1999 Père de Famille,
Our blend in 1999 starts with 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 18% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc added in. We expanded our vineyard sources in 1999; especially exciting is the addition of both Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from the Alder Ridge Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills. Bordeaux varieties from this site right on the Columbia River contribute elegance to the power we get from our other sources on Red Mountain. A small amount of mid-Yakima Valley Cabernet added berry and floral notes, while the Cabernet Franc ratcheted up the spice and earthy character.
Volumes of deep black cherry, cassis, spice and black pepper leap from the glass. There's even a whiff of the classic pencil lead of Bordeaux reds. Black fruit flavors, sweet spice and black pepper envelope the palate. Rich in tannin, yet lush from the gentle handling throughout. The 1999 is penetrating, yet graceful and firm. It finishes long on the palate and is a pleasure today, but I'm anxious to taste it after a few years of cellaring. If you open it now, give it an hour in a decanter for full enjoyment. (450 cases available)
From Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (tasted July 2001): "...sweet black cherry and cassis aromas as well as a broad, medium to full-bodied character. This intense 1999 is loaded with sweet red and black fruits, and a hint of Washington's trademark fresh herbs. Powerful, highly expressive..."