2009 Woodward Canyon "Estate Reserve" Walla Walla Valley Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1260668 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The Woodward Canyon 2009 Estate Reserve cuvee constitutes 43% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Franc, 15% Petit Verdot and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, amounting to a mere 181 cases from consistently low-yielding parcels of vines averaging only around 15 years’ age, at places – unusual anywhere in the state – rooted right into basalt rock. Charred, smoky, and piquantly fruit pitted overtones of dark cherry and mulberry fruit inhabit a metaphorically dark and surprisingly weighty palate compared with what this wine’s varietal content would have led me to expect. Mott points out that in this location, Cabernet Sauvignon will sometimes add levity and flux to the Merlot rather than vice versa. Suggestions of dried herbs, brown spices, and bitter dark chocolate add interest to a sustained, rather brooding finish. While I detect scant heat, this bottling’s 16% alcohol is no doubt partly responsible for its rather chunky, almost massive palate impression. I would cellar it cautiously. (DS)  (12/2012)

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Price: $69.99

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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.