Hello friends. We have a special wine today, Cabernet Sauvignon from the oldest commercial Cabernet vines in the Walla Walla Valley:
This is another under-the-radar, rising-star Walla Walla Valley winery that you absolutely must know about. Anyone visiting the valley this summer would do well to make an appointment with Doug and Jan Roskelley to visit the beautiful winery that they have built in the vineyard. (Note: they have recently opened a Tero tasting room in the Marcus-Whitman hotel, but for the real experience, I implore you: get out into the vineyard if you can).
Windrow Vineyard (see location here) was part of the original Seven Hills Vineyard, planted in 1980. The original site was split in the mid-90s, and the parcel that was sold kept the Seven Hills name. The remainder became Windrow.
The name makes sense when you visit, as there is a regular breeze that blows through this southwest part of the Walla Walla Valley. It’s one of the factors that makes this such a suitable spot for Cabernet. Wind, as many of you know, causes grapes to develop thicker skins, which eventually imparts those wonderfully sweet tannins that we all associate with the best Cabernet bottlings.
And this is spectacular Cabernet, the flagship in a fine lineup of wines that Doug recently poured on a Thursday morning in the warehouse (nice way to start the day!). What is immediately striking here is the high tone of the outlandishly beautiful aromatics. We get plenty of dark, brooding Cabernet in this state, but a bottle like this, all full of violets and lavender and strawberry blossoms, is a rarity, and a revelation. It’s a wine with aromatics aching in their beauty, difficult to sip because sipping takes you one step closer to not being able to sniff again.
But okay, at some point you will just need to take the plunge, and then the carnival continues. Texturally brilliant, this presents depth and intensity, precision and power; the hallmarks of fine Cabernet. The fruit core is red cherry and strawberry, elevated by nuances of leaf and flower. Considering that this was Doug’s first vintage in the vineyard and the winery (after purchasing Windrow in early 2007), the achievement here is remarkable.
I suspect Doug is that rare breed who is simultaneously a fine farmer and a fine palate. Or, to put it more simply: he is a vigneron.
Review of Washington Wines (Rand Sealey): “($55); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 19+/20 points.”
The production is limited here (not surprising, I guess; the vineyard isn’t getting any bigger), at 268 cases, and very little of this finds its way to Seattle. Please limit order requests to 6 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive in 2-3 weeks, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the autumn shipping window.