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Canvasback Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Cabernet Sauvignon from Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
  • W&S93
  • JS92
  • RP92
  • WW92
  • WE90
14.5% ABV
  • WE92
  • W&S91
  • RP91
  • WW90
  • W&S94
  • RP92
  • W&S91
  • WE90
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4.1 21 Ratings
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4.1 21 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

While 2015 will go in the books as the earliest Washington grape harvest on record, it will also be remembered for its remarkable quality. A warm spring led to a very early budbreak, followed by ideal weather during bloom. With consistently hot summer weather, we tailored our canopy management to preserve shade on the fruit, while carefully timing our irrigation to protect the vines. A cooldown in the run-up to harvest slowed ripening and allowed us to pick pristine grapes at a leisurely pace. With lovely balance and freshness, these grapes ultimately yielded wines of power and grace.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
A Red Mountain cabernet that comes in just shy of superripeness, this leads with scents of mint and fennel sprigs. Yet there’s plenty of deep berry flavor, and no lack of power in its dark flavors, the wine remaining balanced and supple, on point for roast beef.
JS 92
James Suckling
Ripe boysenberries, cassis and plums with some mountain-herb aromas. Follows through to a palate coated in rich plums and dark berries, building to gently chewy tannins. Drink or hold.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is a success this year, revealing aromas of ripe plums, cassis, pencil shavings and espresso roast. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, rich and generous, with an ample core of fruit, juicy acids and a flavorful finish. It's a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc.
WW 92
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: An up and coming AVA, Red Mountain is making great strides as an area for excellent Bordeaux varieties. The 2015 Canvasback Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent effort. TASTING NOTES: This wine is rich and well balanced. Its aromas and flavors of black fruit, complimentary oak put it the elite of America's best efforts. Pair this elegant effort with grilled hanger steak. (Tasted: September 10, 2018, San Francisco, CA)
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
This offers generous black cherry, black raspberry, fruit leather, mineral, spice and herb aromas. The fruit flavors are obviously there, but like most offerings from this appellation, it’s very much about structure, framed by firm, juicy tannins and crisp acidity.
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Canvasback

Canvasback

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Canvasback, Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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To create wines that are as complex as they are captivating, Canvasback is following the model established decades ago by Duckhorn Vineyards, and will ultimately combine grapes from top growers with fruit from Canvasback's own estate vineyard.

The Canvasback team has already established great relationships with the growers who farm some of the appellation's most esteemed vineyards, including Klipsun, La Coye, Shaw and Quintessence. In 2013, Canvasback put down roots on Red Mountain when it acquired a 20-acre unplanted vineyard site. Located near the top of the mountain, above the frost zone at an elevation of approximately 1,100 to 1,300 feet, the site was widely recognized as the most coveted uncultivated site of the mountain. Guided by Washington winegrowing legend and Canvasback vineyard manager Dick Boushey, and founding winemaker Brian Rudin, Canvasback began planting its Red Mountain vineyard predominantly to Cabernet Sauvignon in 2014.

In both the vineyard and winery, Brian embraces the challenge of making a richly compelling wine that shows the complexity and structure of great Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. "Red Mountain is one of the best places on earth to grow Cabernet," says Brian. "The desert environment, with its long days, cold nights and mineral-rich soils produce epic Cabernet Sauvignons."

Red Mountain

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A coveted source of top quality red grapes among premier Washington producers, the Red Mountain AVA is actually the smallest appellation in the state. As its name might suggest, it is actually neither a mountain nor is it composed of red earth. Instead the appellation is an anticline of the Yakima fold belt, a series of geologic folds that define a number of viticultural regions in the surrounding area. It is on the eastern edge of Yakima Valley with slopes facing southwest towards the Yakima River, ideal for the ripening of grapes. The area’s springtime proliferation of cheatgrass, which has a reddish color, actually gives the area the name, "Red" Mountain.

Red Mountain produces some of the most mineral-driven, tannic and age-worthy red wines of Washington and there are a few reasons for this. It is just about the hottest appellation with normal growing season temperatures commonly reaching above 90F. The soil is particularly poor in nutrients and has a high pH, which results in significantly smaller berry sizes compared to varietal norms. The low juice to skin ratio in smaller berries combined with the strong, dry summer winds, leads to higher tannin levels in Red Mountain grapes.

The most common red grape varieties here are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, among others. Limited white varieties are grown, namely Sauvignon blanc.

The reds of the area tend to express dark black and blue fruit, deep concentration, complex textures, high levels of tannins and as previously noted, have good aging capabilities.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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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.

Perfect Pairings

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.

Sommelier Secrets

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.

DWCCBCS1575_2015 Item# 434145