Cloud Cap 2011 Malbec

Columbia Valley, WA; 12.3% ABV
$6 at the Oakland, CA, store on 25 March

CloudCap_2011_MalbecAlthough the back label reads “vinted and bottled by Cloud Cap Winery,” I could not find anything about it online except for a few menus serving this wine.

Upon opening, the wine shows somewhat lean, lighter red fruit that doesn’t seem very promising.  However, after about 75 minutes in a decanter, it filled out nicely, showing textured fruit of darker boysenberry, blueberry, and mulberry, with a little lighter violets / roses, and a nice fruit / acid balance.  It’s slightly funky in the finish, but not in a bad way.  Quite pleasant to drink, but don’t try to age it, as it doesn’t have the structure to last.  (It just occurs to me, it could have been good blended with a little Petite Sirah.  Is there PS in the Pacific Northwest?)

The next day, the second half (kept stoppered in a 375ml bottle with very little air) was redder, more acid and simple.  It was still decent to drink, certainly better than the other GO wine I opened, but I definitely preferred it on the first night.


10 thoughts on “Cloud Cap 2011 Malbec

  1. editgrl

    I was impatient and poured this through an aerator into a decanter. It still took a good hour for it to round out and release those berry notes. I also found it quite hot at first and was surprised to see the alcohol at a mere 12.3%. With that volatility it felt like it was higher. Tonight, day 2, left in the stoppered decanter, that hotness has diminished considerably but so has most of the dimension. Still a good, simple serviceable red for a Tuesday night!

  2. permiesworld

    Interesting. I thought Cloud Cap was Mt. Hood/Oregon region. There’s a Cloud Cap lodge and a Cloud Cap brewery. I just thought it was a winery in the same region.

    1. lim13

      I Googled Cloud Cap, PW…and it came up with a WyEast Vineyards in the Hood River area that makes a Cloud Cap dessert style Pinot Noir, but it doesn’t show any wines with a Cloud Cap label. That’s why I asked BW about the city/town on the back label…because it could conceivably be Oregon, as the Columbia Valley straddles the WA/OR border.

  3. lim13

    There is indeed Petitie Sirah growing in WA state, BW and there has been for quite a few years. For one, my old friend Dr. Wade Wolfe of Thurston Wolfe Winery in Prosser, Yakima Valley has been making a very tasty and substantial varietal Petitie Sirah for a number of years, as have various other producers. What city/town does it say this Malbec is made in on the back label, BW? That sometimes will give me a hint as to the producer.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Lim13. Back label says (font included), “VINTED AND BOTTLED BY CLOUDCAP CELLARS, WALLA WALLA, WA”

      1. lim13

        Thanks, BW. That’s what I’d have guessed. My money’s on this being another Precept Brands label (although I didn’t find it listed on their website)…likely produced at their Waterbrook “plant” (if you’ve even been there, folks…you know what I’m talking about). So this Malbec could have been produced from both the WA and OR sides of the Columbia Valley. And BTW, while I was checking out their site (with a collection of labels that seems to change daily), I found that both the Battle Creek and Primarius Pinot labels are also theirs. Precept is huge and grows larger by the minute. There are a number of labels on the Precept site that should look familiar. GO’s one of their best customers!

  4. RB

    There is a Cloud Cap Pinot Gris (also Columbia Valley, I think) up here at the Olympia store. I also could not find any info on the wine or winery online.


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