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Corliss Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP94
15.1% ABV
  • RP91
  • RP95
  • WE94
  • RP95
  • WE96
  • RP95
  • WE94
  • RP95
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15.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The purple-colored 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon contains 13% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec, and 2% Petit Verdot. It was aged for 33 months in 65% new French oak. It displays an alluring bouquet of Asian spices, incense, wood smoke, mineral, black currant, and blackberry leading to an elegant, velvety-textured, concentrated wine. There is enough structure and balance to permit another 5-7 years of positive evolution and it should be in its prime from 2015 to 2030.
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Corliss, Columbia Valley, Washington
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
There is a saying that, "one makes a thousand decisions from vine to bottle." At Corliss, we exercise the discipline to make the highest quality decisions at each stage. From sustainable, meticulous viticulture in our four Estate Vineyards, to individual berry sorting at harvest, to slow native yeast fermentations in micro-scale custom oak fermenters. We follow this with extended elevage of two and one half years in barrel, rigorous selection of the best lots for blending, and over two years of additional aging in bottle before the wines are finally labeled and available for enjoyment.

Our winemaking is the result of teamwork and patience. Michael Corliss has, from the beginning, been at the center. He is engrossed in every detail and has guided our winemaking philosophy. He is our barometer of consistency for developing the Corliss style. Surrounding Michael is a talented staff of winemaking professionals including our on-site winemaking team of Andrew Trio and Griffin Frey (who bring experience and perspective from Napa, Europe, and Australia) as well as Philippe Melka, one of the world's most highly regarded winemaking consultants. Together, we strive to achieve the highest actualization of Michael's vision that this collection of talent enables.

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.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious 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's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California 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 revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

LSB110832_2005 Item# 110832