Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
The 1995 harvest was a late one, with the first grapes coming in on Sept. 17 and the last of the Cabernet Sauvignon arriving on Oct. 22. Cool summers are not a problem in eastern Washington because the Cascade Mountains hold back the Pacific storms in the fall, allowing us to leave the grapes on the vines until they reach complete maturity.
In 1995, the result was a hedonistic blend of black cherries, cedar, chocolate, and spice. The addition of 11 percent Merlot gives the wine a beautifully complex aroma and a great depth of flavor, enhanced by 22 months in 100 percent new French oak barrels. Adding the Merlot was the right call for 1995: the Merlot fruit layered on top of the density and textural elements of the Cabernet Sauvignon took the edge off and added elegance to the wine’s firm structure. It was delicious on release and its structure has enabled it to continue to be compelling over the ensuing years. We made 2,250 cases.
Paul Golitzen, Director of Winemaking