I’m not a huge fan of Cabernet Sauvignon, particularly not Washington made Cab. I too often find that drinking some of those big, bold Washington Cabs is like chewing on a hunk of wood. Dry oak. But I have had a couple recently that have surprised me, in a good way.
2010 La Playa Claret
This is a big wine, and while it isn’t predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, it still has quite a bit of Cab. The blend is 41% Petit Verdot, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc and 4% Carmenere. It is a big tannic wine, but it isn’t too dry though – it has a nice balance. On the nose, there is the strong scent of tobacco. On the palate, it has flavors of stewed plums and leather. It was harvested by hand and aged for 8 months in French and American oak.
This wine really reminded me that living in Chile was the main reason I started loving wine. And I do love Chilean wine! I really should drink a lot more of it.
2011 Revelry Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Jon poured me a glass of this wine when he couldn’t offer me any more La Playa, because…. you guessed it… he drank it all. Revelry is a Walla Walla winery, sourcing their fruit from several areas in the Columbia Valley. Although they are a fairly new winery, with their first vintage in 2005, they have managed to secure fruit from several elite vineyards, including Sagemoor Vineyard, and vineyards on Red Mountain and the Horse Heaven Hills.
On the nose, I got lots of blackberry, and on the palate, it had medium tannins and wasn’t super dry. It was a fruity Cab, almost slightly jammy, but in a wonderful balanced kind of way. Not a fruit bomb by any means, but certainly more fruit than your typical overly oaked Washington Cab. I loved it! The grapes for this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon came from various vineyards, including Red Mountain, The Wahluke Slope, Horse Heaven Hills, and the Walla Walla Valley. It spent 12-16 months in the 100% French Oak barrels, with 30% being new French Oak.
Jon and I both loved these two wines, which is unusual because we tend to go for something very different in a big, red wine. If you have had either one, let me know what you think!