Woodward Canyon Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
This 2003 Columbia Valley Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon is produced from grapes that were planted in the very early 1970's. The grapes were harvested by hand from Champoux Vineyard (98%) and Sagemoor Vineyard (2%) both on benches overlooking the Columbia River in southeastern Washington. The 2003 vintage was the warmest on record for Washington State.
The wine was pumped over and punched down two to three times per day in small stainless steel tanks. Average fermentation was between seven and twelve days with one or two tanks given extend maceration time. After pressing and racking, the various lots were moved to new French chateau barrels for aging and maturation. Later, in August of 2005, this wine was racked from barrel, assembled and bottled just before harvest started in early September 2005.
This 2003 Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich and powerful red wine. It expresses the purity of fully mature Washington Cabernet Sauvignon from a warm vintage incredibly well. Flavors of dried black cherry and cassis marry with spicy new oak and vanilla toast coats the mouth. The texture is soft and silky yet there are firm mature tannins in the finish. The color is dark reddish purple; the complex aromas leap from the glass. This red wine will benefit greatly from additional cellaring and, with proper storage, should last for twelve years or more.
The Wine Advocate - "Produced from vines planted in 1972, 1979, and 1981 in the world-class Champoux vineyard, the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Old Vines explodes from the glass with scents of spiced black fruits. Concentrated, powerful, and medium to full-bodied, it displays outstanding depth in its blackberry, cassis liqueur, black currant, and menthol flavors. Projected maturity: 2007-2017. Unlike recent vintages of Woodward Canyon’s reds, neither this top-notch effort nor any of the other wines I tasted during my visit exhibited any hard edges. It seems this old winery (by Washington standards) is reclaiming its rightful place among the state's top producers. "
Woodward Canyon Winery
Woodward Canyon Winery, named for the canyon Rick’s family farmed and where the Estate Vineyard is now located, was established in 1981 by Rick Small and his wife, Darcey Fugman-Small. Woodward Canyon was the second winery in the Walla Walla Valley and the Smalls were instrumental in the process of obtaining federal approval of the Walla Walla Valley appellation.
The winery has consistently produced premium, age-worthy, award-winning Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots as well as Chardonnays. From the outset, Rick determined that quality would take precedence over quantity.
Consequently, Woodward Canyon has remained small. Woodward Canyon is located in Lowden in the Walla Walla Valley appellation. The tasting room is a restored 1870's farmhouse.
Woodward Canyon is a founding member of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and VINEA, the Walla Walla Valley Winegrowers' Sustainable Trust. View all Woodward Canyon 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:
Washington State is exploding onto the world’s wine scene. The second largest wine-producing region in the United States, the number of wineries has more than doubled in the past decade to more than 900 today. The great majority of the state’s 50,000+ acres of vineyards are grown on the east side of the Cascade mountains, where they enjoy 300+ days of sunshine a year, well-draining soils and a diurnal shift ideal for wine grapes.
Washington is not defined by a single grape variety, with nearly 70 varieties to explore. Out of these, the top five are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Syrah. Winemakers and grape growers are driven by a pioneering spirit, and aren’t afraid to experiment with new techniques in an ever-growing quest to make world-class wine. With a state-of-the-art research program, near-perfect growing conditions and the possibility for exponential growth – Washington State is proving itself to be a force to be reckoned with.
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