Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignons — Elegant!

Cadaretta 2011, Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley

Cadaretta 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley

Cadaretta 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley

Cadaretta is a brand produced by Middleton Family Wines, who also produce wines under the label of Clayhouse and others.  The fruit is from the greater Columbia Valley, including vineyards in such notable areas as Red Mountain, Walla Walla, and Horse Heaven Hills.

Cabernet Sauvignon has often been called the “king of wine grapes” or the “king of wines.”  In  light of all the varieties that are being explored more intensely today, can it hold its place of honor?  In the next few articles I will explore Cabernet Sauvignon examples and both you and I will form our impressions of this noble grape and the wine it so consistently makes.

As we will find in this wine, the astounding concentration of phenolics (the color, flavors and other beneficial elements found in the skin) give to the Cabernet Sauvignon wine a reason to claim it is among the great wine grapes.  You may also notice that the vibrancy of fruit flavors are not necessarily its main appeal, rather the complexity and subtlety of flavors that develop from fermentation, aging in bottle, and its affinity to oak.  Oak flavors and composite flavors are as much on the nose as fruit flavors.  It shouts the word complexity.  This, however, is an expected mark of Cabernet.  As the years go by, these complex flavors will continue to develop and it is amazing how they evolve.  Wine lovers flock to Cabernet Sauvignon for its capability to provide such fusion of diverse tastes.  Cabernet displays best the continuing evolution of fermentation elements, maturation effects in oak, alcohols, plus oxygen’s subtle effect through the cork and the continual reinterpretation caused by the chemical changes in the aging process. Try a Cab aged for 20 or more years and see what I mean.  It gives true meaning to the phrase “wine is a living breathing thing.”

This transformation can be the metamorphosis of wonderful surprises.  I would suggest you get two bottles of this wine and drink one now and keep the other for 10 years to try again.  Letting a Cab breathe and sipping it over a period of hours will also give you an indication of its softening and changing behavior.  Drink it slowly and let it unfold.

This Cadaretta 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon is totally opaque and graduates from its almost black core to a rim of ruby touched with blueish notes that create a purple effect.  Cab should have structure, meaning a strong framework of acid, tannin, fruit to last, and alcohol in balance.  This one does!

Flavors of black fruits (blackberry seems to dominate) — black cherry, and the lighter edge found in blackcurrant fruit — create its base fruit palate that mingles with oak notes of dark chocolate, vanilla that is almost lost in the dark notes, spice, toast, and a hint of clove.  The mouthfeel is juicy due to a lively acid component.  The year was cool and the acids remained high.

This is a perfect example of a Cabernet Sauvignon in a warmer climate than Bordeaux and perfectly balanced.  This is also an example of a Cab that will stand tall with deeply flavored foods and creamy cheeses.

Rating: 92

Emotional rating:  The rating increases with rich and flavorful food rising to a great level of enjoyment.

Available:  From the winery and try wine searcher.com.

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