2012 Cadence, Bel Canto, $60
Winery info: Cadence hardly needs any introduction. Ben Smith produced his first vintage in 1998 and has since become one of the most respected winemakers in the state, if not the country. His focus is on Bordeaux varietals from select vineyard sites. This is the twelfth vintage of this wine we’ve featured in this club.
Winemaker: Ben Smith
Grapes: 84% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot
Vineyard sources: From Ben’s estate Cara Mia Vineyard on Red Mountain, originally planted in 2004.
Flavor profile: In Ben’s own words: “Tightly wound on the nose, just coaxing out floral, spice and fruit. These are echoed on the palate with intense black raspberries and blue fruit. Again, though, the star is the structure. The mid-palate is intense, deep and long. The tannins have an iron grasp on the finish that expands out to beautiful breadth and depth. Dust, fruit, and floral flavors play against the tannins in the longest finish of all the 2012s.”
Production/Availability: 290 cases made. Because the 2012 vintage was so spectacular and received a lot of press, this one won’t be around much longer.
Drinkability: This wine will definitely reward aging—at least five years, but up to 15 or 20 if you can wait that long.
Food Pairing: As always a juicy steak or roast duck would be perfect pairing.
2007 Zephros, Cabernet Sauvignon, Champoux Vineyard, $29.75
Winery info: Founded by eastern Washington native Richard Freeman with a dream of having his own world-class winery. He hired his college friend Greg Powers as his winemaker. Greg brought highly-respected winemaking experience from his work at his family’s Powers Winery, as well as access to some of the state’s most coveted vineyards, including Champoux, where the Powers family are partners. (Quilceda Creek is another major partner in the vineyard and that fruit is a major component in their iconic wines.)
Winemaker: Greg Powers
Grapes: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Vineyard source: Champoux Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills, source of some of the greatest old-vine Cabernet fruit in the state. From the stunning 2007 vintage, which has been called “the vintage of the decade.”
Flavor profile: From a classic vintage, sourced from an excellent vineyard, and now with a healthy amount of bottle age, you’d expect this to be good and it is: rich, expressive, and a beautiful expression of what Champoux fruit can produce in the best of vintages.
Production/Availability: 284 cases produced, and the agent in eastern Washington still has about 70 cases left. We’re the major seller of this wine, so it should continue to be available for some time.
Drinkability: This wine is drinking beautifully now.
Food Pairing: Your favorite meat dish, roasted vegetables, game, or mushroom risotto.