2014 Père de Famille,
Reviewing our cellar tasting notes of the 2014 vintage reveals a record number of vineyard sites that achieved a quality level we will likely hold as reference points for years to come. Looking back at the 2014 harvest, we ask ourselves which factors during the growing season led to such success, in so many different varieties, in so many different vineyard sites across the Columbia Valley. Several factors are at play.
The early start to the growing season, from bud break, through flowering, and through to veraison meant that grape clusters enjoyed a greater number of days to reach maturity. The unbroken warm weather in 2014 resulted in a record number of growing days that “counted” toward grape maturity. Looser than average grape clusters, particularly in Cabernet Sauvignon, allowed a greater degree of light penetration to each individual berry. And lastly, the cool temperatures during the early mornings of harvest (when the grapes are picked) meant that the grapes were still cool by the time they reached the winery.
The vibrant shades of purple magenta are the first clue that 2014 is a special vintage of Père de Famille. The aromas follow suite, with a penetrating array of fruits and spices: Black currant, boysenberry, and black cherry lead the charge, with subtle nuances of bay leaf, rosemary, and cedar spice. The palate impression is one of great density and plushness, mirroring the aromatics, with anise and dark chocolate expressed in the lingering finish.
Blending Detail and Aging Profile
- 85% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 11% Merlot
- 4% Petit Verdot
- Best from 2017 through 2026+
- Serve cool, 60-62°F
AVA & Vineyard Detail:
- 83% Red Mountain
- 17% Yakima Valley
Stephen Tanzer 95 points: (bottled in June) Bright ruby-red. Discreet, very pure aromas of cassis and black cherry complicated by mineral, spice and floral nuances. Highly concentrated and savory, conveying a 3-D texture as well as terrific definition to its flavors of black cherry, saline minerality and dried herbs. Wonderfully elegant, energetic, flavorful wine with real éclat. Really saturates the palate with flavor without leaving any impression of weight. Finishes with substantial dusty but fine-grained tannins and outstanding lingering fruit. This will need time in bottle to unwind.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (94 - 97): Scheduled to be bottled in June of 2016, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvigon Pere de Famille is another terrific wine from this estate. Deeper in color than the 2013 (which is common) and offering fabulous red and black fruits, dried herbs, graphite and a dusty pebble-like minerality, it has full-bodied richness, ultra pure tannin and while a big, concentrated effort, it always shows a pure, elegant style. It two will have two to three decades of longevity.
While there's a long history of terrific wines from this estate, I think they've hit another level in the past few vintages, and these latest releases show a purity, elegance and textural quality not found in early bottlings. I'm sure this is in part due to the creation of a second wine, and even a stricter selection for all of the top cuvees. In short, don't miss a chance to try these wines.