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Wine from Washington

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Wine from Washington

Washington state is the second largest wine producer in the United States and has over 43,000 acres of vineyards. Cinsault grapes were originally brought to Washington by Italian immigrants. Because of this, the Walla Walla Region. The two biggest wineries, Columbia and Chateau Ste Michelle, were founded in the 1950's, and 1960’s.

The long days filled with sunlight, along with the consistent temperatures, are what influences the vines in the vineyards.

Washington is divided vitculturally and geographically and is divided into sections that separate the Cascade Mountain chain. Western Washington produces less than 1% of the wine in Washington mainly due to the wet conditions in Tacoma, Olympia, and Seattle.

Andrew Will, Chateau Ste Michelle, and Quilceda Creek are some of the wineries that actually have wine production on the premises in the western part of Washington.

The Willridge Winery, along with other city wineries, is located in Seattle. Most of the grapes come from Eastern Washington, which is much drier and warmer.

The Columbia Valley is home to several small AVA’s that include Red Mountain, Horse Heaven Hills, Walla Wall Valley, Yakima Valle, Snipes Mountain, and Rattlesnake Hills. Two other AVA’s are pending and include the Ancient Lakes and another located near Wenatchee on the Columbia River. One of the newest AVA’s in Washington is on the western side of Central Washington.

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Betz Family Clos de Betz 2013

Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot

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Washington southern Rhone varieties continue their winning streak, proving to excel in cool and hot vintages. Fans of this
Southern Rhone-inspired wine will note that there’s no Counoise in the 2012 blend as there has been in recent vintages; that variety ripened fine, but they lacked the penetrating character needed to complement the final wine. The Mourvedre fraction (15%) stepped through in the wine, making the 2012 deeper, more structured yet finely layered. Grenache (50%) still dominates the blend, with its creamy black raspberry, wild dried strawberry, dried herbs and floral notes. Cinsault (20%) fills in with its dusty blue notes, and Yakima Valley Syrah (15%) provides more backbone. This is a Bésoleil for the cellar, dense and full, and a few years of aging will expand its Chateauneuf-like appeal.

"The only other 2013 reviewed on this go around (most were reviewed last year), the 2013 Clos de Betz checks in as a blend of 63% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Petit Verdot, mostly from Red Mountain and Yakima Valley, that spent 19 months in French oak. Sexy, supple, perfumed and beautifully complex, with notes of currants, dried flowers and an almost garrigue like perfume, this full-bodied beauty is already impossible to resist, yet will absolutely cruise for another 10-15 years. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 94 pts

 Wine Advocate: 94
Betz Family Clos de Betz 2015

Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot

Washington southern Rhone varieties continue their winning streak, proving to excel in cool and hot vintages. Fans of thisSouthern Rhone-inspired wine will note that there’s no Counoise in the 2012 blend as there has been in recent vintages; that variety ripened fine, but they lacked the penetrating character needed to complement the final wine. The Mourvedre fraction (15%) stepped through in the wine, making the 2012 deeper, more structured yet finely layered. Grenache (50%) still dominates the blend, with its creamy black raspberry, wild dried strawberry, dried herbs and floral notes. Cinsault (20%) fills in with its dusty blue notes, and Yakima Valley Syrah (15%) provides more backbone. This is a Bésoleil for the cellar, dense and full, and a few years of aging will expand its Chateauneuf-like appeal.



Review:

The 2015 Clos de Betz is a blend of 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot. Offering up aromas of blackcurrants, crème de cassis, licorice, incense and rich soil tones, it's full-bodied, layered and velvety, with super concentration and depth, fine-grained structuring tannins and a long, youthfully chewy finish. The structural refinement and detail are indicative of Betz's thoughtful approach to the challenges of the 2015 vintage.

-Wine Advocate 95 Points

 Wine Advocate: 95
Betz Family Clos de Betz 2017

Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot

Washington southern Rhone varieties continue their winning streak, proving to excel in cool and hot vintages. Fans of thisSouthern Rhone-inspired wine will note that there’s no Counoise in the 2012 blend as there has been in recent vintages; that variety ripened fine, but they lacked the penetrating character needed to complement the final wine. The Mourvedre fraction (15%) stepped through in the wine, making the 2012 deeper, more structured yet finely layered. Grenache (50%) still dominates the blend, with its creamy black raspberry, wild dried strawberry, dried herbs and floral notes. Cinsault (20%) fills in with its dusty blue notes, and Yakima Valley Syrah (15%) provides more backbone. This is a Bésoleil for the cellar, dense and full, and a few years of aging will expand its Chateauneuf-like appeal.



