2005 Le Parrain
The 2005 vintage also gave us the fruit to make a first-ever ‘reserve style” wine from Bordeaux varieties. "Reserve" is a term so misused that it has lost credibility, so we don’t refer to this a “reserve bottling” nor do we use the word “reserve” on the label. We simply call this wine “Le Parrain”, French for “godfather”.
Le Parrain is a six barrel blend, unlike any other wine we’ve made. Our two other Bordeaux-variety reds are notably dominated by a single variety, Cabernet Sauvignon for Père de Famille and Merlot for Clos de Betz. And none of our wines has ever had a significant portion of Cabernet Franc. Le Parrain is uncommon in name, character and how it came together.
Several extraordinary barrels stood out during our 2005 blending trials, but these six knit together to create a dense, silky, thick red, with a range of ripe flavors and an extraordinary long finish. The blend is, by chance, one third each from the Red Mountain, the Horse Heaven Hills and Yakima Valley AVAs. It pulls prominent notes from each of the three varieties: opaque color, powerful black and red fruits, spice and chocolate. But it’s the texture that separates this wine: a supple density that fills the mouth with a gratifying completeness.
Le Parrain 2005 will age beautifully, one to two decades, but it is so compelling right now. My recommendation is to hold it at least for a while. However, like the other two 2005 Bordeaux-variety wines, give this one or two hours open if you choose to try it in the short run.
Blending Detail and Aging Profile
- 50% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 33% Merlot
- 17% Cabernet Franc
AVA & Vineyard Detail:
- 1/3 Red Mountain
- 1/3 Horse Heaven Hills
- 1/3 Yakima Valley
From Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate from our tasting in July, 2007, four months after bottling:
“The 2005 Le Parrain is a great addition to the portfolio. It is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, and 17% Cabernet Franc sourced from three vineyards. Opaque purple with superb aromatics including pain grille, plum, blackberry, and black currant, the wine is full-throttle on the palate with huge extract, great depth and concentration, layers of spicy blue and black fruits, licorice, and chocolate. This promising wine requires a decade of cellaring and should provide pleasure through 2045.” 96 points