2005 Woodward Canyon "Old Vines" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L)

SKU #1346590 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2005 Old Vines is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Champoux Vineyard (the principal source of the Quilceda Creek Cabernet). It was aged for 20 months in 100% new French oak. Opaque purple, it offers up aromas of pain grille, pencil lead, violets, vanilla, black currant, and blackberry liqueur. This leads to a wine with serious depth and concentration, sweet, savory fruit, incipient complexity, and a very long, pure finish. Give it 5-6 years in the cellar and drink it through 2030. I tasted a 1983 Old Vines on this tasting trip and it was in impeccable condition, at its peak but with another decade of life. (JM)  (6/2008)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (100% Champoux fruit) Bright ruby-red. Fruit-driven aromas of cassis, black cherry, dark chocolate and subtle oak; slightly candied but not quite liqueur-like. Suave on entry, then rich and broad in the middle, with lovely dark fruit and dark chocolate flavors leavened by a mineral component. Finishes with big chewy tannins and very good length. As lush as this is, it comes across as chunkier and more in need of bottle aging than the Artist Series release. This one struck me as a bit more old-fashioned in style-in a positive way. (ST) 90+  (11/2008)

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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.


- 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.