter Cellars released our first ONE series wine, a 2007 Malbec from Stone Tree Vineyards. Since then we have been making limited releases of single varietal wines that complement our classic European-style blends. The ONE designation is used to denote a line of wines made entirely from ONE varietal and from ONE vineyard.  It is important to note that each lot of grapes is brought into the winey as a varietal, and fermented, barreled and racked as a single vineyard, single varietal.

As Brian is evaluating each lot during the spring and summer blending, there is occasionally a lot that separates itself from the rest.  Many times, this special lot goes into the blend because it adds that special touch. Sometimes the varietal intensity is so outstanding that Brian doesn’t use it all in the blend. For example, when he needs the Cabernet Franc character in the Le Coursier but doesn’t want the Cabernet Franc to overwhelm the blend. Brian might blend two barrels of a six-barrel Cabernet Franc lot and keep the other four barrels to be released as part of the ONE series. Other times, Brian might have two great Cabernet lots he is evaluating for Solesce and the one works best for blending, and the other is exceptional on its own, then he may set it aside for ONE.  So far, we have made between 1-3 ONE wines per year, each being small lots of 50 to 150 cases each. Most recently we have released three ONE wines, all three of which are outstanding examples of their variety:

2012 Sangiovese:  These grapes came off the vine in late October, looking like a great wine was going to be made. Indeed, most of this lot went into our 2012 Tuttorosso blend which is a stand-out wine from this stand-out vintage. Brian did manage to pry away three barrels of his favorite Sangiovese from the Boushey Vineyard. It isn’t the easiest grape to grow, it takes a particularly special site to do well, and in only the best years can it make a stand-alone wine worthy of the ONE label.

Dark in color, the wine opens with a very European perfume showing of pie cherries, dried herbs and flowers with a touch of wild game. Classic Chianti flavors and food friendly acidity associated with the great wines of Italy make this wine a standout with red tomato sauces and high fat meats such as short ribs or cinghiale (‘wild boar’ in Italian).

2011 Cabernet Sauvignon: Red Mountain has long been Brian’s favorite source for Cabernet Sauvignon and the E & E Shaw, vineyard, owned and operated by Ed and Eve Shaw has ranked up there near the top. The 2011 vintage was much cooler than usual resulting in Brian making the decision not to make any 2011 Solesce. This spectacular wine, however, stood out above the rest and demanded to be bottled on its own.

Very dark in color, the wine has classic varietal characters of cassis and blackberry with added notes of cedar and coffee  in the aroma, running seamlessly  onto the palate. A Bordeaux like balance of well-integrated tannins and acids shows off a wine of both dimension and charm.  

2013 Merlot: This is our first Merlot under the ONE label.  Coming from the Olsen Vineyard in the Yakima Valley, this is one of the most outstanding blocks of Merlot in a state that makes a lot of great Merlot. Having tasted Merlot wines from all over the world, Brian maintains that Washington has the best expression of Merlot fruit from anywhere.

This wine is dark garnet in color, with intense and complex aromas including black cherry, blackberry, raspberry and pomegranate with hints of earth and toasted oak. The palate is round with just the right hints of tannin for aging and a balanced lengthy finish. 


Brian Carter Cellars Calendar

We are closed on the following days to allow our employees to enjoy the holiday
with their families.
Christmas Eve & Christmas Day
New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day


Wine and Chocolate Pairing Event - January 27, 2017  1-4pm 

Join us for a delicious afternoon with local chocolatier. Scarlata Untamed Chocolate will be serving up samples of their fine chocolates to enjoy with our European inspired blended wines.

Brian Carter Cellars Tasting Room
14419 Woodinville Redmond Rd NE | Woodinville, WA 98072 | 425.806.9463
Open 12-5pm, daily | Last tasting begins at 4:30pm |

Copyright (C) 2017 Brian Carter Cellars. All rights reserved.


