Eastern Washington’s warm days and cool nights provide the perfect conditions for producing Cabernet Sauvignon that is rich and complex. The 2016 season proved to be an excellent year for Cabernet, and the resultant wine is silky smooth and nicely balanced. It offers up a bouquet of black cherry, spicy oak, and tobacco, with sassafras and cassis notes. The palate is soft and creamy with cassis, black cherry, and toasty oak. Pair with pork roast, barbecued baby back ribs, or grilled sausages.
Vintage and Vineyards
The 2016 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 during the day to build heat for warm, effective macerations. The fruit was destemmed and crushed into stainless steel tanks. The new wine was racked immediately after dryness and inoculated for malolactic fermentation. Over the course of a year, the winemakers tasted and blended the lots to carefully craft the final product, which was bottled between February and June 2017.