Desert Wind Ruah 2004
Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
Crafted from fruit grown in the Columbia Valley of Washington, the 2004 Desert Wind Ruah is an affirmation of eastern Washington's viticultural prowess. This full bodied, Bordeaux-inspired blend is enveloped in a lush core of concentrated blackberry fruit with a hint of anise on the palate.
"Polished, round and beautifully open in texture, with perfumed raspberry, currant and cedar flavors that keep singing through the well-tuned finish. Has grace and style. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2012."
Desert Wind Winery
The concept to create this brand began with the idea to create a blended red wine. The intent was to make a Bordeaux-like blend using Washington fruit, this objective in turn led to the creation of Desert Wind. Desert Wind was first the name of the vineyard site. It had come about simply enough, coined by Jo Ann Fries; it implied the climate in eastern Washington where the vineyard was planted. Desert Wind came to be synonymous with the superior wines it was capable of producing and thus was translated into the winery name. The theory behind Desert Wind is small lots of fruit, longer barrel aging techniques and something that is created to be very unique and personal.
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About Columbia Valley
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Merlot is the most popular and most planted grape of the area, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Syrah and Riesling are also popular and continue to grow in acreage.
Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.