2009 Tamarack Cellars Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1120069 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The Tamarack 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon displays that uncanny and alluring combination of textural creaminess with vivacity of which Washington seems singularly capable, and which one certainly seeks in vain elsewhere among Cabernets. Carob, cocoa powder, pistachio and almond extracts, cassis and cherry dominate the show, with hints of fruit pit bitterness and skin tartness enhancing the stimulation derived from a long, luscious finish. The roster of diverse, celebrated sites that informed this blend--several of which are also subjects in most vintages of Tamarack single-vineyard bottlings--offers one clue to its quality. Look for at least a decade of pleasure from this fine value.  (12/2012)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Fresh and vibrant, deftly balancing pure currant and blackberry fruit with hints of cream and mint, finishing with a light prickle of tannins. Best from 2014 through 2019.  (11/2012)

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Price: $24.99
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Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/30/2013 | Send Email
Many of you out there know that I’ve been a giant proponent of wines from our neighbors from the north for quite some time. The reasons are simple and straight forward: the wines are delicious, in many cases wildly underpriced and bring both a sense of familiarity yet with a twist to varietals that you already know and love. The 2009 Tamarack Cellars Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a perfect example of all of these traits. Made from some of the best vineyards in Washington state, Ciel du Cheval, DuBrul, Seven Hills Vineyards ring any bells, this Cab blended with 7% Merlot and 4%Cabernet Franc wildly over delivers for under $30. Can you imagine getting a Napa Valley Cab from Beckstoffer Vineyards or Oakville for this price? No Way! Dense and fully weighted this is a delight having a powerful nose of coffee bean, cassis, spice cake and mocha. Creamy and textural this has plenty of “umph” with sappy flavors of crème brûlée, blackberry jam, cocoa powder, black olives all backed by a long toasty oak laden finish from the 65% new French oak that is used. So if you’ve ever had your doubts about what Washington can do I think this wine will set you straight on just what kind of amazing wines are coming from up there.

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.