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Klipsun Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain is made from 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Malbec and 8% Syrah.
The 2017 vintage started out with a cool, wet winter, with significantly above average snowfall in eastern Washington. Red Mountain had a 24% increase in rainfall in 2017 over the 10 year average. Going into spring, the cool trend continued. As a result, bud break at Klipsun was behind the historical average and significantly behind the most recent warm vintages of 2013 2016. Bloom was also slightly delayed. Because of the cool weather, set was lighter than usual which translated into significantly less fruit in 2017.
The early part of the summer saw average temperatures followed by above average temperatures in July and August. As a result, he at accumulation was a bit above average for the season, despite the cool start. And because of the smaller than normal yield, harvest began right on schedule, perhaps even a bit early for some of the whites. In the second half of September, when Klipsun traditionally harvests all the reds, the temperatures cooled considerably, which delayed ripening. This allowed for luxurious amounts of hang time without the threat of increased sugar accumulation, stretching harvest into the first week of October. A s a result, all fruit going into the 2017 Klipsun Cabernet Sauvignon could be picked at perfect sugars levels with great fruit maturity and flavors. Overall, the quality of t he 2017 harvest is as high as the 2016. However, the style is slightly different. The 2017 wine has a firmer structure, more spice & mocha in the nose and will take a few mo re years than the 2016 to reach a perfect balance between fruit and tannin.
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain is composed of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Malbec and 8% Syrah, which immediately emanates with aromas of dark roasted espresso bean, toasted oak, dried tobacco and dusty black fruit tones of cassis, currant and blackberries covered in dark cocoa powder. Full-bodied, generous in complexity and still tight in the mouth, the wine unpacks layers of cedar and vanilla tones with dusty purple flowers and bitter dark chocolate across the mid-palate, giving way to fine-grained tannins that will loosen with time. As the wine sits on the palate, the 100% French oak regimen is on full display for all to see. The wine lingering long and continues to evolve in the mouth, ending with a drying finish that highlights the oak and terroir. It’s still a baby, and I would keep it in the cellar for another few years before popping the cork—this will effortlessly coast for more than a decade. The 2017 vintage marks the second release of this wine, with 6,300 bottles produced. It comes from its namesake vineyard, first planted in 1984 on Red Mountain. I’m keeping my eye on this producer. I’m impressed, and even though the oak may be a bit much at the moment, it's still delicious. - Wine Advocate 94+ Points
Klipsun has earned a reputation as one of Washington’s “First Growth” vineyards. We are driven to craft benchmark wines that express the nuance of our terroir at both its most raw and most refined. Small lots. Uncompromising standards. Sourced exclusively from our Red Mountain property. Each vintage is a testament to the land, the seasons and the meticulous craft that produced it. Klipsun: Only here.
Bernardins Beaumes de Venise Rouge Cru Cotes du Rhone is made from 65% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre and 5% Grenache Blanc.
Bright ruby color with cherry tinges. Complex black fruit aromas on the nose enhanced by spicy notes. Rounded palate with good length.
The wine is drinking well right now and can be kept for another 10 years.
Spreads out over the south-east side of the Dentelles de Montmirail hills, in Beaumes de Venise in the southern part of the Rhone valley.
On a poor sandy, hungry and arid soil consisting of tender limestone and gritty zones of sandy mollasse.
In the vineyard
The vineyards and their terroir are the essence of our wines. This is where everything starts and where we focus our efforts throughout the year. You can’t make great wine without great grapes.
The viticulture is essentially done by hand. Five people work full-time in the vineyards. They are supplemented by seasonal employees who work during bunch thinning and the harvest in order to bring out the very best in our vines. Working by hand and the attention each vine gets are fundamental. Pruning, de-budding, trellising, leaf removal and picking are thus carried out by hand with the utmost care.
We prepare the soil by using good old-fashioned ploughing. Organic compost is made from grape marc (the discarded stalks and skins).
As a way of protecting the plants, we only use phytosanitary products when necessary and within strict guidelines by staggering the treatments appropriately, to minimise the amount of chemicals used. We prefer to use as much as possible manual and organic techniques . Leaving natural grass cover, removing buds and leaves from the vines, preserving biodiversity around the vineyard: olive, almond and cypress trees, wild rosemary and capers.
