May 17, 2014

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Bombing Range Red 2010 from McKinley Springs

Located in Washington’s uniquely beautiful and bountiful Horse Heaven Hills AVA, McKinley Springs Winery produced the perfect value ($16) red blend for the upcoming barbeque season: 2010 Bombing Range Red.  Gorgeous cherry, raspberry and blackberry fruits with hints of brown spice and white pepper are highlighted by beautifully integrated tannins and nice acidity – making it a superb match to anything that comes off the grill, especially ribs, briskets and skirt steaks. It’s a wine that’s easy to love.

McKinley Springs Bombin Range Red

The perfect wine for the upcoming barbeque season that is easy to love for more reasons than one.

What’s more to love about this wine than its stellar characteristics and great price, is the fact that it’s a tribute to the U.S. military troops and was inspired by the history of the vineyard where the 2,000 acre estate was used as a training site for fighter pilots during World War II.  McKinley Springs has been producing the Bombing Range Red since 2005, and they recently redesigned the labels to reflect actual photos from World War II.  The 2010 Bombing Range Red has a photo of the U.S. P-40 Hawk fighter plane, and it’s a blend of 56% Syrah, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc and 10% Mourvèdre.

Recently named by Forbes as one of the six exciting wine regions to explore in 2014, Horse Heaven Hills, an area that boasts a very arid and often windy climate, is home to both large (Chateau Ste. Michelle) and small (McKinley Springs) wineries that have staked a claim to stellar big, bold reds.  Spending a few days in this area last summer afforded me the opportunity to explore a region that Forbes is definitely right on target about – it is without a doubt, exciting.  But it should also be noted that the wineries of the Horse Heaven Hills AVA are producing some seriously outstanding, high-quality wines.

Each June, McKinley Springs hosts an annual Barbeque Showdown and Benefit, which serves as a qualifier for Jack Daniel’s World Championship. This year, the winery is adding a preceding two-day extravaganza (June 5-6) with celebrity chef classes by TV host and author, Cee Dubs, where he’ll share his Dutch oven techniques.  Wine lovers and outdoor cooking nuts alike will enjoy these two unique opportunities to visit the Horse Heaven Hills.


Looking out over the McKinley Springs property from the tasting room in Horse Heaven Hills

Now in its seventh year, the June 14, 2014 Barbeque Showdown and Benefit will feature 29 teams from the Pacific Northwest and Canada; along with, entertainment by Lee Koch, a 2011 contestant on the hit television show, “The Voice.”  Event proceeds benefit Guardians of Freedom Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing clothing and daily essentials to walking wounded soldiers currently serving in Kandahar Air Field, Camp Leatherneck and Kabul, Afghanistan.

This year’s barbeque events will feature the McKinley Springs Bombing Range wine series including the 2010 Bombing Range Red blend and the 2012 Bombing Range White blend ($14).

For more details on the barbecue and to purchase tickets, please visit


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