The 1998 Woodward Canyon Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon was the winning wine in the March installment of Pick My Next Bottle.
Located in the Walla Walla Valley appellation of Washington State, Woodward Canyon Winery was started in 1981 by Rick Small and his wife, Darcey Fugman-Small. Woodward Canyon produces almost a dozen different wines, and their Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon and Reserve Chardonnay are some of the very best examples of those varietals produced in Washington State.
The 1998 Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon was produced from grapes that were planted in the 1970’s. The grapes were harvested entirely from Champoux vineyard, formerly known as Mercer Ranch, along the Columbia River in southeastern Washington. The very warm growing season of 1998 gave incredibly ripe fruit of great richness and concentration.
The reds from Woodward Canyon age as gracefully as anything produced in Washington.
Bright violet in color. 14.4% ABV. Super ripe with a nose of candied cherries. Leather, tobacco, maraschino cherries, smoke, spice, chocolate, mint and cassis on the palate. The finish is rich, earthy and long. This wine is in a holding pattern – it’s largely unchanged from the bottle I had in the Summer of 2011. I will let my last few bottles cellar for another 3-5 years.
My rating: 93 points.
The wine is widely available at retail, at the winery and via the mailing list. The current vintage of the Old Vines Cabernet can be found for right around $80. The Artists Series Cabernet is a more affordable but delicious alternative for about $45.
The winery is also a great first stop as you head into the Walla Walla wine country!
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