We make two red wines at the estate. Terroir wines shaped by the two classic Côtes du Rhône varieties: Grenache and Syrah. We don’t follow any winemaking recipe but are constantly searching for the perfect expression of terroir and each vintage’s particular characteristics. We don’t go for overripe grapes and over-extraction, as we think the wine has to stay refreshing and balanced.
Leaving the wine for 15 days in concrete vats, we try to gently extract the tannins and anthocyanins essential for the wine’s structure and colour. The wine doesn’t come into any contact with wood during ageing. This way the characteristics of our terroir can fully express
Serve with a meal especially red meat, game and cheese.
This appellation, located just south of Gigondas, always produced a Provençal, spicy wine and the 2018 Beaumes De Venise is no exception, showing a ruby/purple hue, notes of herbes de Provence, ground pepper, and garrigue, loads of raspberry and blackberry fruits, medium-bodied richness, and a great finish. It’s an undeniably delicious, balanced, gulpable beauty to enjoy over the coming 3-5 years." - Jeb Dunnuck (October 2020), 90 pts
Booker Vertigo Red Blend is made from 55% Syrah, 25% Mourvedre, 20% Grenache.
Vertigo is our Syrah-heavy "G-S-M". It is spicy, structured, and always performs. The name is a nod to the steepness of the hillside on our estate where we grow the fruit for this wine. Starts with aromas of spice, dark chocolate and soft purple fruits on the nose. The palate surprises you with a touch of cayenne amongst juicy ripe fruit. We recommend making this your BBQ staple. Pair with pork ribs, bourbon chicken, or “bring on the bacon” to quote our tasting room team!
I loved the 2017 Vertigo from barrel, and it didn’t disappoint from bottle. A blend of 63% Syrah, 30% Mourvèdre, and the rest Grenache and Petite Sirah, brought up in 65% new French oak, this full-bodied, massively endowed 2017 has complex notes of blue fruits, blood orange, violets, and exotic spices. As with all Eric’s 2017s, it’s rich and concentrated yet has remarkable purity and elegance at the same time. It’s one of the finest GSM blends out there and will shine for at least 8-10 years. - Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points
Hightower Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain is made from 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot.
As Hightower Cellars' signature wine, Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic Red Mountain wine – bold and full of the flavors that make this region so special. As much as possible, Tim and Kelly Hightower take a non-interventionist approach to winemaking. They place great emphasis on vineyard selection, picking, pressing, and blending so that Hightower wines are naturally beautiful and free from pretense. They let the powerful and concentrated fruit from Red Mountain speak for itself. The result is a collection of well-balanced, nuanced wines that reveal something new and interesting each time you open a bottle.
Aromas of tart blueberry and lush red cherry dominate the nose, while firm tannins and full body lend structure to this inky, pigmented wine. The palate features notes of dark fruit, fresh cut wood, and dried tobacco. This wine is an excellent candidate for decanting, as the aromas evolve wonderfully over time to express softer, lush fruit and hints of herbs and spices.
Red Mountain AVA 100% (Hightower Estate Vineyard 56%, E&E Shaw Vineyard 44%)
New Oak 71%, Neutral Oak 29% (American 67%, French 11%, European 11%, Hungarian 11%)
Un-fined and un-filtered
Pairs with grilled red meat, fig and olive tapenade, bacon wrapped dates.
"Aromas of exotic spice, Craisins, dried thyme, black currant, vanilla and black licorice are out front. Fruit and barrel play off each other nicely on an elegant, cranberry-filled palate. It has a pleasing mouthwatering sense to it. - SEAN P. SULLIVAN" - Wine Enthusiast (January 2020), 90 pts
Murray Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain is made from 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10%, Merlot , 6% Malbec, 6%, Petit Verdot.
A beautiful ruby color, this wine is very fruity with lots of plum and just a hint of characteristic Red Mountain minerality. It is very smooth with a slight texture of tannin on the back. This wine is a real Cab crowd pleaser.
As much as possible, winemakers Tim and Kelly Hightower take a non-interventionist approach to winemaking. They place great emphasis on vineyard selection, picking, pressing, and blending so that Hightower wines are naturally beautiful and free from pretense. They let the powerful and concentrated fruit from Red Mountain speak for itself. The result is a collection of well-balanced, nuanced wines that reveal something new and interesting each time you open a bottle.
