2010 Yakima Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($34) 420 cases produced
The 2010 vintage was one of the coolest, in regards to temperature, growing seasons Washington has seen in a long time. Consequently, the fruit tended to have lower brix and slightly higher than normal acid levels at harvest. Contrary to what you might expect, the flavors of the fruit tasted like they were a couple of weeks ahead of the numbers. This might be attributed to the fact that we did not experience the excessive heat spells that are so common in Eastern Washington and therefore the vines weren’t stressed to the point of being unable to ripen the fruit. It was a unique season and challenged me on levels and ultimately helped me to redefine what is possible with Washington fruit.
With this vintage I decided to make only one wine, a blend of Artz vineyard and Dubrul vineyard. While blending was not what I set out to do with my label, I have discovered the advantages it can offer a winemaker in making an overall more balanced and complex expression of Cabernet Sauvignon. The Dubrul fruit helped to soften the monstrous mid-palate of the Artz fruit. It provided a wonderful sweetness up front on the palate and added herbal and tea notes to the nose. The Artz fruit created the foundation for this wine, contributing classic Red Mountain mouthfeel and wonderful dark fruits on the nose. The barrels used were 100% French of which 71% were new. Tannin content, overall, was much higher than normal in 2010. This in conjunction with a pH of 3.52 are two major components of this wine that will allow it to age in bottle with grace.