This 2003 Artist Series was produced from grapes grown primarily at Champoux, Woodward Canyon Estate, Canoe Ridge, Klipsun, Sagemoor, Tapteil and Pepper Bridge vineyards. These seven vineyards are some of the most highly regarded properties in Washington and produce fantastic wines in their own right. In a blend, they can produce extraordinary wine.
The 2003 vintage was the warmest vintage for Washington that we have experienced since we began making wine in 1981. We achieved extraordinary ripening with full physiological maturity achieved through rigorous cultural practices such as shoot thinning, leaf stripping and green harvesting. This cabernet sauvignon was fermented in small stainless steel tanks and was punched down or pumped over twice a day. Aging in predominantly new French Chateaux barrels has produced a complex and generous red wine.
This wine has a beautiful nose of spicy oak and cedar integrated with ripe black fruits and cherry. A firm rich mouth feel begins with cassis and black berry leading towards chocolate and mocha. The finish is generous and long. While this wine can be enjoyed now it will definitely benefit from additional cellaring and with proper storage should develop for eight years or more.
Woodward Canyon Winery was founded by Rick Small in 1981. He is currently soul-searching on the subject of terroir. Debating the suitability of certain varietals to certain vineyard plots has become a quandary. On the one hand, the grapes growing there do fine and are the basis for extremely successful wines (Chardonnay, mostly); on the other, would Merlot or Cabernet Franc provide even more exciting character? The evolution of the Northwest wine industry continues.
Learn More About Cabernet Sauvignon
(cab-uhr-NAY sow-veeh-yawn) King of Red Many refer to Cabernet Sauvignon as the king of red grapes. Perhaps that title is due to its ability to grow worldwide in a number of climates, or to the fact that it produces wine with such character yet such diversity. Either way, this grape is responsible, as a whole or a partner, for some of the greatest wines in the world. In Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon is the principle grape of the Medoc. It plays a supporting role in the blends of the right bank in regions such as St-Emillion and Pomerol. It also found a very successful home in California - particularly the Napa Valley - where it crafts the classic and cult wines of the region. However, Cabernet is a hearty grape, and has taken well to many regions: South America, Australia, South Africa, Washington State and Italy's Tuscan coast.
Notable Facts The Cabernet Sauvignon grape is a small berry with a thick skin and a high pip to pulp ratio. This in turn creates a wine high in color, tannin and extract. Typical Cabernet Sauvignon descriptors include blackberry, cassis, cedar and currant. Because the grape adapts to many different soils and climates, its characteristics truly reflect a sense of place. In Bordeaux you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you'll frequently find ripe fruit flavors upfront. Cabernet Sauvignon crafts wines as a single varietal and as a blending partner, where it can add structure and tannins.
Summing it up Successful Sites: Just about everywhere, particularly Bordeaux and California
Common Descriptors: blackberry, black chery, black currant, cassis, herbs, cedar, tobacco, earth
Learn More About Columbia Valley, Washington
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Merlot is the most popular and most planted grape of the area, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Syrah and Riesling are also popular and continue to grow in acreage.
Mike Hines (9/28/2010)
Unlike most thin Washington reds, this is a tasty full-bodied red with little tannon left as of our 2008 tasting. Well blended, it works by itself or with food. I'd pair it with the same foods I'd pick for a big Merlot, not a traditional Cab however. Color 1-3:3; Nose 1-4:4; Taste 1-8:7; Overall 1-5:5 Total 0-20: 19