They age in the oak barrels until they are ready to bottle.Neutral Oak 52%, New Oak 48% (American 57%, Hungarian 15%, French 14%, European 14%).
After primary fermentation, all wines are pressed directly into 59 gallon oak barrels. Aging for 19 months.
Estate Vineyard 75%, Shaw Vineyard 21%, Red Willow 4%
Red Mountain AVA 100%
Passing Time Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc.
Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon reflects the essence of this famous appellation. It is broad-shouldered and deeply fruited, with classic Red Mountain structure promising a long life in the cellar.
Red Mountain Cabernet is renowned for its firm structure, ageability, and distinctive fruit profile. The 2018 Red Mountain Cabernet accentuates this character using older vines from two iconic vineyards, dating 25-35 years old. The result is a wine of profound depth and complexity featuring dark cherry and currant fruit, as well as crushed herbs and a hint of minerality. Red Mountain wines are known for their ability to cellar for years, and the 2018 vintage should ensure that this wine will be enjoyable for decades to come.
"Even better, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain is a more concentrated, powerful wine loaded with notions of chocolaty dark fruits, Asian spice, and classic Red Mountain rocky, savory minerality. It’s a big wine, yet it’s perfectly balanced, has stunning purity of fruit, and a great finish. I end my note on this wine with “Love it!”"
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 95-97 pts
Avennia Sestina Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc.
The story of this wine - The Sestina is an ancient form of poetry from Medieval France. Just as a modern poet can fill this form with new expressions, Avennia uses the traditional Bordeaux blend to express Washington. Sestina is their vision for an old vine, complex blend where all of the components complement each other. This wine is designed for the cellar, so the emphasis is on structure, balance, and complexity.
Winemaker Tasting Notes - “Good deep ruby/garnet color, with aromas of black cherry, fresh black currant, dark mocha, cigar box, and graphite. The palate is lively and dense with mountain berries, mocha, vanilla honey, damp earth, and wildflowers. The finish shows a distinct chalky minerality and beautiful tension. This is a classically balanced and ageworthy Sestina. Drink 2025-2040.” - Chris Peterson, Winemaker
"The Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated release from Peterson, the 2017 Sestina comes from the Red Willow, Bacchus, and Dionysus vineyards. Rocking levels of crème de cassis, sappy herbs, violets, and cedar pencil all flow to a full-bodied, incredibly pure, polished 2017 that offers flawless balance, ripe tannins, and a great, great finish. It's more approachable than normal yet is still going to evolve for 15 to 20 years. The blend is 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, all raised 20 months in 50% new French oak."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 95 pts
Betz Family Cabernet Sauvignon Pere de Famille 2017 is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest is Petit Verdot and Merlot.
Medium ruby. Vibrant aromas of black fruits, violet and pepper. Densely packed and plush but also sharply delineated, with the intense black fruit and saline mineral flavors boasting terrific inner-mouth perfume; there's also an exhilarating element of wildness here. As sappy as this powerful, gripping Cabernet is, it also hints at an almost candied sweetness. (Winemaker Skinner feels that the vinification in concrete was conducive for rounding out the structure of the Red Mountain fruit in this vintage and added that the year of aging in neutral oak helped the wine's texture and allowed its fruit to come through.) Spreads out horizontally to saturate the palate on the back end, finishing with broad, dusty tannins. This wine too is plusher and more concentrated than the 2016 version. (13.8% alcohol; two-thirds fermented in concrete; aging began in 75% new oak but the wine was moved into neutral barriques for a final 12 months)
- Stephen Tanzer 95 Points
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Merlot, the 2017 Pere de Famille has a rich nose of black fruit and a structured, chewy core. Medium-bodied and dense on the palate, the wine shows an impeccable balance and steadily growing tannins on the back of the mid-palate. Soft purple flowers evolve with the robust expression while still in the mouth, and the finish is bold and precise—the flavors persist with great complexity long after the wine has left the mouth. This is an age-worthy wine with 13.8% alcohol and nice balance. 1,100 cases of this simply stunning wine were made. It's a delicious wine, and I highly recommend it.
-Wine Advocate 95 Points
Cardinale Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot.
