Owner and winemaker Larry Krivoshein began making wine at his home in eastern Washington twenty years ago. His early wines were under the “Digger” label, a nod to his nickname from his days as a funeral director. Russell Creek Winery, named after a stream located by Krivoshein’s farm, was bonded in 1998. The winery is located in the airport region of Walla Walla, Washington.

Russell Creek devotes itself almost exclusively to single varietal wines, a Sangiovese – their biggest seller – a Cabernet, a Merlot, a Syrah, and series of “Winemaker’s Select” wines of these varietals. The Tributary Red is the only red blend the winery makes.

The Tributary Red has consistently received high marks from Wine Spectator – 2004 (91); 2003 (89); 2002 (91); 2001 (90) – especially for a $20 wine. I liked the 2006 Tributary quite a bit. I thought that it had a good deal going on in terms of both the nose and the taste. I gave the wine a + as opposed to a * because I did not think all of those things were completely in balance. I decanted the wine for an hour plus without significant changes, although a bit of an herbal component started to come through. Overall, a fun, enjoyable wine and a good wine for the money.

For this virtual tasting, I also did a live tasting as well which was a lot of fun. Hopefully we will get some of those notes up soon.







Russell Creek Winery Tributary Red 2006

On first pour, spice mixed with chocolate and black pepper. As the wine opens up, the chocolate comes off and stewed plum and sweet currant dominates. On the taste, the wine coats the palette and has a nice mouth feel with a lot of dried fruit flavors. The wine is fairly astringent and has a touch more alcohol on it than I care for. Tasted at 65 degrees. 56% Cabernet; 44% Merlot. 14.1% alcohol. 1,700 cases produced.

Where: Purchased at Pete’s for $18.70. Esquin, Pete’s Bellevue