Review:

Full, dark ruby-red. Black fruit and licorice aromas are complicated by a mineral element. Wonderfully sappy, concentrated and ripe, with well-delineated Merlot-dominated flavors of black fruits, licorice and bitter chocolate conveying sexy sweetness. Finishes with plush tannins and excellent length. A superb vintage for this wine, clearly more concentrated and ripe than the 2016. Winemaker Skinner told me that the Petit Verdot element from Olsen vineyard is somewhat Pinot-like and actually softens this wine's tannins. And he noted that the cool late-season temperatures in 2017 allowed for easy picking. (aged until June of '18 in 60% new oak before being moved to neutral barrels for nearly another year of aging)

- Stephen Tanzer 93 Points


A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, the 2017 Clos de Betz has a vibrant expression on the nose, with plush, generous fruit aromas and an underlying brooding tightness. Full-bodied on the palate, the fleshy, plump fruit tones deliver a velvety lushness over the mid-palate, then the wine becomes more dusty and rigid on the finish, ending with oak spices that linger. I will revisit this swine in 36 months, as I suspect it will show better at a later date. This will easily last a decade and more. 750 cases produced.

-Wine Advocate 94 Points


 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 93 Wine Advocate: 94
Betz Family Domaine de Pierres Syrah 2016

With our long history of making single site syrah's in Washington, it made sense for us to venture into the Rocks District of Milton Freewater in the Walla Walla Valley to bring you our newest syrah, "Domaine de Pierres."

The Rocks AVA produces syrah that shows a distinct character, separating it from any other site in Washington State. One thing in particular that has drawn people here is the gallet stones present throughout the valley. They are very similar to the pudding stones that are found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and can be anywhere from golf ball size, to softball size or larger. Since we purchased the vineyard in 2014 we have been tilling the earth multiple times every season to expose these rocks. The gallet stones act like a heat sink, giving a little extra push to help ripen syrah in an area with marginal heat accumulation. 

In the glass, Domaine de Pierres stands out from our other syrah's because of its incredibly savory profile. Notes of roasted meat, fresh herbs, olive tapenade, tobacco and graphite are supported by dark fruit, espresso, and lavendar. The wine has a lower acidity and higher PH than our other wines, which contributes to a velvety, full bodied mouthfeel. Even in the cellar, we immediately noticed a difference in the color, aromatics and flavor that these syrah grapes were able to express. 

The other big reason that we are so excited about the wine from this particular AVA, is that the history of the Rocks is happening right now! Our vineyard, “Ancient Stones,” has only been planted there since 2007, and the beginning of the Rocks as a wine growing region only really started in the 1990's. There is a lot of energy and exploration going on, and it has been a fun experience for our team to be a part of it.  We still have so much to learn about this region and it is very exciting to feel like we are on the upward swing!

Review:

"This has strident peppery notes with a layer of sappy whole-cluster fragrances and complexity as well as fresh charcuterie meats, smoky notes and graphite. Red plums and blackberries lurk beneath. The palate has deep chocolate and cherry fruits. Very suave, supple tannins carry dark plums, dark chocolate and energetic freshness to the finish. Give this 2-3 years to integrate."
- James Suckling (2018), 95 pts

 95 Points
Betz Family La Cote Rousse Syrah 2016

Sweet, savory aromas lead the way, sort of a mineral-laden black fruit---dark berries and plums. Smoke, dried herbs, violet, meat, wet stones and a hint of ironstone complete the package. It penetrates yet is a broad fragrant expression. I've always felt the aromatic range of this wine has its foundation in the four clones we use.

The black fruits continue on the palate, with black cherry, dark plum and spices echoing the aroma. While it's rich, almost luxurious, there's a tannic foundation and a structured acidity. Floral and earthy, the dried herbs and stones emerge here too, along with tobacco, thyme and lavender. This is a food-lover's Syrah, with weight, brightness and dimension.

