ESTATE GROWN — Columbia Valley
• COMPOSITION: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 8% Syrah
• pH: 3.82
• TA: 0.62g / 100 ml
• ALCOHOL: 13.5%
• PRODUCTION: 1,201 six-paks
Blessed with a summer of ample sunshine, our grapes matured beautifully. A late August cooling delayed our harvest by almost 3 weeks. The additional time hanging on the vines gave us the deeply concentrated flavors necessary for a great wine like Tradition.
After picking, our Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah grapes were gently crushed into our stainless steel fermenting tanks here at the winery. The skins and juice were allowed to cold soak for a number of days before we added the cultured yeast, creating darker colors and enhancing the ripeness of the flavors. After fermentation was complete, the wine was drawn off and the skins were pressed. All of the finished wine was aged in small, mostly French oak barrels for 20 months. We then sampled each barrel, and chose only the very finest wines of the vintage for inclusion in Tradition. Each year we begin the blend of Tradition with the optimal combination of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. For the 2005 vintage, 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot provided a rich supple wine with firm tannins. We then added a small amount of Syrah to enhance Tradition with layers of depth and complexity. The key to Tradition is that no one grape dominates in taste or texture–instead, all three come together in a harmonious union. After blending, we returned the wine to once-used barrels for an additional 2 years of aging. These long months in barrel allows the three wines to come together as one, and imparts a subtle note of additional oak. Finally, after bottling the wine, we hold Tradition for over a year in our cellars for development of superior bottle bouquet.
Deep garnet in color, this wine opens with rich aromas of raspberry, choke cherry and hints of loamy earth. As the wine breathes in the fresh air, pipe tobacco and cedar waft from the glass while floral notes dance around the outside. The entry on the 2005 Tradition is soft and silky, rolling into firm yet fine grain tannins combined with absolutely luscious mouth feel. The three grapes blend together seamlessly providing layer upon layer of ripe fruit flavors. The wine continues on to a lingering finish of gently toasted oak with faint hints of vanilla—an experience to be savored!