This 2003 Artist Series was produced from grapes grown primarily at Champoux, Woodward Canyon Estate, Canoe Ridge, Klipsun, Sagemoor, Tapteil and Pepper Bridge vineyards. These seven vineyards are some of the most highly regarded properties in Washington and produce fantastic wines in their own right. In a blend, they can produce extraordinary wine.
The 2003 vintage was the warmest vintage for Washington that we have experienced since we began making wine in 1981. We achieved extraordinary ripening with full physiological maturity achieved through rigorous cultural practices such as shoot thinning, leaf stripping and green harvesting. This cabernet sauvignon was fermented in small stainless steel tanks and was punched down or pumped over twice a day. Aging in predominantly new French Chateaux barrels has produced a complex and generous red wine.
This wine has a beautiful nose of spicy oak and cedar integrated with ripe black fruits and cherry. A firm rich mouth feel begins with cassis and black berry leading towards chocolate and mocha. The finish is generous and long. While this wine can be enjoyed now it will definitely benefit from additional cellaring and with proper storage should develop for eight years or more.
Unlike most thin Washington reds, this is a tasty full-bodied red with little tannon left as of our 2008 tasting. Well blended, it works by itself or with food. I'd pair it with the same foods I'd pick for a big Merlot, not a traditional Cab however. Color 1-3:3; Nose 1-4:4; Taste 1-8:7; Overall 1-5:5 Total 0-20: 19