Time Posted: Dec 18, 2017 at 1:17 PM Permalink to Happy Holidays Permalink
Brian Carter Cellars
November 15, 2017 | Brian Carter Cellars

What's going on at Brian Carter Cellars in November


We welcome you to our monthly newsletter!  We have rejuvenated this newsletter to stay connected and share with you what’s happening at Brian Carter Cellars. You’ll find that it is filled with news, helpful hints and tips, future events, and even some recipes on occasion. If ever you don't wish to continue receiving it, simply click 'unsubscribe' at the bottom of any issue. We want this newsletter to be valuable for you so please share your feedback and suggestions to help us improve. Contact Us

This past September we said “Buongiorno” to Mike Stevens.  Mike along with Brian Carter founded Brian Carter Cellars in 2005.

Mike has been a passionate ambassador for the winery,” said Brian Carter.  “His relationships with our wine club members and those guests visiting our tasting room have contributed greatly to the success that we’ve come to enjoy over the past 12 years.

Moving forward, we would like to welcome to the team, Patti Youngbluth, as Sale and Marketing Director. She is primary responsibility for marketing our award-winning wines and to further develop our growing portfolio of regional and national accounts.  Brian Carter, will remain the company’s winemaker and assume the general manager position for Brian Carter Cellars.  “With several new investors and new management in place, I am incredibly optimistic as we enter a new era for Brian Carter Cellars, said Carter.

To that we raise a glass and wish Mike the best on his next adventure!

Harvest 2017

Wednesday, November 8th marked the end of harvest 2017 as we pressed off the last of our grapes! This year will be one to remember as we experienced some things we have not seen in previous vintages. Of course, every vintage has its own unique features and no two are the same. Due to a combination of wet weather early, hot temperatures in early September, and fairly cool temperatures in October made for an up and down journey, for both the grapes and the winemakers. These unusual conditions made it harder to choose picking times as both the sugar/acid numbers, and the flavors coming from the vineyards were harder to pin to past experiences. We certainly could say that all is well as the wines are tasting good coming out of fermentation. Of course, it is still very early to tell but overall, Brian is pleased with what he is tasting. In particular, some of the later picked red varieties such as Grenache, Sangiovese and Petit Verdot seem to be shining with good color intensity, nice fruit and acid balance.

Let the real winemaking begin!

Introducing the Brian Carter
Dedication Series - 2013 ACE

Cabernet Sauvignon / Syrah

I am very proud to introduce the Inaugural Edition of our Dedication Series of wines. My passion is making great blended wines and I offer a great selection of them, largely inspired by the classical blends of Europe. Never wanting to stand still, I am offering up a new series of blended wines outside of the box (but still inside the bottle). Each wine will be unique in its blend and unique in to whom it is dedicated. For our first of the series I have made a blend of two varieties less often blended in Europe but a blend rapidly becoming a Washington State Classic: Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

Brian pictured with his father and grandfather.

This wine is dedicated to my Grandfather A.W. "Nick" Carter who learned to fly before he learned to drive. During World War I he was stationed in France where he is credited with 17 air victories, earning several medals including the Distinguished Service Cross. He also had a very positive effect on my life and gave me many of my best memories as a young boy.  I have named this wine, one of distinguished character, 'ACE' after my beloved Grandfather Nick.

- Brian Carter  

More Information

Exclusive to Wine Club Members

Special Tasting with Array Cellars

November 18, 2017  2 - 5pm

Join us for an afternoon with Array Cellars in the Brian Carter Tasting Room. We have a special relationship with Array Cellars in that Brian Carter is also their winemaker. Their goal is to bring you three unique bottlings, each expressing something different but clearly Washington chardonnay. Join us for a fun afternoon of tasting.

