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Cougar Collector Wine

Summer 2023

Cougar X winemaker Cameron Rushton (and his wine tasting tips)

Cameron Rushton is happy to sip other winemakers’ whites. But when it comes to crafting his own wine, he sticks to his specialty: robust reds.

Rushton (’10 Hort.), co-owner and assistant winemaker at Five Star Cellars in Walla Walla and creator of Cougar X, makes the wines he especially enjoys pairing with a juicy steak. Cabernet franc tops his list of varietals. Merlot is right up there, too. He also likes tempranillo, malbec, and sangiovese—big, bold, highly ageable reds.

“I don’t make a lot of white,” he says. “I’d rather drink everybody else’s”—Poet’s Leap by Long Shadows Vintners, for example. “I … » More …