Hello friends. Four Washington wineries have ownership stakes in Champoux Vineyard, undeniably one of Washington’s cru Cabernet sites, in the heart of the Horse Heaven Hills. Those four wineries naturally have access to the filet of the vineyard. Quilceda Creek’s Cabernet Sauvignon ($140) and Woodward Canyon’s Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon ($110) both contain a backbone of Champoux Cab. Andrew Will’s Sorella ($83) comes entirely from Block One Champoux fruit. And now, from the fourth partner, comes today’s wines:
Powers is now in its second generation, with Greg Powers taking over the main winemaking role from his father Bill. Greg was in his late teens when he helped his dad plant their 80-acre family estate, Badger Mountain Vineyard. They were visionaries when it came to organic viticulture, becoming the first Certified Organic vineyard in Washington State in 1990, waaaaay before the notion of organics was trendy.
In 1992 they launched Powers Winery, and in 1996 they formed the partnership that purchased Champoux (then called Mercer Ranch). They’ve been working with Champoux fruit for more than two decades, and it shows. This particular bottling is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, rounded out with 5% each Merlot and Petit Verdot. It spent 30 months in French oak, 75% new, and clocks in at 14% listed alc. The fruit source, the classy barrels, the length of time in oak: all suggest a Cabernet that could command a considerably higher price. That it comes from perhaps the best Washington vintage of the new millennium is the capstone.
This offers an unmistakable Champoux nose, its wonderful graphitic minerality weaving through blackcurrant fruit and smoke and cedar. The balance is pinpoint, with just-right acidity and tannin structure to frame a core of delicious, mineral-tinged black fruit. There’s even a light note of black olive to ramp up the complexity a little further. After a plush mid-palate, this moves into a serious, grippy, toothsome finish, very true to Cabernet in texture. This is classy, classy juice, punching well above its price class, and it is a textbook introduction to an important Washington vineyard.
First come first served up to 36 bottles, and the wine should arrive in the next week or two, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.