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Corliss Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • WE96
  • RP95
14.7% ABV
  • RP91
  • RP95
  • WE94
  • RP95
  • WE94
  • RP95
  • RP94
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14.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

An explosive nose of blackcurrant, wild fig, plum and anise with underlying notes of cocoa, roasted coffee bean and crème brûlée. The wine is silky and concentrated upon entry with dark berry fruits on top of licorice root, wet earth and underbrush. Thick, tarry tannins progressively build in intensity, drawing out the palate out to a long, lingering finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
This is the finest Cabernet yet from Corliss, a fully-realized wine with power and finesse. From opening scents of figs, berries and roasted coffee, on into a compact, potent midpalate that still seems quite young and fresh, this wine keeps adding layer upon layer as it breathes. Concentrated and perfectly balanced, it will age beautifully for another 15–20 years.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
More perfumed and lively aromatically, yet more firm and backwards on the palate, the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon is a knockout 100% Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 30 months in 70% new French oak. Classically styled, with black currants, toasty oak, violets, licorice and background meatiness, it is a full-bodied, structured and age-worthy 2008 that will evolve gracefully for 15+ years. It improves over the evening but should ideally be given another handful of years in the cellar.
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Corliss

Corliss

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Corliss, Columbia Valley, Washington
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 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.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. 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 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 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.

YNG763320_2008 Item# 127897