2004 Père de Famille,
Those long familiar with our Cabernet will see the continuing evolution of its style with this wine. A few years ago we began adjusting our cellar techniques to achieve the full dimension our vineyards had been able to deliver, but with more polish and length. More defined fermentation temperatures, less handling during barrel maturation and more precise barrel blending have delivered the results we've been looking for, greater harmony without sacrificing depth or density.
From my November 2006 tasting notes: “Deep ruby with a vibrant, youthful edge. Bright currant, blueberry, sweet berry fruit with exotic spice, smoke, camphor notes. Rich berry fruit with a sense of elegance.”
The vineyard source for the 2004 is also more focused, with barrels only from Red Mountain and the Horse Heaven Hills in the final blend. We're used to the terrific concentration and intensity of our Red Mountain fruit (Ciel du Cheval and Klipsun Vineyards) but this vintage the Horse Heaven fruit (Alder Ridge Vineyard) was equally concentrated yet without the tannic dominance of Red Mountain. The two appellations blended seamlessly (64% to 36%) and provided a structure that is both accessible now but will cellar beyond the previous two vintages.
Blending Detail and Aging Profile
- 78% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 9% Malbec
- 8% Merlot
- 3% Petite Verdot
- 2% Cabernet Franc.
AVA & Vineyard Detail:
64% Red Mountain
- Ciel du Cheval
- Klipsun Vineyards
36% Horse Heaven Hills
- Alder Ridge Vineyard
Steve Tanzer, of the International Wine Cellar newsletter, tasted this wine in summer 2006, three months after bottling, and ranked it the third highest Cabernet in Washington, a point or two behind Quilceda Creek and Leonetti Reserve (the “+?” in his score indicates a possible higher ranking once the wine is released):
“93(+?) Bright, deep ruby-red. Musky, minerally, spicy aromas of blackberry, blueberry, leather and tree bark. Quite penetrating on the palate, with terrific intensity and cut to the black cherry and currant flavors. Denser and larger-scaled than the Clos de Betz. This, too, finishes with excellent cut, growing sweeter and longer as it opens in the glass. There's firm tannic spine here but no impression of dryness.”