2018 Cabernet Sauvignon (Four Flags, Red Mountain) by Delille Cellars

Tonight’s Occasion: 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon (Four Flags, Red Mountain) by DeLille Cellars, Woodinville, WA

Dark opaque color. Tempered nose with blackberry, ripe plum skins up front. Wet hay/thatch and slightest touch of oak vanilla linger in the back. Swirling vigorously releases licorice, and intensifies the damp hay/thatch essence.

Body is balanced on attack and quickly develops a slight creamy character. Big plum on the front gives way to black currants and a refined crisp caramel – so subtle you’d likely miss it – reminiscent of neutral French oak. Transition to finish is seamless leaving the palate dry with a crisp tannic grip.

Delille Cellars puts out a veritable lineup of accessible wines that maintain a great sense of place. Their execution is clean, crisp and representative. If you are ever in Woodinville or the greater Seattle area, I highly recommend visiting their tasting room for a focused, guided, tasting. It’s a beautiful location that matches the wines perfectly! Nicely done Delille!

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2018 Optu (Bordeaux Blend) by Fidelitas, Red Mountain.

Tonight’s occasion: 2018 Optu (Bordeaux Blend) by Fidelitas, Red Mountain.

Deep dark semi opaque color. Warm, aromatic nose with lots of ripe plums, blackberries, wet wood leather and dusty slate. A touch of caramel and cedarwood lingers in the back. When swirled vigorously, these all intensify and conspire to create subtle bursts of licorice.

Body is dry and moderately acidic on the attack. This is immediately tempered by restrained tannins in the form of tart plums. This provides a measured amount of structure. A subtle, crisp oak vanilla (reminiscent of neutral French oak), adds good dimension and enhances the fruit essence ever so slightly. Transition to finish is characterized by black currants and bitter cola ending with a dry, dusty tannic grip and moderate spice tingle.

I remember visiting their tasting room just outside Seattle. I enjoyed every wine I tasted but had to pick one to bring back and this is it. It’s a well built Bordeaux Blend that speaks to the region at large. I like how bigger blends express themselves with a little more restraint. While it may show well now, it still young and has many more years ahead of it.

Nicely done!

2016 Mailbox (Red Mountain) by Glacier View Cellars

Tonight’s occasion: 2016 Mailbox (Red Mountain) by Glacier View Cellars, Woodinville, WA

Deep rich semi opaque color. Out of the bottle nose is a little restrained with primary notes of a tight crisp tart plum, secondary notes of anise, very distant woody tertiary notes and a honeysuckle so faint it likely goes unnoticed. Swirling vigorously unlocks a burst of nectar-like sweet dark cherry. Terroir is almost neutral but for a slightly wet sedimentary essence. I like it!

Dark plum turns slightly sweet and ripe on the attack, along with a burst of acidity. Soon after they agree to play, a healthy dose of spice makes an appearance. The three permeate the entire experience through the finish. A measured dose of tannins provides great structure without dominating. As it opens up, a subtle bouquet of spice notes linger. A measured amount of oak emerges to render a melange of various background notes. Hours later the finish is dominated by black currants anise and firm tannic grip. This Bordeaux style blend is young yet showing so beautifully. I can’t help but wonder what it would look like in another 5-10 years.

I stumbled upon Glacier View Cellars through casual mention while out exploring the local wine scene in the greater Seattle a couple weekends ago. Stephanie, Owner/Winemaker so accurately embodies what I live to explore – the small artisan winemaker off the beaten path. Her style is mature beyond her years, her execution has a certain precision and restraint to it.

Nicely done Stephanie!

WineSnob TV:
You can watch more about my visit to this winery while tasting in Woodinville here:
Off The Beaten Path – Woodinville, Seattle, Washington

2016 Cab Sauv by Canvasback

Tonight’s occasion: 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon by Canvasback, Red Mountain [AVA], Yakima Valley [AVA], Columbia Valley [AVA], Washington State.

Dark rich color. Long dark legs. Crisp, clean nose with lots of berry and plum. This is a Cabernet Sauvignon. Lots of good fruit up front along with a healthy dose of restraint. A hint of oak in the back.

Body has very good crisp, clean structure and balance. Not as fruit forward as the nose would suggest. The oak while still restrained, is a touch more pronounced. Expression of the terroir is muted and more mineral if anything. I think this may be the reason for its crisp, clean posture.

It has a great mouth feel. It’s so easy for a Cab to get out of hand and overbearing. This one is extremely well behaved and tamed. I suspect the climate in the region may have something to do with it. Firm tannins lead to a smooth finish dominated by their ever tightening grip. A hint of tobacco, smokey oak and moderate enduring dry spice wrap up the experience.

Most wines have a certain aristic flare to them. This wine feels like it was made with a healthy dose of OCD. It feels like there was great attention to detail and a strict adherence to core principles. This is my first time tasting wine from this little know region. I am very impressed by the quality of the wine and craftsmanship.

Nicely done Canvasback!

Reader Notes

Opened it 10 minutes ago and poured it into the glass. It has a dark ruby red color with viscosity. Its shy on the nose initially but I get some spicy fresh aromas of dark currants, plums, dried herbs. It has mild acidity and good fruit with some roundness on the palate but it has peppery notes on the palate. It has mild to moderate tannins but a smooth very long finish.

My wife has an incredible palate. She is going to taste it soon. Its definitely drinkable without food but I can see it as food friendly. I’ll let you know when I have it with food.

The tannins are not intense. It’s a very well balanced wine. Definitely approachable young compared to Napa cabs. Wifey felt it also has a taint of tobacco leaf and I agree. I think that comes once it’s open longer.

~ Dr Cruz-Romero


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