ESTATE GROWN — Columbia Valley
• COMPOSITION: 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 9% Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot
• AGING: 22 months in barrel with 40% new French oak
• pH: 3.85
• TA: 5.7 g / L
• ALCOHOL: 13.8%
• PRODUCTION: 303 cases
Hot and uneventful describes the 2014 growing season, just the way we like it. 2014 kicked off with a mild late winter rolling into a pleasant warm spring with very few frost events. Bud break occurred about he 10th of April, a little early but not unusual, and from there we were off to the races. Heat built quick with a much warmer than average late spring and stayed hot into mid-September. This set us up to declare 2014 the hottest vintage in our 30+ years of farming along the Snake River. Harvest started with Chardonnay on September 10th, just as the heat of summer was transitioning to a mild Fall, and by November 10th the last of the red fruit was in the door. From there winter came charging in and on November 15th the temperature had dipped in to the low double digits and we were harvesting frozen clusters of Gewürztraminer for ice wine.
The key to Tradition has always been blending–selecting unique expressions from our vineyard that, when combined, create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Our 2014 Tradition is no exception, after 12 months of individual aging, the finest and most expressive barrels are then chosen and blended and returned to barrel for further maturation. The finished wine is bottled about 22 months from the date it was harvested.
The pleasing aromas of this complex wine take one on a journey. One imagines blackberries and boysenberries warmed and kissed by the sun, tobacco leaves hanging to be dried and the lovely scents of a lusciously spiced dessert baking in the oven. The palate completes these images as the dark fruit flavors along with rich deep chocolate, caramel, dried sage and a smokiness linger on. The soft tannins of the wine give a long, smooth finish.