Two 2010s from Cadence

Hello friends. I’ve mentioned the Full Pull virtuous cycle before, but it has been awhile. It goes something like this:

You folks buy Washington wines from Full Pull, try them, love them, and then visit those wineries. And then you’re apparently a vocal bunch, frequently mentioning to winemakers that it was Full Pull where you were first introduced to their winery.

This has a real strengthening effect on our relationships with those wineries, because a) our winery partners see what knowledgeable, jovial, all-around-above-average folks populate our list, and they like selling wine to folks like you; and b) they see that, in addition to the sales they get from Full Pull, they’re also getting fringe marketing benefits. And then those wineries *want* to work with us, to make sure our list members get every opportunity to experience their wines. The great wheel turns, and turns again.

Today is a good example, where the folks at Cadence reached out to let us know that they’re nearing the end of their exceptional 2010 vintage. Essentially, they’re offering last call before shutting down the bar. Nothing required them to contact us. They could easily sell through their remainder without Full Pull. It’s a courtesy, one born, I think, out of this virtuous cycle.

So today we’ll offer all four of Cadence’s 2010 vintage single-vineyard wines from Red Mountain: two new offers, and two reoffers at the bottom. It’s last call on a spectacular vintage, one seemingly put on earth for Ben Smith’s house style (textural elegance, carefully-tended structure, finely-tuned balance). This is the man who, according to Stephen Tanzer, makes “some of Washington’s most Bordeaux-like wines,” and this was a vintage that certainly allowed him to do so.

As I’ve said before, for lovers of terroir expression in general, and Red Mountain terroir in particular, these are wines from a man dedicated to delivering sense of place in the glass, and from a vintage that gave him just the right raw materials. Let’s dive in.

2010 Cadence Ciel du Cheval VineyardWashington Wine Report (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. Rating: ****/***** (Excellent/Exceptional).”

International Wine Cellar (Stephen Tanzer): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.”

Those of you who follow Tanzer know that a 94pt review is high praise indeed. The blend here is 39% Cabernet Franc, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Petit Verdot and 11% Merlot, and I’ll agree with both reviewers that this is just a babe right now. The balance is pinpoint, the stuffing (a mix of intense dark fruit and ferrous Red Mountain minerality and haunting dried florals) impressive, the structure sturdy and ready for the long haul. It’s a deeply impressive expression of Ciel, from a man who has been working with this site for an awfully long time.

2010 Cadence Tapteil VineyardWashington Wine Report (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. Rating: ***** (Exceptional).”

International Wine Cellar (Stephen Tanzer): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 93(+?)pts.”

Tapteil (located here) is a bit lesser known on Red Mountain than sites like Ciel and Klipsun, and it is a beautiful vineyard with a dark, sultry heart. The spine of this (64%) is 1985-planted Cabernet Sauvignon (the remainder is Merlot and Cabernet Franc). Even by Red Mountain standards, Tapteil is a windy site, and those Cabernet berries develop extra-thick skins to compensate, leading to wines with powerful tannic structure. In other hands, those tannins can get a little out of control. In Ben’s hands, they are managed capably, always adding a lovely toothsome quality, a rusticity, to the Tapteil bottling. That’s certainly the case here, where this is a Cab-dominant powerhouse, rolling from a delicious fruit-driven mid-palate into a mega-finish with dusty/earthy tannins to spare. For lovers of that rare combination of power and grace, Tapteil is not to be missed.

First come first served up to 48 bottles total (mix and match as you like), 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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