News & Events
The Latest News at Hightower
As Benton County reopens to Modified Phase 1, we are thrilled to be able to host people at the winery again! Our offerings are now all seated, including wine flights, glass pours, and bottle purchases. This allows us to maintain safe distances between customers and minimize contact with our staff, but also gives you the opportunity to relax, enjoy the wine, and take in the view! To better facilitate this, we are now staying open until 6pm on Saturdays.
When you plan your visit, we recommend using our new reservation system HERE. Reservations are not required, but seating is limited. Visit the Benton Franklin Health District website for more information on local COVID-related requirements.
Despite the disruption to our tasting room operations this year, wine production, wine competitions, and review tastings have continued behind the scenes. We have received several new reviews we're proud of. Some highlights: the 2017 Merlot was awarded Best In Class at the Seattle Wine Awards and our 2018 Murray Cabernet Sauvignon earned a Double Gold at the Bellingham Wine Festival! Our Wine Club members can call or email us to take advantage of their early access to the 2017 Merlot, but the 2018 Murray Cabernet Sauvignon is available today. Get your bottle HERE!
Some new reviews have been published, and we are so proud of how our wines have performed!
Our 2016 Hightower Reserve received accolades from two publications:
"Blackberries and black olives with hints of dried flowers follow through to a full body, round and velvety tannins and a juicy, delicious finish. Lots of fruit at the end, yet remains focused and structured."
94 Points, James Suckling
"Tightly wound, expressive and structured, with blackberry, stony mineral and dusty herb flavors that build toward broad-shouldered tannins."
91 Points, Wine Spectator
The 2016 Hightower Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016 Hightower Merlot, and the 2015 Hightower Estate each earned 92 points from James Suckling.
Don't count out the Murray brand, though, because the 2017 Murray Cabernet Sauvignon earned 90 points from Wine Spectator!
Get your own taste of these outstanding wines HERE.
We are thrilled to announce that we have received new scores from Wine Spectator!
2016 Red Mountain Reserve, 91 points
"Tightly wound, expressive and structured, with blackberry, stony mineral and dusty herb flavors that build toward broad-shouldered tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2021 through 2028."
2017 Murray Cabernet Sauvignon, 90 points
"Structured and tightly focused, with dense currant and black olive flavors, laced with stony minerality and built toward fine-grained tannins. Best from 2021 through 2028."
We are trying to navigate these chaotic and troublesome times - keeping the health and safety of the community, our customers, and staff paramount - while still trying to make our wines available to you.
When we started our winery in 1997, we knew we were not going to save lives, but we did want to make people's lives better. With difficult times like these we think it is even more important to cherish your loved ones, show kindness to all, and enjoy some of life's small pleasures, like good wine.
Here at Hightower we are following the CDC's recommended procedures, including extended hand washing or sanitizing, regular sanitizing of high-touch surfaces, social distancing, extra cleaning, and wearing nitrile gloves when packing up shipments.
Wine-wise we want to make buying our wine safe and convenient for you, so:
- Our tasting room will be open for wine pickups and purchases, but not tastings.
- You can place an order on our website or contact us directly at 509-588-2867 or email@example.com
- Quarantine special on our Murray red wines - 25% off full retail.
- We can do curbside pickups - please call or text us at 509-588-2867 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- White "rubber" glove delivery service to the Tri-Cities and Benton City areas for orders of six or more bottles and free shipping on orders over $150
Thank you for bearing with us as we sail these uncharted waters and please stay tuned for further developments as there is nothing so constant as change!
Cheers and stay healthy!
Tim & Kelly Hightower and the Hightower crew
We're flattered to once again be featured on the Washington's Top Ten Reds list by Compass Wines in Anacortes, WA! They have chosen our 2017 Out of Line Cabernet Franc, calling it "beautiful and graceful, with a very European edge. Yet one more delicious wine from Hightower."
This wine can warm you up on cool, crisp nights, or pair perfectly with summer evenings eating lamb straight off the grill. Get yours today!
Thank you everyone who came out for this years Red Wine and Chocolate weekend, sponsored by Wine Yakima Valley!
Since we were celebrating American Heart Month, we had a blast teaching our guests about olive oil from Durant Olive Mill as our special experience. Everyone was sent home with a recipe for Chocolate Olive Oil Cake, which our staff laboriously taste-tested before deeming worthy.
Did you make the recipe?
Wow! We're honored to have earned two Platinum awards this year from the 20th annual Platinum Awards by WinePress NW!
