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Isenhower Cellars

Isenhower Cellars Isenhower Cellars believes in a traditional style of winemaking. We buy grapes through long term contracts from intriguing vineyards and reduce the amount of fruit that each vine ripens to maximize flavor, intensity, and balance. At the winery we destem the grapes, and we ferment with minimal additions of yeast, nitrogen, sulfur, and tartaric acid. No other chemicals or enzymes are used. The wine is immediately transferred to oak barrels. We feel that the more gently we can handle the wine the more representative it will be of the vineyards that produced it. The result is wines that capture the power, fruit, and purity of the vineyards. Isenhower Cellars specializes in wines based on Bordeaux and Rhone grape varieties. Cabernet and Merlot are Denise's passion and Syrah is Brett's passion. We love full bodied, deeply colored, big wines with balance. In 2003 Isenhower will release small quantities of two white wines, Viognier and Roussanne. The white wines of the Rhone have always fascinated Brett. Viognier's exotic nose and Roussanne's full-bodied mouth feel will cure the Chardonnay blues. Isenhower has contracts to purchase grapes from some of the best and oldest vineyards in Washington. In 2003 we have contracts for some of the best old block Cabernet Sauvignon in Washington. These vineyards have been selected because they produce grapes that allow us to produce the full bodied wines we love. Brett works very closely with each vineyard farmer, from pruning to watering, shoot and leaf removal, cluster thinning, and harvest. We believe that we are a team with our vineyard farmers to produce the best grapes possible. Frequently walking though a vineyard gives Brett an understanding of the conditions of the vines and the care they are receiving. To maximize the flavor and intensity of our wines, our growers dramatically decrease the amount of wine grapes harvested from each vine. We ask the vineyards' owners to harvest only 2.5 to 3.5 tons per acre depending upon the site and grape variety in question. The harvest date is based upon several criteria. On the chemistry side we look at pH, sugar levels, acidity, and color-tannin complex formation. Qualitatively we look at the conditions of the grapes and seeds, health of the vine, and the taste of the grapes. Our goal is to pick grapes at the peak of flavor, with balance in tannins and acid levels. The best vineyards produce grapes with the flavor and balance to make the best wines.

From S.R. 125 (S.R. 11 on the Oregon side): Turn east on the Old Milton Highway. Turn right onto Pranger Road. Isenhower Cellars is on the left. From S.R. 12: Take the 2nd Avenue exit; turn right at the end of the ramp to proceed south on 2nd. Turn right on Poplar St. Turn left on 9th Avenue. At the Plaza Way intersection, 9th becomes S.R. 125. Proceed south on 125... The third traffic light after Plaza Way is the Old Milton Highway. Turn left. Turn right onto Pranger Road. Isenhower Cellars is on the left.

