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Mercer Canyons Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Cabernet Sauvignon from Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Washington
  • WS90
13.9% ABV
  • JS91
  • WS90
  • WS88
  • WE88
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3.8 50 Ratings
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3.8 50 Ratings
13.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A warm vintage gave us ripe Cabernet Sauvignon with aromas of red cherries and cassis. The voluminous fruit carries through in the mouth. Individual vineyard lots were fermented separately and barrel aged in a combination of French and American oak for up to 12 months. Barrel aging the wine brings hints of warm baking spices and adds depth and complexity. Powdery tannins give structure to the wine, while maintaining an elegant, balanced mouthfeel.

Blend: 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 6% Syrah

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Focused, ripe and generous, with red plum, currant and spice flavors, coming together harmoniously against lightly nippy tannins. A hint of orange peel shows on the extended finish. Best from 2018 through 2023.
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Mercer Canyons

Mercer Canyons

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Mercer Canyons, Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Washington
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The Mercer family homesteaded in Washington State and for over a century, we have been stewards of this land – always striving to provide a life more abundant for all. In 1972, we became the founding grape growers in the now famed Horse Heaven Hills AVA. In this tradition, the AGRICULTURALISTS of Mercer Estates are dedicated to producing distinctive wines through a balanced approach to grape growing and winemaking. In finding balance – in our land, our community and our wines – we are able to express the true characteristics of our vineyards in every glass.

Horse Heaven Hills

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"Surely this is Horse Heaven!”

Its wide prairies and rolling expanses led an early pioneer to proclaim that the region looked like “horse heaven,” and as a result, the area was appropriately named. Horse Heaven Hills is in south central Washington state, geographically bound on its northern border by the Yakima River and in the south, by the larger Columbia River.

Its proximity to the Columbia River contributes to a variety of climactic factors that dramatically affect its grapes. In particular, an increase in wind from changes in pressure along the river, which flows from the cool and wet Pacific Ocean, inland to Washington’s hot and arid plains, creates 30% more wind than there would be otherwise. These winds moderate temperatures, protect against mold and rot, reduce the risk of early and late season frosts, diminish canopy size and toughen grape skins.

The vineyards bordering the river are on steep, south-facing, well-exposed slopes, with well-drained, sandy-loam soils. But the soils of the appellation are diverse throughout, ranging from wind-blown sand and loess, Missoula Flood sediment, and rocky basalt. Horse Heaven Hills has an arid continental climate with elevations ranging from 200 to 1,800 feet.

The first vines of the appellation were planted in 1972 in an optimal spot now referred to as the Champoux Vineyard. Today it remains the source of some of Washington’s most desirable and expensive Cabernet Sauvignons. In fact, the appellation as a whole boasts many of Washington’s top scoring wines. Its primary grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Riesling.

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.

SWS337561_2013 Item# 139801