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Flat front label of wine

Sheridan Vineyard L'Orage 2009

Bordeaux Red Blends from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Sheridan Vineyard

    Sheridan Vineyard

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    Sheridan Vineyard, Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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    In 1996, Scott found 76 acres of land located on a hilltop in the Yakima Valley. At that moment, he realized that his 17-year career in finance was coming to an end. The following year, he started the vineyard by planting ten acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah grapes. Sheridan Vineyard's first harvest was in 2000. That year, Scott bottled a Syrah and a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc now known as L'Orage.

    Today, with the property fully planted, Scott continues to focus on sustainable farming practices and keeping yields low as the vineyard matures. All of this is driven by his passion to create wines of richness while maintaining a sense of beauty and balance.

    Yakima Valley

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    As the first recognized wine-growing region in the Pacific Northwest, Yakima Valley is centrally located within Washington’s vast Columbia Valley. The region also includes Washington’s oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines, Otis Vineyard, planted in 1957, and Harrison Hill Vineyard, planted in 1963. Yakima Valley contains three smaller sub-regions: Rattlesnake Hills, Red Mountain, and Snipes Mountain and is ideal for both red and white wine production. In fact, Yakima Valley is Washington’s most diverse region, boasting more than 40 different grape varieties over about one hundred miles.

    The cooler parts of the valley are home to almost half of the Chardonnay and Riesling produced in the state! Both are made in a wide range of styles depending on the conditions of the vineyard site.

    But its warmer locations yield a large proportion of Washington’s best Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The finest Yakima Valley reds are jam-packed full of red cherry, currant, raspberry or blackberry fruit, as well as cocoa, herb, spice and savory notes, and exhibit a supple texture, great body, focus and length.

    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.

    LSB252452_2009 Item# 252452