2015 Hightower Cellars Estate: "This signals the second year in that Tim and Kelly Hightower have earned a Platinum for their Estate Red program, and the 2015 vintage shows a similar sense of balance to the 2014. Cabernet Sauvignon (50%,) Cab Franc (17%), Petit Verdot (17%) and Malbec — all from their Out of Line Vineyard — bring wild berries and a suggestion of flint in the nose. Dense yet lithe berries and plums meld as savory olive tapenade and warm toast notes lead out with a trace of orange peel." Award: Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition (gold).
2015 Hightower Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon: "The Hightowers share the winemaking duties, and their blend of estate fruit with that of nearby E&E Shaw Vineyard produced one of the six examples of Cabernet Sauvignon made from Red Mountain grapes to earn a Platinum in 2019. Their gentle treatment exhibits the ripeness that Red Mountain is known for as blackberry and boysenberry notes come with a pinch of sweet herbs and supreme balance that Hightower reds are known for." Award: Seattle Wine Awards (gold)
Unfortunately, we are sold out of the 2015 Cab at the tasting room, but if you'd like to try the 2015 Estate, get yours today!
We have opened our presents, rung in the New Year, and now Hightower Cellars is returning to normal hours! We are open 11-5pm, Thursday through Monday. Come taste with us!
Can't come in? Shop online!
What an honor to be included in the Winter 2019 Top Picks section of Washington Tasting Room Magazine! Pick up a copy of your own at our tasting room, there are a ton of great food pairing recommendations as well as several categories of top wine picks. See the full text of the review below:
Left Bank... Right Bank... you can bank on these red Bordeaux style wines to impress when serving classics like roast beef, filet mignon or prime rib au jus.
Hightower Cellars 2016 Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
An elegant version, streaked with tobacco and hints of earth and smoke that underpin layers of violet, juicy red and black fruit and cocoa. Firm, fine tannins edge through the finish, highlighted with dried herbs of rosemary and sage.
Recommended with: Mission fig and kalamata olive tapenade, bacon wrapped dates with manchego cheese
Looking for wine to bring to Thanksgiving Dinner? Come taste at Thanksgiving In Wine Country at the Walter Clore Wine & Culinary Center today! You’ll find Hightower Cellars and other Wine Yakima Valley wineries ready to help you find the perfect pairing for all of your holiday meals. 🍷🍗🥧🍷
We're also here for you at our tasting room on Red Mountain, Thursday-Monday from 11-5pm.
We were so happy to host our wine club members and their guests at our Out-Of-Line Vineyard Party, celebrating the end of summer and beginning of harvest season! Thank you to everyone who came out, we thoroughly enjoyed your company and couldn't have asked for better evening to share with you.
Now, on to Harvest 2019!
This month, we are proud to launch the 2015 vintage of our Hightower Red Mountain Estate wine! This blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Petit Verdot, 17% Malbec, and 16% Cabernet Franc is a beautiful wine with lush mouthfeel, ripe, dark fruit flavors, and a smooth finish. Having already been scored 90 points by the International Wine Review, we're looking forward to sharing this vintage with you next time you come visit!
The 2015 Hightower Red Mountain Estate is available now in the tasting room or in our online store. Cheers!
And just like that, the 2015 Murray Syrah is SOLD OUT. Please join us in welcoming our 2016 Murray Syrah to the tasting room lineup; come taste our newest vintage release today!
Didn't know we have two brands? The Murray brand was launched in 2006 to allow us to use all of the wine we make that doesn't end up in a Hightower blend. At first there was just the Murray Cuvée (now called Murray Red Wine), then we added the Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon wines to the portfolio. These wines are made with the same gentle techniques and from the same high quality fruit as our Hightower brand, the only differences are in the more diverse flavor profiles and more efficient packaging. Give Murray wines a try next time you see them!
The results from the April tasting at JamesSuckling.com are in, and we're excited to say that our 2015 Hightower Red Mountain Reserve earned 93pts, 2015 Hightower Cabernet Sauvignon earned 91pts, and our 2015 Hightower Merlot earned 90pts! The full reviews are hosted HERE, and we have included the text below.
2015 Hightower Reserve: "There’s a sense of polish and depth here with ripe dark cherries and chocolate on the nose. The palate is smoothly arranged in a long, fresh style that offers a wealth of potential. A blend of 86% cabernet sauvignon and 14% malbec. Drink or hold." 93pts
2015 Hightower Cabernet Sauvignon: "A very ripe and somewhat earthy nose with rich dark-berry and plum-cake aromas that lead to a cassis-flavored palate that has long, succulent fruit presence. A blend of 85% cabernet sauvignon 8% malbec and 7% cabernet franc. Drink in the next six years." 91pts
2015 Hightower Merlot: "A brambly array of redcurrants, cassis and poached red plums, laced with herbal, sappy notes. The palate has a smooth array of fine, supple tannins that are riper through the finish. 91% merlot and 9% cabernet sauvignon. Drink in the next five years." 90 pts
Don't already have these wines at home? We've got you covered! All three of these wines are available to taste and purchase at the tasting room.