(Clones 174, 383, 99 and Phelps) Vineyards: Ciel du Cheval Ranch at the End of the Road Classic Red Mountain character defines the Syrah La Côte Rousse, despite being the product of a cooler vintage. The warm site vineyards, Ciel du Cheval and Ranch at the End of the Road accumulated more heat than our other sites and ripened the four Syrah clones to a greater extent; we’ve never seen Red Mountain deliver less than full physiological maturity, every vintage. Nevertheless this vintage retains a vibrancy and energy that isn’t often found on Red Mountain.

Review:

"The 2016 Syrah La Cote Rousse is built around clone 99, all from Red Mountain, that saw 45% whole clusters in the fermentation. This cuvee, which is also moving more and more toward Ciel du Cheval, is 88% from this terrific site. It’s another inky purple colored red with a beautiful bouquet of black raspberries, toasted spice, dried herbs, and mineral aromas and flavors. This full-bodied, ripe, layered Syrah needs 2-3 years of bottle age and will keep for 15+ years." 95+ pts - Jeb Dunnuck

"The 2016 Syrah La Côte Rousse reveals notes of purple flowers, crunchy dark berry fruit and cracked pepper, followed by a medium-bodied, youthfully chewy but fine-grained palate that's bright and chalky. Taut and concentrated, it will require—and reward—some patience." 94+ - Robert Parkers Wine Advocate

"So much spice and mineral aromas here with hints of cloves and white pepper. Full body, ink and dark fruit and some black olives. A solid and chewy syrah with so much strength yet form." 94 pts - James Suckling

 


 Wine Advocate: 94 95 Points
Force Majeure Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 2018

Force Majeure Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. 

The estate Cabernet Sauvignon is grown primarily along the southwest ridge of the vineyard. The vines produce small berries with bountiful flavor, concentration and intensity, but also a good degree of finesse, excellent structure and layers of complexity that will continue to develop during extended bottle aging for those who want to cellar and age their wines. The wine is powerful, elegant, full-bodied.

Bottled unfined and unfiltered.100% free run
Pumpovers and punch-downs, up to 45 day macerations
Native yeast, 5 day cold soaks
22 months in 75% new French oak barrels
Fermented in concrete and stainless closed top tanks.


Review:


The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain Estate is much more dense, tannic, backward wine compared to the Walla Walla Estate release. Its deep purple/plum color is followed by a masculine bouquet of crushed rocks, tobacco, iodine, and lead pencil. This carries to a full-bodied Red Mountain Cabernet with gorgeous overall balance, ripe yet building tannins, an undeniable sense of minerality, and a blockbuster finish. Possessing a liquid rock-like minerality (it seems to have been filtered through a bed of rocks), it's mostly educational at this young age and deserves 4-5 years of bottle age. It should keep for 2-3 decades in cold cellars.

-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points


 97 Points
Force Majeure Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla 2018

Force Majeure Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Previously known as Grand Reve, Force Majeure has skyrocketed to the top of the pyramid in Washington State, in no small part due to their talented winemaker, Todd Alexander, who moved from Bryant Family in Napa to Washington State to focus on this estate. While the focus is on their Red Mountain Vineyard, they make a bevy of world-class wines from throughout the Columbia Valley. Anyone doubting the quality coming from Washington State these days owes it to themselves to try these wines.


Review:

Lots of blue fruits, cassis, violets, lead pencil, and tobacco notes emerge from the glass of the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley Estate, a magical, incredible Cabernet Sauvignon from the Rocks region of Walla Walla, as well as a perfect wine. It's deep purple/ruby-colored, full-bodied, deep, and opulent on the palate, with terrific elegance as well as a rich, complex earthiness that develops with time in the glass. However, it's not a classic Rocks wine, and the exotic funkiness is largely concealed behind classic Cabernet typicity. It reminds me of the 2009 Château Haut-Bailly with its rare mix of richness and power, and while it was brought up in almost all new French oak, you wouldn't know it by tasting it. Everything is perfectly balanced, it has silky tannins, a great mid-palate, and one heck of an impressive finish. It's a candidate for the wine of the vintage and should be snatched up by readers. Don't miss it.

-Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points




 100 Points
Force Majeure Epinette 2016

Force Majeure Epinette  is made from 46% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot.

Epinette is Force Majeure's Right-bank Bordeaux-inspired blend, and was named after an avenue in Libourne (France) that leads to Pomerol and Saint-Émilion, the home of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Epinette is also the name of a musical instrument akin to a piano, as well as a word for pine tree, which is a fitting nod to their home in Washington state.


