Yellowstone Cellars and Winery Malbec

September 16, 2013

YWC 2011 Malbec

Yellowstone Cellars and Winery seems to be one of Billings’ best kept secrets. When ever I ask anybody about it, they always come back with an answer similar to, “Yeah I have heard of it, but never tried any of their wines”. Whats up with that Billings?? Clint Peck, the owner and vintner, has been making world class wines right in our own back yard. Why should our palates remain ignorant to his hand crafted wines?

Clint was recently bestowed an honor from Wine Spectator. They are the wine “connoisseurs” who give a numerical rating to wines from around the world. Clint’s 2010 Malbec was given an 88. This is a great number that needs to be looked at in context- a 85-89 Very good: a wine with special qualities, while a 90-94 is Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style. Very few wines EVER make it above a 94. I have tasted many wines in the 85-89 range and Clint should consider himself in good company. The bad news is the 2010 vintage is sold out (so if you have a bottle sitting around hold on to it and age it another couple years in proper cellar conditions). But the good news is that the 2011 malbec is out now. But enough about Clint and his accolades- how does it taste? Does the 2011 do justice to the 2010?? A glass of wine? Don’t mind if I do!

Appearance- Beautiful deep red, akin to a dark red cherry juice. Crystal clear with some noticeable alcohol legs coming off of the glass

Aroma- This wine needs to breathe, don’t be afraid to swirl this one a while, as the aroma changes with the time exposed to oxygen. It starts off very fruit forward- black cherry, super ripe raspberry. As it ‘warms up’, the spice notes are somewhat noticeable.

Taste- This is a malbec through and through. A very easy drinking medium bodied red wine with heavy fruit and spice notes. The fruit is definatly the star of this show. There is some tannin present (the dryness often associated with red wines), but this is not over the top. You need some tannin in a wine like this to stand up to the fruit forwardness of a malbec. The peppery spice is a fantastic compliment to this wine, with notes of black pepper, coriander, and even some clove.

Overall- A very complex red wine that is way too easy to drink. As I was sitting at the tasting room (1335 Holiday Circle, kind of behind the Holiday Inn) I kept telling the nice folks sitting next to me, “Every sip of this wine I take, the more and more I want a big ol’ steak, or a nice rack of lamb”, they emphatically agreed as they were as happy drinking it as I was. It would go excellently with either of those (and since I am talking food, I am gonna try this in the next Coq au Vin I make…. just saying….). Clint always has a selection of different wines for different occasions. So next time your meal planning, don’t forget the LOCAL wine to go with your dish.

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by jake
Jake is the well-bearded Head Distiller at Trailhead Spirits, and he is also the President of the Rimrock Brewers Guild. His passion for craft brewed beer, hand crafted wines, or signature cocktails is evident as he is always on the looking for the next best thing. Jake is a local Billings guy, who graduated from Skyview in 2004. You can often find him scouring the area for creative interpretations of local libations, down at the distillery working on his latest concoction, or judging a local homebrew competition. His favorite beer? A full pint!

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