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Professional Ratings: 91 The Wine Advocate
Region: Columbia Valley, Washington
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Other Info: Collectible Wines
Style: Big & Bold
Item no. 89918
This 2003 Columbia Valley Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon is produced from grapes that were planted in the very early 1970's. The grapes were harvested by hand from Champoux Vineyard (98%) and Sagemoor Vineyard (2%) both on benches overlooking the Columbia River in southeastern Washington. The 2003 vintage was the warmest on record for Washington State.
The wine was pumped over and punched down two to three times per day in small stainless steel tanks. Average fermentation was between seven and twelve days with one or two tanks given extend maceration time. After pressing and racking, the various lots were moved to new French chateau barrels for aging and maturation. Later, in August of 2005, this wine was racked from barrel, assembled and bottled just before harvest started in early September 2005.
This 2003 Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich and powerful red wine. It expresses the purity of fully mature Washington Cabernet Sauvignon from a warm vintage incredibly well. Flavors of dried black cherry and cassis marry with spicy new oak and vanilla toast coats the mouth. The texture is soft and silky yet there are firm mature tannins in the finish. The color is dark reddish purple; the complex aromas leap from the glass. This red wine will benefit greatly from additional cellaring and, with proper storage, should last for twelve years or more.
Produced from vines planted in 1972, 1979, and 1981 in the world-class Champoux vineyard, the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Old Vines explodes from the glass with scents of spiced black fruits. Concentrated, powerful, and medium to full-bodied, it displays outstanding depth in its blackberry, cassis liqueur, black currant, and menthol flavors. Projected maturity: 2007-2017. Unlike recent vintages of Woodward Canyon’s reds, neither this top-notch effort nor any of the other wines I tasted during my visit exhibited any hard edges. It seems this old winery (by Washington standards) is reclaiming its rightful place among the state's top producers.