The wine itself is a blend of primarily Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with smaller amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, proportions of which change depending on the vintage. The Merlot and Cabernet Franc are grown in lower areas of the vineyard with deep, well-drained soils, much less rocky than the soils of our Rhone varietals.


Review:

"I loved the 2016 Epinette from barrel, and it certainly doesn't disappoint from bottle. Sporting a deep purple color as well as a huge bouquet of blackcurrants, black cherries, smoked earth, chocolate, and cedary spice, this flamboyant, powerful beauty hits the palate with loads of fruit, has sweet tannins, no hard edges, building tannins, and a huge finish. It's one seriously pleasure-bent effort that has another 10-15 years of prime drinking." - Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 96+ pts

 96 Points
Force Majeure Epinette 2017

Force Majeure Epinette  is made from 46% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot.

Epinette is Force Majeure's Right-bank Bordeaux-inspired blend, and was named after an avenue in Libourne (France) that leads to Pomerol and Saint-Émilion, the home of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Epinette is also the name of a musical instrument akin to a piano, as well as a word for pine tree, which is a fitting nod to their home in Washington state.


The wine itself is a blend of primarily Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with smaller amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, proportions of which change depending on the vintage. The Merlot and Cabernet Franc are grown in lower areas of the vineyard with deep, well-drained soils, much less rocky than the soils of our Rhone varietals.


Review:


"The 2018 Epinette is the Merlot-dominated release from this team, and it's 79% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot, all from the estate vineyard on Red Mountain. Lots of smoky black cherry and darker currant fruits as well as notes of chocolate, graphite, lead pencil, and chalky minerality emerge from the glass, and this full-bodied beauty is beautifully textured, with a stacked mid-palate, velvety tannins, and a blockbuster finish. It's up with the finest Merlots in the New World and will drink brilliantly for at least a decade, if not longer."

- Jeb Dunnuck (May 2021), 97 pts

 97 Points
Force Majeure Epinette 2018

Force Majeure Epinette  is made from  79% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot .

Epinette is Force Majeure's Right-bank Bordeaux-inspired blend, and was named after an avenue in Libourne (France) that leads to Pomerol and Saint-Émilion, the home of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Epinette is also the name of a musical instrument akin to a piano, as well as a word for pine tree, which is a fitting nod to their home in Washington state.


The wine itself is a blend of primarily Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with smaller amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, proportions of which change depending on the vintage. The Merlot and Cabernet Franc are grown in lower areas of the vineyard with deep, well-drained soils, much less rocky than the soils of our Rhone varietals.


Review:

The 2018 Epinette is the Merlot-dominated release from this team, and it's 79% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot, all from the estate vineyard on Red Mountain. Lots of smoky black cherry and darker currant fruits as well as notes of chocolate, graphite, lead pencil, and chalky minerality emerge from the glass, and this full-bodied beauty is beautifully textured, with a stacked mid-palate, velvety tannins, and a blockbuster finish. It's up with the finest Merlots in the New World and will drink brilliantly for at least a decade, if not longer.

Previously known as Grand Reve, Force Majeure has skyrocketed to the top of the pyramid in Washington State, in no small part due to their talented winemaker, Todd Alexander, who moved from Bryant Family in Napa to Washington State to focus on this estate. While the focus is on their Red Mountain Vineyard, they make a bevy of world-class wines from throughout the Columbia Valley. Anyone doubting the quality coming from Washington State these days owes it to themselves to try these wines.

-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points



 97 Points
Force Majeure Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

The estate Cabernet Sauvignon is grown primarily along the southwest ridge of the vineyard. The vines produce small berries with bountiful flavor, concentration and intensity, but also a good degree of finesse, excellent structure and layers of complexity that will continue to develop during extended bottle aging for those who want to cellar and age their wines. The wine is powerful, elegant, full-bodied.

Bottled unfined and unfiltered.100% free run
Pumpovers and punch-downs, up to 45 day macerations
Native yeast, 5 day cold soaks
22 months in 75% new French oak barrels
Fermented in concrete and stainless closed top tanks.

