Seven Hills Winery Pentad Red 2003 Front Label
Seven Hills Winery Pentad Red 2003 Front Label

Seven Hills Winery Pentad Red 2003

  • RP92
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Pentad vintage red wine, a Walla Walla Valley blend of five varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Merlot (13%), Carmenere (6%), Cabernet Franc (13%) and Malbec (13%). The intention with Pentad is change through time, shaping expansive flavor, complexity, and creation of an evolving sensory experience. Every care has been taken in the production of Pentad, to provide a transcendent wine that is both enjoyable and collectible.

"The 2003 is the most open at release of the three Pentad vintages released to date. It offers an inviting accessibility, accenting warm, ripe tones and expansive fruit characters. Red and blackcurrant dominate the nose, interwoven with tropical passionfruit and hints of blueberry. Sweet cooking spice and light notes of fennel and licorice round out the aroma. I find red raspberry, vanillin, light smoky notes by mouth. The structure is broad, balanced, and elegant yet very persistent and generous. Overall, a beautiful representation of the nature of this very warm vintage year."
- Casey McClellan, Winemaker

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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Seven Hills Winery

Seven Hills Winery

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Seven Hills Winery, Washington
Seven Hills Winery Walla Valley Winery Image
Established in 1988, Seven Hills Winery is proud to be among the founding estates of Walla Walla Valley. As pioneers who first championed the region, the winery’s heritage is built on longstanding relationships with the most renowned growers in the Northwest and a deep knowledge of the land. Their focus is crafting Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines that authentically reflect their places of origin. When Seven Hills Winery was established in 1988, it was one of only five wineries in the region. As a founding vintner, Casey McClellan helped shape the varietal focus and development of the appellation by forming relationships with top growers in the Northwest and cultivating an understanding of each vineyard’s character. Through this focused approach and following decades of careful study, Seven Hills Winery crafts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines that reflect their distinct terroir and reach their highest potential. McClellan helped plant the first significant vineyard dedicated to Bordeaux varietals in Walla Walla Valley and over time, the founding blocks of the winery’s estate vineyard emerged as one of the Northwest’s most renowned sites. Today, SHW Founding Vineyard provides fruit for the winery’s marquee single vineyard wines, and their grapes are sought after by some of the region’s most respected wineries. They also source fruit from other esteemed vineyards they’ve been working with for many years, including McClellan Estate Vineyard and Summit View Vineyard in Walla Walla Valley and Ciel du Cheval and Klipsun Vineyard in the Red Mountain appellation. Seven Hills Winery crafts wines that are well-balanced and taste true to their varietal characteristics and terroir. To that end, they let the outstanding quality of their fruit shine through, by using traditional fermentation techniques and barrel selections that highlight the varietal grape flavors inherent in the wine. This philosophy allows them to create wines that pair well with a variety of foods and are meant to be enjoyed as part of a meal. Their tasting room and winery are located in downtown Walla Walla, in the historic Whitehouse-Crawford building. Visit them for a winery tour, tasting or food, and wine pairing.
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Responsible for some of Washington’s most highly acclaimed wines, the Walla Walla Valley has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years and is home to both historic wineries and younger, up-and-coming producers.

The Walla Walla Valley, a Native American name meaning “many waters,” is located in southeastern Washington; part of the appellation actually extends into Oregon. Soils here are well-drained, sandy loess over Missoula Flood deposits and fractured basalt.

It is a region perfectly suited to Rhône-inspired Syrahs, distinguished by savory notes of red berry, black olive, smoke and fresh earth. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot create a range of styles from smooth and supple to robust and well-structured. White varieties are rare but some producers blend Sauvignon Blanc with Sémillon, resulting in a rich and round style, and plantings of Viognier, while minimal, are often quite successful.

Of note within Walla Walla, is one new and very peculiar appellation, called the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater. This is the only AVA in the U.S. whose boundaries are totally defined by the soil type. Soils here look a bit like those in the acclaimed Rhône region of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but are large, ancient, basalt cobblestones. These stones work in the same way as they do in Chateauneuf, absorbing and then radiating the sun's heat up to enhance the ripening of grape clusters. The Rocks District is within the part of Walla Walla that spills over into Oregon and naturally excels in the production of Rhône varieties like Syrah, as well as the Bordeaux varieties.

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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.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. 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.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

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 Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

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.

CDW176232_2003 Item# 92609

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