This wine is just our second vintage produced from this iconic vineyard. We felt fortunate to get in on the fruit last year, and it has been really fun to explore, especially in a gorgeous expressive vintage such as was 2018. The growing season was quite warm, but the extended fall weather was moderate, with cool nights. That large diurnal fluctuation is tremendously valuable to the development of flavor and complexity.
The flavor profile of this wine is so familiar and comforting, taking me back to the many vintages working with Canoe Ridge Vineyard fruit. Champoux and Canoe Ridge Vineyard were near each other in the Horse Heaven Hills and our crews were close. In the mid 1990’s the group of wineries that had been utilizing the fruit came together to purchase the site. This group of wineries are some of the very best in the state and they, too, have long been good friends of ours. All of this history makes working with the fruit extra meaningful.
When we bring our fruit in to the winery, we process it immediately. While the timing might sometimes be inconvenient, letting the fruit sit is unacceptable. We carefully sort out any green or leafy material and destem the fruit. Our equipment is especially good at removing the stems, but we also have several people on the line to make sure that none slip through. After a good, long cold-soak to begin color extraction, we inoculate with yeast. During fermentation, we taste each day and monitor chemistry. Eventually, each lot will be pressed and then put down to barrel. Sometimes this is before dryness and sometimes after. Aging is in all French oak.
Classic Horse Heaven Hills wines revel in complex deep red characters, such as wild strawberry, baked cherry pie, and red currant. These bright influences make for a luminous wine, with vibrancy and lift. The richness of chocolate around a juicy dark cherry reminds me of classic Canoe Ridge Vineyard wines from back in the day. Spices of desert sage and laurel add to a fleshy, luscious palate. This is a vintage with excellent depth, and it is well worth aging.
Varietal Composition: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Vineyard Source: 100% Champoux Vineyard
Harvest Date: November 1, 2018
Oak Composition: 100% French, 80% new & 20% two-year-old
Barrel Aging: 23 months
Alc. 14.5%; pH 3.6; TA 5.4 g/L
Bottling Date: August 5, 2020