Woodward Canyon Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
This 1999 cabernet sauvignon was produced from grapes grown at Canoe Ridge, Champoux and Klipsun vineyards in the southeastern portion of the Columbia Valley and Pepper Bridge and Woodward Canyon Estate vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley. All of the grapes were harvested by hand and sorted prior to crushing.
The 1999 vintage was, over all, a cooler vintage than 1998. In fact, there were legitimate concerns in several growing areas that fruit may not have ripened fully therefore some vineyards were thinned. An Indian Summer arrived in early September and conditions were perfect for slowly ripening fruit, giving better overall proportion and balance than the 1998. This cabernet sauvignon was punched down and pumped over in small stainless steel tanks three or four times per day. Fermentation length varied between five and fourteen days. After gentle pressing and racking, the wine was moved to new French barrels for aging. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered in late April of 2001.
This wine is integrated with spicy new oak, generous black fruits, a silky texture and deep purple/red color. The wine is beautifully proportioned with a long finish of cassis, chocolate-covered cherries, mocha and vanilla. This enticing cabernet will benefit significantly with additional bottle age and should easily age for fifteen years with proper storage.
The Wine Advocate - "I was thrilled to have an opportunity to taste Woodward Canyon's 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon Artist Series, inasmuch as this long, relatively cool and even-ripening vintage appears – in hindsight, anyway – as one of the most exciting in Washington's viticultural history. This bottling featured fruit from Champoux Vineyard along with contributions from Klipsun and Pepperbridge. Scents of still fresh cherry, nutmeg, sealing wax, nut oils, iodine, and tobacco presage the complex and richly-, juicily-fruited palate performance of a wine that scarcely betrays its age. The combination of soothing textural richness with clarity and back-end vivacity is typical for the very best Washington Cabernet; subtle soy and salinity help stimulate the salivary glands, and this stains the palate in a vibrant, veritable peacock's tail of a finish. Rick Small and Kevin Mott explain that growers got burned (though anything but literally!) in 1993 when for the first time in the memory of most of them, the fruit failed to adequately ripen. Thus, as 1999 stretched on – far cooler than normal – they were willing to take what was then an unusual step of dropping crop, a step that contributed critically to this vintage's success."
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