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Flat front label of wine

Chester-Kidder 2011

Other Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • WE92
15.1% ABV
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  • WE90
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15.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Black cherry and cocoa aromas compliment vibrant flavors of blackberry, licorice and cassis. Hints of graphite and a subtle earthiness provide layers of complexity. With its firm structure and polished tannins, the velvety texture glides easily across a lengthy finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Syrah and 7% Petit Verdot, this wine saw 30 months in barrel. Aromas of blackberry, licorice, herb, dark coffee and earth are primary and lead to full-bodied flavors that persist on the finish.
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Chester-Kidder

Chester-Kidder

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Chester-Kidder, Columbia Valley, Washington
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Gilles Nicault brings his French winemaking talents to this New World blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and other classic red Bordeaux varieties. Chester-Kidder is one of six distinct red wines from the Long Shadows Vintners collection.

Aromas of dried figs and cocoa powder, along with hints of tamarind and toasty oak are followed by intense violet and blueberry jam flavors beautifully integrated around a spicy core.

French-born and trained winemaker Gilles Nicault has been making wine in the Columbia Valley since 1994. He continues to marvel at the growing region’s remarkable ability to produce wines that are both approachable and beautifully age-worthy due to the fruit’s balance and intensity. Styled to capture the complexity of the growing region, Chester-Kidder is aged for an average of 30 months in tight-grained French oak which allows the fruit to fully integrate prior to bottling.

The back bone of this wine is Cabernet Sauvignon from Red Mountain and nearby Candy Mountain. Its deepness and darkness is Syrah from our estate’s Benches Vineyards at Wallula in Horse Heaven Hills.

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for 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 extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. 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 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, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

RPT02155402_2011 Item# 126097