2013 Washington State - Full ripe flavors of hazelnut, citrus, apple and vanilla. Good depth and a lingering finish with firm acidity.  Retail: $25  Wine Club: $21.25

2013 Celilo Vineyard - These old vine clones produce a wine with citrus/lemon aromas and flavors, powerful acidity, and a notable mineral finish. These vines have produced chardonnay aging well for 20 years and more, rivaling legendary counterparts Hanzell and Stony Hill in California.  Retail: $32  Wine Club: $27.50

2013 Dijon Clone - Taken from a single block of Dijon clone 76 in the Otis Harlan vineyard in the Yakima Valley. Believed to be the oldest such vines in the state. Our most burgundian wine, with a brilliant gold color, deep flavors of peach and marzipan, and a long silky finish from “sur lie” aging. Retail: $32  Wine Club: $27.50

Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving

What will you be serving with your Thanksgiving dinner?

Question: Red, White or Rose? - A good and simple strategy for Thanksgiving wine is to offer a great bottle of each to allow your guests their choice. Plus, it's a good opportunity to introduce your guests to something new that they might not have tried before.

For a white wine, look for a wine with well-balanced acidity. The Oriana is the perfect choice for those that prefer traditional white wines. With its seductive aromas and perfect balance, its popularity just keeps soaring. The 2015 vintage is a richly aromatic wine, resplendent with tangerine, apricot, ripe pear and apple with touches of honey and anise. Crisp acidity greets the palate while mouth filling fruit flavors linger making this an excellent companion to any Thanksgiving table.

Whether your favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal is the turkey or the sweet potatoes, a good rosé will pair well with everything on the table. Abracadabra Rosé is a beautiful electric pink in color with aromas of ripe strawberries abound with more subtle notes of peaches and orange blossoms.  On the palate is bountiful fruit backed up by deliciously crisp acidity. It’s not too big, it’s not too small; as Goldilocks would say, if she were old enough to drink, it’s just right. 

For red wine, look for soft tannins that will yield to and blend with your dishes and will delight most red wine lovers without overpowering lighter turkey flavors. The ripeness of the 2012 Byzanse with its complex nose of bright red cherries, tar, white pepper and the garigue spice that you get walking the fields of Provence is the perfect complement for Thanksgiving. The wine explodes in your mouth with lots of bright fruit and finishes with a long slightly earthy mineral note. A great balance and a hint of tannin make this wine a great match for a wide range of foods, including your mother-in-law's stuffing recipe.

Ending on a Sweet Note - Well, what pairs with traditional thanksgiving desserts like Pumpkin or Pecan Pie? We suggest a glass of Opulento. Deep impenetrable garnet color, with aromas of raspberry, cherry and chocolate with hints of almond and orange peel. On the palate, this wine has opulent flavors of chocolate and berry fruits with a perfectly balanced and satisfyingly sweet finish.

Brian Carter Cellars Calendar

Special Tasting Event with Array Cellars - November 18, 2017 2-5pm

Closed for Thanksgiving - November 23, 2017

Wine and Chocolate Pairing Event - November 29, 2017 2:30-5pm  
Local Chocolatier, Wellington Chocolates

St. Nick's "Cure-ated" Wine Tasting Night - December 1, 2017 7-9:30pm
Join Brian Carter Cellars and forty other Woodinville wineries for a festival holiday event. Special guest chef Justin Severino, James Beard Award-nominee and owner of Cure Restaurant in Pittsburgh teams up with Novelty Hill Januiks executive chef Seth Fernald to host a special evening of Cure-ated food. 
Tickets are still available:

Time Posted: Nov 15, 2017 at 9:36 AM Permalink to What's going on at Brian Carter Cellars in November Permalink
Brian Carter Cellars
December 22, 2014 | Brian Carter Cellars

2014 Harvest

Another great harvest is in the barrel. 2014 will be remembered for starting warm and pretty much staying that way; as a result, grapes got ripe quickly. Fortunately, the number of really hot days were limited so sunburn was not a big factor, and the acid and color seemed to hold. Like 2013, we started off with a bang and slowed by October. Quantities were also good and we picked a few more tons than originally planned for.

The red wines can be described as big and showy with nice balance, good color and fairly soft tannins. Oriana has it's typical fruit driven aromas and crispness. 2014, truly a vintage to look forward to.

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