Gordon Brothers Tradition Red 2003
Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
47.6 % Cabernet Sauvignon; 47.6 % Merlot; and 4.8% Syrah- all Estate grapes. Dark Ruby in color, this wine displays multiple aromas of cassis, spice, cocoa powder, dark berries and a hint of coffee. Lush, jammy, blackberry fruitiness is noticed immediately. This combines with vanilla, cranberry and cherry flavors. The tannins are fine grained, giving this wine a supple, elegant mouth-feel. A lingering finish of black cherry, toasted, sweet oak and a hint of coconut make this wine refined and generous.
All of the wine was aged in small oak barrels, the majority from French forests, for 18 months. The best wines of the vintage were blended and placed back into French oak barrels for an additional 22 months of aging.
Wine Enthusiast - "Tradition is Gordon Brothers’ top red, a blend of Merlot and Cabernet from the estate vineyard’s best vines. It is given extra cellar time, which gives the sweet cherry fruit flavors the opportunity to meld, while smoothing the rougher, somewhat green tannins. This is a wine that could certainly be cellared for another five or six years; it is structured like a Bordeaux, and does not try to hide its earthy, herbal side. Nor should it; the stuffing is there for a beautiful wine to emerge in another half decade or so."
Gordon Brothers Cellars Winery
The Gordon Brothers vineyards were established in 1980. They have planted a total of 95 acres, consisting of 25 acres of Chardonnay, 21 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 acres of Merlot, 15 acres of Syrah, 14 acres of Sauvignon Blanc, and one acre of Gewurztraminer. The vineyards lie on a perfectly oriented south-facing slope ranging from an elevation of 600 to 682 feet above sea level, on the Snake River just above Ice Harbor Dam and the confluence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers in southeastern Washington. These mature vines are proving that the Gordon Brothers vineyard has a singular, superior micro-climate. Superb air drainage and all the favorable effects of river sites for grape growing are only two of the reasons that these are some of the most sought-after grapes and wines in the Northwest. View all Gordon Brothers Cellars Wines
About Columbia ValleyView a map of Columbia Valley wineries
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.
Notable FactsMerlot 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.
About WashingtonRelated Links: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.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost 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 & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.