Review:

"The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain Estate is a thrilling effort from winemaker Todd Alexander that rates with some of the most monumental wines to come out of Washington State. Based on 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from their estate vineyard on Red Mountain, brought up in mostly new barrels, it reveals a saturated purple color that's followed by a rich, primordial bouquet of crème de cassis, espresso roast, crushed rock, and graphite. It needs considerable air to start to show its potential yet is a full-bodied, powerful wine that has subtle oak, plenty of sweet tannins, and a huge, layered finish that won't quit. It's the tannin management that's truly spectacular. This brilliant wine needs to be forgotten for 4-5 years and will keep for 2-3 decades."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 99 pts


 99 Points
Force Majeure Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

The estate Cabernet Sauvignon is grown primarily along the southwest ridge of the vineyard. The vines produce small berries with bountiful flavor, concentration and intensity, but also a good degree of finesse, excellent structure and layers of complexity that will continue to develop during extended bottle aging for those who want to cellar and age their wines. The wine is powerful, elegant, full-bodied.

Bottled unfined and unfiltered.100% free run
Pumpovers and punch-downs, up to 45 day macerations
Native yeast, 5 day cold soaks
22 months in 75% new French oak barrels
Fermented in concrete and stainless closed top tanks.

Review:


"The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain Estate is another powerful wine from this team. Opulent notes of blackcurrants, graphite, chocolate, crushed rocks, wild herbs, and espresso all give way to a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon that has loads of fruit, a superstar of a mid-palate, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It’s another 2017 that’s going to benefit from at least 2-4 years of bottle age and have 20 years or more of longevity."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 95+ pts

 95 Points
Force Majeure Estate Syrah 2017

Force Majeure estate Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah.

The Force Majeure estate Syrah is cultivated in a combination of the 8 soil types that exist in the vineyard, with most of it being planted in very steep, very rocky locations, but some also planted in deeper, loamier soils.

The estate Syrah typically exhibits a broad spectrum of black, blue and red fruits, dried herbs and jasmine, fennel, smoked meats and crushed rock along with very fine tannins, great length, balance and complexity.

AppellationRed Mountain Varietal(s) 100% Syrah

Soil type Very steep, rocky locations, but some also planted in deeper, loamier soils

Vinification 22% whole cluster, remainder destemmed. Fermented in concrete, open top and closed top stainless. ~25% new French oak for 18 months, mostly larger format (300L to 500L) Native yeast, cold soak up front Macerations up to 30 days; pumpovers and punch-downs 100% free run. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Production 500 (9-liter cases)

Review:

"A stunning, world-class wine from Red Mountain, the 2017 Syrah Estate is the finest example yet from this steep, rocky terroir and winemaker Todd Alexander. With extraordinary notes of blackberry, smoked game, cassis, graphite, charred meats, and spring flowers, it’s reminiscent of a top Cote Rotie from the Cote Blonde. With full-bodied richness, a beautiful, layered, multi-dimensional texture, ripe tannins, and integrated oak, it’s beautiful today yet will benefit from short-term cellaring and cruise for 15-20 years or more in cool cellars. This sensational wine will stand toe to toe with the best out there." - Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 99 pts

 99 Points
Force Majeure Estate Syrah 2018

Force Majeure estate Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah.

The Force Majeure estate Syrah is cultivated in a combination of the 8 soil types that exist in the vineyard, with most of it being planted in very steep, very rocky locations, but some also planted in deeper, loamier soils.

The estate Syrah typically exhibits a broad spectrum of black, blue and red fruits, dried herbs and jasmine, fennel, smoked meats and crushed rock along with very fine tannins, great length, balance and complexity.

AppellationRed Mountain Varietal(s) 100% Syrah

Soil type Very steep, rocky locations, but some also planted in deeper, loamier soils

Vinification 22% whole cluster, remainder destemmed. Fermented in concrete, open top and closed top stainless. ~25% new French oak for 18 months, mostly larger format (300L to 500L) Native yeast, cold soak up front Macerations up to 30 days; pumpovers and punch-downs 100% free run. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Production 500 (9-liter cases)

Review:

The 2018 Syrah Estate includes a splash of Viognier and was fermented with 15% stems and brought up in a mix of new and used barrels. A huge nose of blueberries, black raspberries, spring flowers, smoked game, and ground pepper notes give way to a full-bodied, multi-dimensional, gorgeous barrel sample that has no hard edges, incredible balance, and a finish that won’t quit. While the Viognier gives some cushion to the classic Red Mountain structure of this wine, it’s still going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age. My money is on this being one of the top wines of the vintage.