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Address Web Social
3471 Pranger Road, Walla Walla, WA, US, 99362 Email:
Phone: 509-526-7896 Web:
Fax: 509-525-8118
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  Columbia Valley Cabernet Franc
Exclusively from the Clifton Vineyard, part of the Milbrandt Vineyard collection, we picked one ton of Cabernet Franc at theabsolute peak of ripeness. In fact we picked the grapes one week after L’Ecole No. 41 picked Cabernet Franc from the same rows. The Cabernet Franc was aged for seventeen months in three used American Oak barrels. The result is an incredibly ripe Cabernet Franc that is jammed with blueberries, hints of tobacco, cedar, and velvety tannins. This is one of the best examples of Washington Cabernet Franc you will find. 72 cases bottled and it is only available through the winery.
  Columbia Valley Looking Glass Syrah
Peer through the Looking Glass to enjoy a sensory experience of blackberries, red berry jam, earth, white pepper, and toast. Looking Glass is our RTB Syrah (ready to barbeque). Toss the lamb medallions or pork chops on the grill and open a bottle. 20% Rustic Ridge Vineyard (Rattlesnake Hills) 80% Ciel du Cheval Tablas Creek Clone Syrah (Red Mountain)
  Columbia Valley Red Paintbrush Merlot
Our goal with Red Paintbrush is to make highly unique, velvety, and polished Merlot based wine. Syrah adds a spicy richness to the velvet texture of Merlot. A splash of Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon adds length and intensity to the wine. This is our most popular restaurant wine as the blend lends itself to many cuisines. Because of the 2004 winter freeze we only have 425 cases available. 80% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Syrah 56% Milbrandt Vineyards Merlot (Wahluke Slope) 24% Alder Ridge Vineyard Merlot (Horse Heaven Hills) 17% Kiona Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Mountain) 3% Rustic Ridge Vineyard Syrah (Rattlesnake Hills)
  Columbia Valley Snapdragon
52% Viognier – 48% Roussanne. The most unique white wine in Washington is the 2003 Columbia Valley Snapdragon.The Snapdragon replaces the 2002 Dragonfly. We had to change the name to avoid a trademark issue with Far Niente Winery who owns the trademark for ‘Dragonfly’. Viognier and Roussanne are both native to the Rhone Valley of France and are developing a great tradition in Washington State. The Viognier adds the Pineapple and Asian pear flavors, where the Roussanne adds Mangos, Nutmeg, and Orange Spice Tea. All Viognier grapes were pressed ‘whole cluster’ (no crushing or destemming). The Roussanne grapes were foot stomped for ½ an hour then pressed. Foot stomping of the Roussanne increases flavor extraction. We do not foot stomp Viognier so as to avoid extracting bitterness from the Viognier skin. All the white juice was fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks. The Snapdragon has flavors of Pineapple, Mango, Asian pear, Nutmeg, and Orange Spice Tea. Wonderful acidity makes the Snapdragon a perfect match for Thai, Asian Fusion, gumbo, oysters, scallops, and shrimp on the barbecue! Snapdragon tastes drier than the 2002 Dragonfly but has more richness and a longer finish.
  Columbia Valley Wild Alfalfa Syrah
If we make a cult wine, Wild Alfalfa is it. Ranch Vineyard Syrah lends blueberries and vibrancy. The Ciel Syrah is a special clone of Syrah known as 174. The 174 Syrah clone has wonderful lilac and raspberry notes. Rustic Ridge adds white pepper and pomegranates. The Wild Alfalfa is a very vibrant, floral wine with taut richness and intensity that will uncoil over the next eight years. 400 cases produced. 57% Rustic Ridge Syrah (Rattlesnake Hills) 30% Ranch Vineyard Syrah (Red Mountain) 13% Ciel du Cheval Clone 174 Syrah (Red Mountain)
  Columbia Valley Wild Thyme
We blended Merlot from Red Mountain, Wahluke slope, and Yakima Valley with Cabernet Sauvignon from the Horse Heaven Hills, and Red Mountain, with a touch of Petit Verdot, and a dollop of Cabernet Franc. The Wild Thyme is a complex, yet drinkable dark red wine with flavors of red plums, currants, thyme, cigar box, toast, and vanilla. The middle palate is firm and mouth filling. The finish is long and soft. Wild Thyme is a great value! 52% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc 22% Milbrandt Vineyard Merlot (Wahluke Slope) 20% Snipes Canyon Merlot (Yakima Valley) 10% Kiona Vineyard Merlot (Red Mountain) 6% Six Prong Vineyard Petit Verdot (Horse Heaven Hills) 8% Kiona Vineyard Cab. Sauv. (Red Mountain) 2% Pleasant Vineyard Cabernet Franc (Yakima Valley)
  Horse Heaven Hills River Beauty Syrah
The River Beauty is all from the Six Prong Vineyard, located one mile off the Columbia River in Klickitat County. The River Beauty is composed of one Syrah clone (J. Phelps) and one Shiraz Clone (Sara Lee). The Phelps Syrah clone adds smoky, cranberry, and blueberry flavors and the Sara Lee Shiraz clone adds beautiful floral aromas of lilac, and lavender and flavors of blackberries. There is a very limited 360 cases available. 47% Six Prong Vineyard J. Phelps Syrah Clone 53% Six Prong Vineyard Sara Lee Shiraz Clone
  Late Harvest
Constructed of 50% Roussanne (Ciel du Cheval • Snipes Canyon Ranch) and 50% Viognier Ciel du Cheval, our Late Harvest has 5.1% residual sugar well balanced by acidity. Aromas of apricots, pineapples, cardamom, and minerals overlay flavors of peaches, pears, and nutmeg. Serve with fruit based desserts, sorbet or a cheese course.
  Three Dogs Cabernet Sauvignon
Most boutique Washington wineries would take this Cabernet Sauvignon, slap a $35 price on it and declare it the best Cabernet Sauvignon in Washington. This is our second label Cabernet Sauvignon. Composed of 58% Sundance Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley), 34% Waliser Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Walla Walla Valley), and 8% Cabernet Franc from Vista Montagna Vineyard (Walla Walla Valley) our Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon combines the best of the Columbia Valley and Walla Walla Valley. The Cabernet Sauvignon was aged in 100% new French Oak for six months then racked to used French, American, and Hungarian oak barrels for nine months. The wine was fined with two egg whites then bottled unfiltered. The Cabernet Sauvignon is a steal for $20 per bottle!


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