Located in the same facility as Rasa Vineyards, Mackey Vineyards bar is on the opposite side of the entry from Rasa’s bar. (Both have lovely split wood bars supported by barrels that I am truly envious of.) Another pair of brothers, Philip and Roger Mackey, purchased a vineyard outside of Milton Freewater, Oregon in 2007 having decided to let go of their previous lives in California to raise vinifera grapes and make wine. Philip had tasting room duty when we came to visit.
Mackey Vineyard is approximately eight acres planted primarily to Syrah, with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier. They produce about one thousand cases with Billo Navarane, of Rasa Vineyards, as consulting winemaker.
Tasting four 2009 & 2010 red wines at this bar, I could keep up better with the information and the wine. Phil is easy-going and happy to be farming grapes and making wine at this point in his life. Working with Billo seems to suit then nicely as well.
We began with a 100% 2010 Syrah, followed immediately by a 2009 Rhone style blend of 77.4% Syrah with 12.9% Grenache and 9.7% Mourvedre called ‘Concordia’ (which is Latin for everything in harmony). A 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon blended with Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot tasted too much like green peppers for me, so my hubby enjoyed that one on his own. Finishing with a 2010 ‘Right Bank’ blend of 52.4% Merlot and 47.6% Cabernet Franc brought me back into the tasting. All of the wines were bold and complex; the acid and tannins present will allow them to age nicely.
As they are much lower production, Mackey Vineyard wines are available in Washington and Oregon, primarily Walla Walla Valley and the Portland/Seattle metro areas.