-Jeb Dunnuck 97-100 Points


 100 Points
Force Majeure Parvata 2016

Force Majeure Parvata is made from 69% Mourvedre, 21% Syrah, 10% Grenache. 

Parvata means “mountain” in sanskrit, and is the name for this southern Rhône-inspired blend, grown mostly in the sandy, loamy soils of the lower section of the Red Mountain vineyard, which bring to the wine a good degree of finesse and high-toned aromatic notes, white pepper, dried herbs and grapefruit peel.

Review:

"There are only 325 cases of the 2016 Parvata, a blend of 69% Mourvèdre, 21% Syrah, and 10% Grenache brought up in 30% new, mostly larger barrels. Deep ruby-colored, with a beautiful bouquet of black raspberries, white pepper, spiced meats, and graphite, this hits the palate with full-bodied richness, ripe tannins, and beautiful length."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 96 pts

 96 Points
Force Majeure Parvata 2017

Force Majeure Parvata is made from 69% Mourvedre, 21% Syrah, 10% Grenache (2016) / 43% Mourvedre, 25% Grenache, 23% Syrah, 4% Cinsault, 5% Counoise

Parvata means “mountain” in sanskrit, and is the name for this southern Rhône-inspired blend, grown mostly in the sandy, loamy soils of the lower section of the Red Mountain vineyard, which bring to the wine a good degree of finesse and high-toned aromatic notes, white pepper, dried herbs and grapefruit peel.

Review:


"Based on 57% Mourvèdre, 25% Syrah, and the rest Grenache, the 2018 Parvata has a wonderfully earthy, complex, classic Mourvèdre nose of ripe red and blue fruits, gamey meat, cracked pepper, violets, and tree bark. This carries to a plush, up-front, incredibly sexy 2018 with notable purity, full-bodied richness, integrated tannins, and a great, great finish. It's slightly more up-front and supple than I expected from barrel, but this incredible wine just begs to be drunk. Nevertheless, I still think a year of bottle age is warranted and it should drink well for 10-15."
- Jeb Dunnuck (May 2021), 96 pts

 96 Points
Hightower Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 2016

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.

Review:


"Blackberries, grilled strawberries, dill, sweet tobacco and some smoke on the nose. It’s medium-to full-bodied with creamy, ripe tannins. Smooth, rich and spiced finish. Drink or hold."
- James Suckling (July 2021), 92 pts

 92 Points
Hightower Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 2017

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.

Review:


"Blackberries, grilled strawberries, dill, sweet tobacco and some smoke on the nose. It’s medium-to full-bodied with creamy, ripe tannins. Smooth, rich and spiced finish. Drink or hold."
- James Suckling (July 2021), 92 pts

 92 Points
K Vintners Syrah Royal City 2017

K Vintners Syrah Royal City us made from 100 percent Syrah.

Royal City for REAL. Perfume of great complexity. Camphor, black cherry and forest floor. All spice building on the palate. Suave and full of finesse with cured olive and wet earth. This is where elegance reigns supreme. – Winemaker, Charles Smith

Review:

This is fantastic with dark-berry, tar, black-pepper, stone and almond aromas and flavors. It’s full-bodied and tannic, yet polished and focused. A gorgeous finish. Shows balance and reserve. Lovely tannin tension. Drink after 2024.

-James Suckling 98 Points



 98 Points
Klipsun Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 2017

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.

Review:

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

 Wine Advocate: 94
Long Shadows Chester Kidder 2016

Long Shadows Chester Kidder is made from 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah and 15% Petit Verdot

Allen Shoup named this wine in honor of his mother, Elizabeth Chester, and his grandmother, Maggie Kidder. He selected Long Shadows' director of winemaking and viticulture, Gilles Nicault, to craft this New World blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and other classic Bordeaux varieties.

Select Cabernet Sauvignon lots underwent an extended maceration of 40 days to produce supple yet firm tannins that stand up to 30 months of barrel aging in tight-grained French oak barrels (85% new).  The extra time in barrel helped to integrate the fruit, enhance the mid-palate with an extra layer of complexity, and provide an appealing earthiness to the finish.

Deep and dark in color with an intensely aromatic profile of blackberry jam, sweet spice, dark chocolate and hints of earth.  Dark cherry and subtle oak flavors integrate nicely to create an enticing layer that adds complexity and depth.  Its firm structure, yet refined texture, balances well with a vibrancy that extends throughout a lengthy finish.



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