2011 Woodward Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon Artist Series

Hello friends. I’m bumping today’s scheduled offer to Wednesday, as we’ve just been offered a reorder shot at one of the most strongly-reviewed wines in Jeb Dunnuck’s just-published set of reviews for Wine Advocate (Issue #213, published June 30, 2014):

Wine Advocate (Jeb Dunnuck): “($59); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.” [To put this into context, the five Cabernets receiving stronger reviews in Jeb’s annual report (two from Quilceda Creek, one each from Corliss, DeLille, and Upchurch) have release prices of $60, $60, $75, $115, and $140.]

Once that review came out last week, the wine essentially sold out in Seattle the same day. Fortunately, our wholesale partners were kind enough to set aside a chunk for our list members, in part as a thank you for our long support of Rick Small’s efforts. Basically, our hold evaporates on Wednesday morning, so please get all orders in by Tuesday night. We’ll try to include a buffer for latecomers, but no promises; this isn’t a big parcel to begin with.

We originally offered this on December 13 of last year, soon after its release. Here’s the excerpt from that offer:

For the second vintage running, Artist Series sees a sizeable chunk of Champoux fruit that usually ends up in Old Vines. Here it takes a plurality, at 30% of the blend, rounded out with fruit from Canoe Ridge (29%), Sagemoor (18%), Woodward Estate (12%), Hedges (6%), and 1-2% dollops of a few other sites.

It’s a full 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, and it shows, with a solid core of crème de cassis fruit, swaddled in barrel notes of woodsmoke and coffee, along with Champoux’s signature graphite/pencil-lead mineral tones. In the mouth, I immediately admired how this visits all the highlights of a cooler Cabernet vintage: beetroot, bay leaf, black olive. There is blackcurrant and blackberry fruit of course, but it’s merely a component of a complex overall blend. The finishing tannins (well-managed as always) are redolent of star anise and black tea, just lovely. I’ve been lucky enough to taste some Woodward Cabernets from the cooler 1999 vintage, and my oh my, if that’s any indication of what Woodward produces in cool vintages, this should have a fascinating decade or two ahead of it.

Again, please try to get order requests submitted by Tuesday night, and please limit those requests to 12 bottles. We’ll do our best to fulfill all requests, and the wine should arrive in about a week, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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