Woodward Canyon Estate Red 2003
Bordeaux Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Washington
This 2003 Woodward Canyon Estate Red is produced from the finest lots that we produced from the Woodward Canyon Estate Vineyard in 2003. The Estate Vineyard always is low yielding and 2003 was no exception, with yields in the two tons per acre range. Given that 2003 was the warmest vintage on record for the Walla Walla Valley, the average brix at harvest was high at well over 25 degrees yet the wine is firm, polished and in proportion.
With such low yields, the resulting wine is deeply concentrated with black fruits and cassis. The warmer vintage of 2003 gave deep complex flavors of fruit from perfect physiological ripeness. The nose while slightly restrained at first develops greatly in the glass. Spice and vanilla from new oak integrate beautifully with cabernet franc-merlot dominated fruit. The texture, while firm initially, transitions to complex suppleness; the finish is rich, layered and long. With proper cellaring, this wine should age for ten years from vintage.
These wines showcase fruit from Woodward Canyon Estate Vineyard. The blend changes every year and typically consists of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and petit verdot. These wines age 8+ years from vintage.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2003 Estate Red Wine is composed of 44% Cabernet Franc, 41% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1% Petit Verdot. It was fermented with native yeasts and was aged in 100% new oak. The product of the warmest vintage on record for Walla Walla, the wine is dark ruby-colored and offers up an excellent nose of toasty black currants, blackberry, spice box, and fresh herbs. This is followed by a firm, layered, well-balanced wine which is built to last. There is moderate, ripe tannin leading to a long, pure finish. Give this Saint-Emilion look-alike 5-7 years of additional bottle age and drink it through 2035. "
Woodward Canyon Winery
Woodward Canyon Winery was founded by Rick Small in 1981. He is currently soul-searching on the subject of terroir. Debating the suitability of certain varietals to certain vineyard plots has become a quandary. On the one hand, the grapes growing there do fine and are the basis for extremely successful wines (Chardonnay, mostly); on the other, would Merlot or Cabernet Franc provide even more exciting character? The evolution of the Northwest wine industry continues. View all Woodward Canyon Wines
About Walla Walla ValleyView a map of Walla Walla Valley wineries
Sharing part of the valley with Oregon, Walla Walla is on the southeast side of the Columbia Valley. It is primarily red grape land, with Cabernet Sauvignon leading in the vineyards, followed by Merlot and the ever-growing and very popular, Syrah.In the 1990's, as Washington State was gaining more acclaim for its red wines, Walla Walla was hailed by wine critics for its quality and sense of place. That has not changed. Many red wines from Walla Walla show not only great complexity and elegance, but ageability. Though the region is known for the red wines, the most planted white grape here is Chardonnay.
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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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.