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Chester-Kidder 2012

Other Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • V92
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14.9% ABV
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Try the 2014 Vintage 64 99
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14.9% 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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V 92
Vinous
Bright, deep ruby-red. Brooding aromas of dark berries, espresso, violet and graphite convey a youthfully medicinal quality. Very smooth but very tight, with cassis and bitter chocolate flavors dominating. Tough, granular Petit Verdot tannins give the finish a slight toughness. This very concentrated, layered wine will need time to unfold.
Rating: 92+?
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (66%), Syrah (23%) and Petit Verdot. Aromas of violets, black licorice, dried blackberries and dark fruit are followed by ripe, full-bodied dark fruit and baking-spice flavors. The tannins pack a hefty but still well-balanced punch.
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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 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.

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 enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. 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.

PBC9103830_2012 Item# 145589