2019 Cadence, Cara Mia Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, $49.75
Winery info: As club members are well aware, we can’t resist featuring wines from Cadence in this club, so you know the story well.
Winemaker Ben Smith produced his first vintage in 1998 and has gone on to become one of the most respected winemakers in the state, if not the country. His focus is on Bordeaux-style blends from select vineyard sites in Red Mountain. But every now and then he shakes things up a bit. This is his first ever 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from his Cara Mia Vineyard.
Winemaker: Ben Smith
Grapes: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, clone 191, aged in 50% new and 50% second-fill French oak.
Vineyard: Ben’s Cara Mia Vineyard on Red Mountain, originally planted in 2004.
Flavor profile: This is a classic Red Mountain Cabernet, with the power and intensity characteristic of the vineyard beautifully managed, resulting in a smooth, savory and very elegant wine, with deep layers of red fruit, firm but supple tannins, and impressive structure. As Ben puts it, “it’s all steel and sinew wrapped in satin.”
Availability: 225 cases made. This wine was just released, so it should be in good supply for a while.
Drinking window: You could enjoy this one now, with decanting (perhaps even seeing how it evolves over a day or two after opening) or up to around 2030.
Food pairing: Perfect, of course, for red meat dishes, anything from a gourmet burger to filet mignon. Or with lamb or other hearty dishes.
2016 Upsidedown Wine, Gold Drop Collection, GSM, $36
Winery info: Seth Kitzke grew up in the Yakima Valley, surrounded by orchards and vineyards. When his family founded their own winery, Kitzke Cellars, he began helping in their vineyard at the age of 12. After winemaking studies and working with Charles Smith, Brennon Leighton, Brian Carter, and Charlie Hoppes, Seth took over winemaking at his family winery in 2016. He created his own winery, Upsidedown, to “produce wines of outstanding quality that show true balance and sense of place.” While Kitzke Cellars is more focused on Bordeaux-style wines, Seth’s focus at Upsidedown is on Rhône varieties. Seth donates 20% of the proceeds from his wines to select non-profit organizations.
Winemaker: Seth Kitzke
Grapes: 49% Mourvèdre, 38% Grenache, and 13% Syrah, aged 18 months in neutral oak.
Vineyard: Dead Poplar in the Yakima Valley, a north-facing vineyard with sandy deposited soils from the Yakima River. It gets morning sun, allowing the fruit to ripen slowly, but is shaded by the Horse Heaven Hills in the afternoon, which cools the site and helps the fruit develop good acidity.
Flavor profile: Smooth, soft, and savory, with aromas and flavors of dark fruit, pepper, and spice. With plenty of depth and structure and nice minerality on the finish.
Availability: 125 cases made. There is not much left of this vintage.
Drinking window: Enjoy anytime over the next few years.
Food pairing: Like any good Rhône-style blend, this wine is very versatile and would be great with lamb, duck, poultry, or Provençal cuisine.