Woodward Canyon Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
This release of the “Old Vines” Cabernet Sauvignon is dark purple and dense in the glass. Intermingling aromas of ripe blackberries and cassis develop with a rich concentration of ripe black fruits. The new French oak beautifully integrates the fruit, acid, and alcohol creating a nice weight, texture, and overall mouthfeel. The smooth but firm tannins leave you with a rich, long finish. It expresses the purity of fully mature cabernet sauvignon fruit that can only be achieved from old vine fruit. This wine will benefit greatly from additional cellaring and, with proper storage, should last ten years or more.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
My favorite in the lineup, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Old Vines is 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec, all aged 22 months in new barrels. Loads of ripe red and black fruits, dried herbs, crushed stone, and savory herb notes give way to a full-bodied, concentrated, yet beautifully balanced, weightless Cabernet that will benefit from 4-6 years in the cellar and keep for two decades or more.
Dark chocolate, barrel spice, vanilla, cherry and licorice aromas are followed by luscious black fruit flavors. There's plenty of richness, texture and seamlessness along with a whole lot of structure. A long finish caps it off. It's all about hedonism, but still possesses impressive balance, a classically Woodward styled wine. The oak is forward at present. Give it some time in the cellar or decant.
Blackcurrants, black cherries, charcoal, walnuts and cedar on the nose. It’s full-bodied with firm, ripe tannins. Concentrated and flavorful with a succulent core of dark, spiced fruit. Try from 2022.
Woodward Canyon’s old vines date to 1970s plantings at Sagemoor, Champoux and its estate vineyard in Lowden. In 2018, those vines grew a heady and deep red, its savory scents of tanned leather and tobacco leaf building into black plum and plum-skin flavors. For braised beef.
The winery has consistently produced premium, age-worthy, award-winning Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots as well as Chardonnays. From the outset, Rick determined that quality would take precedence over quantity.
Consequently, Woodward Canyon has remained small. Woodward Canyon is located in Lowden in the Walla Walla Valley appellation. The tasting room is a restored 1870's farmhouse.
Woodward Canyon is a founding member of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and VINEA, the Walla Walla Valley Winegrowers' Sustainable Trust.
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.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbecand Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.