Copyright Wine Press Northwest 2014
For the first time in Washington’s history, Cabernet Sauvignon is king.
Last fall, the state crushed a record 210,000 tons of wine grapes, of which 42,600 were Cabernet Sauvignon. That makes the suave red grape not only the most prolific variety in Washington, but also the most economically important, as brings in $1,440 per ton to the farmers who grow it.
Wine drinkers and winemakers have an insatiable thirst for Cabernet Sauvignon, as the variety has increased in tonnage by an astonishing 54 percent in the past five years, pushing it past Chardonnay, Riesling and Merlot.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the grape that makes wines from Bordeaux and Napa Valley famous, and it is doing the same for Washington state. Here are some superb Washington Cabernet Sauvignons we’ve tasted in recent weeks. Look for them at your favorite wine merchant or contact the wineries directly.
Terra Blanca Winery and Vineyard 2008 Signature Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain, $45: Owner/winemaker Keith Pilgrim’s Cabernet Sauvignon is dark, dense and decadent. His opulent approach of 32 months with French oak creates the mood with tones of dark chocolate, cocoa powder and espresso backed by black currant, red cherry and plum.
Kiona Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington, $25: Using 100 percent Red Mountain estate grapes, winemaker Scott Williams’ Cab reveals remarkable dark purple fruit tones, starting with aromas that hint at plums, black cherry, chocolate and fresh popcorn. The drink is remarkable, akin to a rich and dark Syrah with that purple fruit.
Tamarack Cellars 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $36: From a top Walla Walla Valley winery, this big red reveals a complex nose of bay leaf, dark plum and chocolate. Inside is a big entry of dark cherry, black currant and more plum with a beautiful mouth feel of fine-grained blueberry seed tannin. Dark chocolate, pomegranate acidity and mineralty make for remarkable balance.
Reininger Winery 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $41: This medium-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon provides aromas of dusty cherries, blackberry, plum and pink peppercorns. Plump flavors of cherries and black currants swirl in a tannin structure of milk chocolate that’s capped by a finish of light cherry.
Apex Cellars 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $33: The latest head-turning bottling from this Prosser, Wash., winery opens with easy-to-embrace aromas of black cherry, cassis and milk chocolate with a nice bell pepper note tucked up in the back. The drink continues that same theme with cordial cherry filling leading into a super rich midpalate.
Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue run Great Northwest Wine, a news and information company.
Read the full article here: http://www.winepressnw.com/2014/03/05/2858571/cab-is-king-in-washington.html#emlnl=Pacific_Northwest_Wine_of_the_Week_Newsletter