Cardinale offers the same winning combination in vinous form: a brilliant ensemble of celebrated Napa Valley vineyards where each brings its own personality and flavor contributions to create a singular storyline of their vintage. The 2017 has the signature structure of Cardinale and showcases Asian spice, blackberries, sweet black cherry, a touch of cedar, and a lush tannin expression that carries on the tradition of this wine at the highest level.
Winemaker CHRISTOPHER CARPENTER
A resounding success for the year, the 2017 Cardinale is truly impressive. It is also one of the most refined young wines I have tasted here. In most vintages, Cardinale is predominantly made from mountain sites, but the 2017 is roughly equal parts mountain and valley floor fruit. Inky blue/purplish fruit, white flowers, lavender and mint all build in the glass. Lifted and beautifully perfumed, the 2017 is exceptionally polished.
-- Antonio Galloni 97 Points
There was no Wallis vineyard fruit used this vintage. Very deep purple-black colored, the 2017 Cardinale charges out of the glass with notes of fresh blackcurrants, blackberries and Black Forest cake plus hints of menthol, cardamom, baking spices and lilacs plus a waft of cigar box. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is built like a brick house with firm, grainy, ripe tannins and fantastic freshness supporting the taut, muscular black fruits, finishing long and mineral laced. 1,440 cases produced.
-Wine Advocate 96 Points
A blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot from throughout the valley that was brought up in 80% new French oak, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is dominated by its Stags Leap fruit (which is 30% of the blend) and has the classic elegance and spicy character of that district as well as great red and blue fruits, a seamless, building mid-palate, ripe yet present tannins, and ample tobacco, earth, and spice aromas and flavors. It's plush and textured on the palate yet has the structure to evolve for two decades.
-Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
Tasting Note: This very aromatic Syrah has hints of black pepper, dark berries and herbs and a bloody, earthy character on the nose. The palate is full-bodied with velvety but structured tannins and a balanced natural acidity. The finish is fresh, long and supple. Best served at 16 to 18 °C, this wine will greatly benefit from decanting when drunk within the first 3 to 5 years after bottling.
Andrea Mullineux told me that their debut 2012 Mullineux Iron Syrah has been the hardest cru to fine-tune over the years. Indeed, it has been trialed since 2005 but never bottled...until now. "We have been working hard to perfect the acidity here and it's been important to get life into the soil, getting the vineyard healthy, so that it can be picked with good acidity. Because it is dry farmed, in a space of three days, it can god from 22 to 26 Brix – so picking decision is critical," she said. It has a subtle marine influence coming through on the nose with macerated black cherries, boysenberry jam and touches of iodine. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite grainy tannins, very nicely poised with touches of fig and marmalade towards the slightly saline finish. This is a strong debut to form the trio of Syrah single "terroir" offerings.
"The 2013 Iron Syrah has a roundness and softness on the nose that almost belies its complexity - red berry fruit, red peppercorns, rooibos and undergrowth scents that are very well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, wonderfully savory and quite gamey, and beautifully balanced with impressive volume and sustain on the finish that you would have difficult distinguishing from a top Côte-Rôtie. This is an excellent Syrah, my only reservation being that there is a touch of heat on the finish. - Neal Martin"
- The Wine Advocate (erobertparker.com, November 2015), 93 pts
"Similar to the Schist Syrah in its weight and meatiness, the Iron Syrah offers a more elegant, immediate appeal. Dark red plum, smoked meat, and savory herbs are seamlessly integrated on a lush, juicy and firmly structured palate, finishing very very long."
- iwinereview.com (January 2016), 95 pts
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Annata Brunello di Montalcino is made from 100 percent Sangiovese.
The Biondi-Santi flagship wine, the Brunello di Montalcino embodies the spirit of Tenuta Greppo and the signature style of our winemakers, forged over 150 years of history with its balanced combination of fresh elegance, depth and aristocratic personality.
Underbrush, ripe berry, new leather and Mediterranean herb aromas slowly take shape in the glass. Showing youthful tension, the vibrant palate delivers red cherry, pomegranate, white pepper and pipe tobacco notes framed by bright acidity and taut, refined tannins. It already shows great balance and finesse but is still young and tight. Drink 2022–2035.
-Wine Enthusiast 96 Points