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Va Piano Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • WE92
  • RP90
14.2% ABV
  • WE90
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14.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Our 2011 Va Piano Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon benefitted from the cool year, receiving more Estate fruit than usual, along with some of our most exclusive sites including 25 year old plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon. The result is a very dark and rich wine with great structure and potential for long term aging. Strong notes of cocoa, lavender and blackberries fill the glass. Vibrant cherry, toffee and cedar notes fill the palate, finishing with a smooth combination of licorice and hints of toasted almond. The acidity and structure definitely lends to holding onto the wine for awhile, with it showing best starting in 2015-with a decant of 4-6 hours; and should easily last to 2026.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Sourced from a half dozen vineyards, it includes small amounts of Merlot and Cab Franc. Balanced and complete, it conveys blackberry, coffee and a smooth, vivid streak of caramel, with silky, delicious tannins.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Tasted out of bottle, the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley is a solid, medium-bodied and firm effort that gives up classic black and blue fruits, spice, graphite and ample minerality on both the nose and palate. Made from 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 4% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot that spent 22 months in 40% new French oak, it will benefit from short-term cellaring and drink nicely through 2026.
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Va Piano

Va Piano

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Va Piano, Columbia Valley, Washington
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"Chi va piano, va sano e va lontano." He who goes slowly, goes safely and goes far. This old Italian saying sums up Va Piano Vineyards approach to winemaking, and to life.

The inspiration for a Tuscan-themed winery and tasting room came about after owner/winemaker Justin Wylie spent his senior year at Gonzaga University studying in Florence, Italy. He fell in love with the art, rustic architecture, culture, history, and warm hospitality he encountered there. Upon his return to the Walla Walla Valley (Justin is a fourth-generation native), his passion for wine making (and wine!) soon matched his passion for Tuscany and the seeds for Va Piano Vineyards were planted.

The Va Piano Vineyards winery and tasting room share a custom built 7,500 square foot facility built in Tuscan style: timber beamed ceilings, wrought iron railings, clay tile roof, traditional earthen stucco, eight-foot-tall distressed alder doors, and tumbled granite door and window accents create a timeless impression of quality.

Va Piano Vineyards is inspired by Tuscany, but the wine is quintessential Walla Walla. Take your time, enjoy yourself, and participate fully in the beautiful journey

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 enjoys success all over the globe. 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 from the Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy 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.

EPC29949_2011 Item# 143720