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Gordon Brothers Tradition Red 2010

Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
    13.8% ABV
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    13.8% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    The 2010 Tradition emotes dark fruit on the nose, reminiscent of ligonberry jam with a touch of smoked ham. Flavors of cherry jubilee and coffee wash through the palate while smooth, supple tannins coat the mouth. The marriage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah brings a unique and proud expression to the Gordon Estate portfolio.

    Blend: 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Syrah

    Critical Acclaim

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    Gordon Brothers

    Gordon Brothers Cellars

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    Gordon Brothers Cellars, Columbia Valley, Washington
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    The Gordon Brothers vineyards were established in 1980. They have planted a total of 95 acres, consisting of 25 acres of Chardonnay, 21 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 acres of Merlot, 15 acres of Syrah, 14 acres of Sauvignon Blanc, and one acre of Gewurztraminer. The vineyards lie on a perfectly oriented south-facing slope ranging from an elevation of 600 to 682 feet above sea level, on the Snake River just above Ice Harbor Dam and the confluence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers in southeastern Washington. These mature vines are proving that the Gordon Brothers vineyard has a singular, superior micro-climate. Superb air drainage and all the favorable effects of river sites for grape growing are only two of the reasons that these are some of the most sought-after grapes and wines in the Northwest.

    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.

    Bordeaux Blends

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    One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

    In the Glass

    Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

    Perfect Pairings

    Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

    Sommelier Secret

    While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

    PIN326707_2010 Item# 122258