2013 Cadence, Tapteil, $45
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 thirteenth year that we’ve put one of his wines in this club.
Winemaker: Ben Smith
Grapes: 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc
Vineyard source: Tapteil Vineyard on Red Mountain
Flavor profile: Full-bodied and loaded with dark fruit flavors, with undertones of dusty earth and spice. With juicy acidity, sleek, fine tannins, and a long, lingering finish.
Production/Availability: 350 cases. The winery has about 50 cases left which, they say, are going fast.
Drinkability: Ben’s wines are always built for aging. If you can wait, give this one at least two to three years. It will age beautifully for a decade or more.
Food Pairing: With its high percentage of Cabernet, this would be an excellent partner for a nice pepper steak.
2014 WT Vintners, Stoney Vine Red Blend, $35
Winery info: Founded in 2007 by Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen, his wife Cortney and two business partners. In addition to being an award-winning sommelier and current wine director at RN 74, Jeff has worked harvests at top estates in Burgundy, New Zealand, and here in the northwest. His winery is in Woodinville.
Winemaker: Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen,
Grapes: 57% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 3% Mourvèdre
Vineyard source: Stoney Vine, in the Rocks District of the Walla Walla Valley, a site similar to that of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, with a deep layer of basalt cobblestones that capture and radiate heat to the fruit as well as the roots. Wines sourced from this region have a very distinctive flavor, with notes of earth and game.
Flavor profile: Rich and intense, with dark fruit flavors, peppery spice, and the signature minerality and meatiness that wines from the Rocks District are noted for.
Production/Availability: 210 cases. This one won’t be around long and, due to ongoing issues with freezing, Jeff said he will probably not make this wine again.
Drinkability: This one is very tasty now, but it should also age for five or more years.
Food Pairing: The winery recommends Cassoulet, BBQ ribs, or venison loin with huckleberries.