Wine Spectator – 88 Points
“Smooth and spicy, with black olive and sage overtones to the ripe cherry flavors that linger on the finish, Framed by toasty oak. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now through 2011.”
Wine Enthusiast – 87 Points, BEST BUY
“It’s a Cab-Merlot blend, soft and made in a forward, fruit-friendly style. Dark, ripe and flavorful, it is finished with a bit of residual sweetness, welcome in a wine made for early, everyday drinking. The fruit is right up front and quite tasty, and the wine lingers in the back of the palate for a satisfying finish.”
Columbia Valley, Red Wine
• COMPOSITION: 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Merlot
• AGED: 18 months in American and French oak
2003 was an ideal growing season. Spring conditions led to an even bud break and the absence of rain made for a beautiful fruit set. Summer temperatures were above average and rainfall was below average, resulting in very even and predictable ripening. Very warm September temperatures led to full ripe flavors in the fruit.
The grapes were harvested from two different vineyards. The Cabernet Sauvignon came from the Wahluke Slope giving us higher heat units which create riper fruit flavors; the Merlot grapes came from Gordon Brothers Vineyard on the Snake river.
The grapes were gently crushed into open top stainless steel fermentation tanks. The skins and juice were allowed to “cold soak” for a number of days prior to the addition of cultured yeast. This process creates darker colors and enhances the ripeness of flavors. After fermentation was completed, the finished wine was drawn off and the skins were pressed. 100% of the vintage was aged in small oak barrels, being American and French oak, for 18 months. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot were aged separately but the final blend consists of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Merlot.
A very approachable wine with aromas of black cherry, cassis and rose pedals, a nice well rounded mouth feel and leaving you with a smooth lingering finish with undertones of cedar and toasty oak. This wine is very food friendly and would go well with any meat or pasta dishes.