The Vino-Sphere blog just published a wonderful review of their recent visit to Red Mountain and spoke highly of our wines here at Hightower Cellars! We really enjoyed hosting them at the winery and are glad they enjoyed our wines. Our favorite mention from the post:
"The 2015 Red Mountain Reserve is made with the best barrels from the vintage. It is unfiltered and unfined and gets aging in mostly new oak. The Reserve has 14% Malbec, which adds refinement to the concentrated flavors of the Red Mountain Cab. It has swirls of black currant, wild cherry, cocoa and oak. At $55, this was one of the top wines tasted during our recent tour of Washington."
- Dave Nershi, CSW
The Murray Rosé, Murray Cabernet Sauvignon, and Hightower Merlot were also favorably mentioned. Our neighbors at Kiona got a great feature about their Lemberger and Chenin Blanc, as well, which are a significant part of the history of Red Mountain as a wine growing region.
The 2019 Paella Party was a great success, pairing delicious food and wine with good conversation and gorgeous weather! Wine club members from across the state joined us, inlcuding some who "dropped by" on their way home from vacation in Ashland, OR. (Whats 8 or 9 hours when paella is involved?) Chefs Frank and Tricia Magaña put together a fantastic meal, from the robust paella all the way down to the bite-sized chocolate and honey brittle dessert. Join us next year for your chance at tasting their work!
Jeb Dunnuck recently reviewed several Hightower Wines and we are thrilled to announce that both the 2015 Hightower Reserve and 2014 Hightower Estate wines received 90 point ratings! Our 2015 Hightower Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015 Hightower Merlot, and 2015 Murray Syrah were also reviewed, head to our Acclaim section to see what he loved about them!
The 2018 vintage of Murray Rosé was released in style with friends old and new! The cherry trees blossomed just in time to give us appropriately colored decor, and the weather allowed us to sip wine on the patio.
Join us at the winery to taste the 2018 Murray Rosé, or purchase it online now!
The March 2019 issue of The International Wine Review is titled "The Wines of Washington State Revisited" and featured wonderful coverage of our collective progress as an industry since the last Washington-focused issue in 2013. In this issue, Hightower Cellars was named as one of the top Cabernet Sauvignon producers! We are proud to be among such esteemed company as Force Majeure, DeLille Cellars, and Leonetti Cellars.
We also received 90+ reviews on four wines from our 2015 vintage!
- Hightower Cellars 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 91
- Hightower Cellars 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Red Mountain 92
- Hightower Cellars 2015 Estate Red Red Mountain 90
- Hightower Cellars 2015 Syrah Murray Vineyard Red Mountain 91
Wine Club members are receiving our 2015 Reserve and 2015 Cab Sauvignon in their Spring shipments and the 2015 Estate will be released later this year.
Our first ever End of Summer Barbecue was a big success! With Porter's Real Barbecue, the Skyler Mendell Quartet, a beautiful summer sunset, and plenty of wine, we couldn't have asked for a better Labor Day weekend party. Thank you to everyone who came out to the winery and helped celebrate the end of summer with us!
Reviewing our newest release, The Wine Advocate wrote, "Revealing aromas of dark fruit, pungent cracked pepper, and black olive, the 2015 Murray Syrah is supple, juicy, and medium-bodied, with considerable flavor and character."
Internationally acclaimed wine critic James Suckling recently conducted a tasting of Washington State wines, including 5 Hightower and 1 Murray wine. He seems to have liked what he saw (or rather, tasted):
- 2014 Hightower Reserve 93 Points
- 2015 Hightower Petit Verdot 92 Points
- 2015 Hightower Malbec 90 Points
- 2014 Hightower Cab Sauv 91 Points
The four wines above were recent wine club releases. We are sold out of the Reserve and the Malbec, but do have some Cabernet and a couple cases of the Petit Verdot left.
Both our 2014 Hightower Cabernet Sauvignon and 2015 Murray Cabernet Sauvignon won gold medals in the 2018 Cascadia International Wine Competition, with our Hightower Cab Sauv winning a double gold! Thank you to Great Northwest Wine! For more information about the competition, go to greatnorthwestwine.com.
Our 2014 Hightower Cabernet Sauvignon took a Double Gold at 2018 Seattle Wine Awards in April! The 2014 Murray Cuvée and 2015 Murray Cabernet Sauvignon took Golds as well. For more information about the Seattle Wine Awards, go to seattlewineawards.tastenw.com.
And what a great idea it was! Here we are, celebrating 20 years! The winery is almost old enough to drink!