These Northwest wineries make Cab far from drab

Great Northwest WineAndy Perdue and Eric Degerman

On the eve of Wine Press Northwest magazine’s peer-judging of more than 140 entries of Cabernet Sauvignon made in the Pacific Northwest, Great Northwest Wine takes a moment to look back at some of the best Cabs our panel has tasted during the second half of 2012. Below our a few selections. See the full lineup and story at:

Canoe Ridge Winery 2009 Vineyard Select Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $22
Outstanding! Precept took over this well-known Washington brand two years ago and reopened its downtown Walla Walla tasting room, and about half of the fruit for this comes from the Horse Heaven Hills. Boysenberry and plum aromas are joined by cherries, chocolate, coffee and graham cracker crumbs. On the palate, the theme of Rainier cherry, black currant skins, bittersweet chocolate and leather is met by fascinating sandy tannins. It’s a lighter styled and refined Cabernet Sauvignon that finishes with cola nut. (4,500 cases, 13.9%)

Six Prong 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $20
Outstanding! Precept Wine controls nearly 2,000 acres of vineyards in the Horse Heaven Hills, and Alder Ridge is the largest of the holdings at 800 acres. Although not labeled as such, this wine could be a vineyard designate, and the wind-swept site produced a wine with a rich nose of black cherry, huckleberry, dark chocolate, vanilla and minerality. On the palate, it comes off as a low-oak, high-acid and fruit-forward Cab with flavors of red currant and pie cherry filling. The tannins are properly managed, and the farewell is one of vanilla and dark chocolate. (1,460 cases, 14.2%)

Waterbrook Winery 2009 Icon Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $55
Excellent: John Freeman worked with Spofford Station and Seven Hills fruit for this club tier, and it’s a step back in time with its bright fruit, herbal notes, low alcohol and age-worthy structure. Aromas open with cassis, boysenberry, crushed mint, violets, pencil shavings, coffee and cedar. The graceful entry to the palate carries a theme of Van cherry, black currant, boysenberry acidity and bittersweet chocolate tannin. (250 cases, 13.1%)

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