Borne of Fire Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Borne of Fire is a Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from a remote new vineyard region in eastern Washington State known by locals as “The Burn.” This exciting region was named from legends of early settlers who set fire to the land in the fall to replenish and rejuvenate the grasslands for their horses in the spring. Borne of Fire is a wine that, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, has laid claim to this unique land with a torrid past and found its true awakening: grape growing. From a rugged terrain where agriculture was scarce to where present grapes grow mighty, Borne of Fire is a new expression of Cabernet Sauvignon that was created to reflect the uniqueness of this unlikely terroir.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, we have laid claim to a land that has been torn from within and smothered in flames. Where Earth’s torrid past has new meaning. And our true awakening has been reborn.
From a rugged terrain once etched with fiery sparks, to the Columbia River rushing by our side. We have charged past the blaze and now we look ahead. Where the grapes grow mighty. The sun-scorched grounds guide us. And the barrels will be charred to perfection. And so, we rise because we are Borne of Fire.
Juan Munoz-Oca acts as a pioneer in uncharted territory, while also leaning on his Cabernet Sauvignon expertise from his time creating Washington's only No. 1 Wine in the World from Wine Spectator at Columbia Crest, and producing Intrinsic which made #32 in the Wine Spectator's "Top 100 Wines" in the world list for 2016.
His mission with Borne of Fire is to maintain the natural flavors of the region with minimalistic techniques, thus bringing forth ripeness wtih opulent flavors.
A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington state’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA even extends into northern Oregon!
Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.
Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines.
In the Glass
High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.
Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.
Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.