The Hogue family planted its fi rst vineyard over 30 years ago and soon realized that Washington’s climate and soils had the potential to nurture world-class wines. The Hogue Cellars mission has always been to make wines that fulfill the promise of the land, using superior viticulture and winemaking techniques.
The 2015 vintage of Genesis Meritage captures the best qualities of its components: Merlot brings black cherry fruit and a supple quality to the wine, while Malbec adds full-bodied complexity. Cabernet Sauvignon gives the wine its structure, and Petit Verdot contributes dense, dark fruit. Flavors are of rich black cherry, spicy oak, and a touch of orange zest, with vanilla spice on the finish. Tannins are moderate. Serve with braised short ribs, rosemary-herbed lamb chops, or grilled T-bone steak.
Vintage and Vineyards
The 2015 growing season was extremely warm in Eastern Washington. Grapevines responded to the high heat loads by shutting down, resulting in a slightly early harvest. The grapes showed relatively high pH and low TA levels for the small amount of sugar accumulation. Low levels of noble rot made for a deliciously fresh, fruit-driven wine. We selected fruit from Horse Heaven Hills (43%) and Wahluke Slope (13%), Columbia Valley regions where summers are often extremely dry, windy, and warm—ideal conditions for producing richly flavored, well-structured Cabernet Sauvignon. In Yakima Valley vineyards (44%), conditions were slightly cooler, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly and retain bright acidity.
The grapes were harvested mid-day to late afternoon, destemmed and crushed, and fermented warm (86°F on average) in stainless steel. After primary and malolactic fermentation, the wines were racked to barrels to age for 12 months. A quarter of the blend was aged in new American oak. The wines were blended and then bottled in September 2017.