Hello friends. Balboa has long been a list-member favorite at Full Pull. From their wildly popular rocks Syrah to succulent, purple Malbecs and red blends, Balboa provides undeniably good wine at accessible price points. Today we have one of the very best we’ve ever offered: estate-grown Cabernet from the Rocks District of the Walla Walla Valley, for an eye-opening tag:
2014 Balboa Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon
For those of our list members who’ve yet to experience Balboa and the wildly satisfying wines they’re slingin’, the winery was founded by Walla Walla veteran and winemaker Tom Glase in 2005. Tom started his winemaking career by working a harvest for L’Ecole in the late 90’s. He quickly moved on to increasingly more demanding winemaking experiences at Corliss, Ash Hollow Vineyards, and finally, as the head winemaker at Beresan. Almost a decade after the first vintage he worked with L’Ecole, Tom opened up his own shop with Balboa. As a winemaker, Tom has dedicated his craft to making wines that are true to the varietal, terroir, and vintage. The wines at Balboa are dedicated to time and place—they are built to showcase what Walla Walla Valley is capable of.
Like many of our favorite wineries, Balboa truly believes that quality winemaking starts in the vineyard. In their Estate Eidolon vineyard, Tom and his team practice sustainable growing practices and mostly hand labor. They take a minimal intervention approach to crafting their wines—and ferment vineyard blocks individually to capture the true essence of the terroir. Balboa’s use of wood reflects their central philosophy—it is balanced and light, not to detract from the varietal purity and terroir they are carefully selecting. Attention to detail and thoughtful process are the name of the game at Balboa.
The grapes used for the Artist Cabernet Sauvignon come entirely from Eidolon Vineyard, Balboa’s estate site, located squarely in the Rocks. Planted in 1999, and called LeFore before Balboa’s purchase, this ancient riverbed soil is the home for much of Balboa’s Cab, Syrah, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. Eidolon is planted a little bit higher than much of the Rocks, which mitigates against the inevitable freeze of the region. What’s most exciting about this particular bottle is the opportunity to try Cabernet from the Rocks, which is much less frequently grown than it’s counterpart, Syrah, at such a reasonable price point.
And truly, this price point is excellent for the wine Balboa is producing. This 100% Cabernet opens with a juicy, fruit forward nose of black cherries, raspberries, blackberries, cassis, sandalwood, and licorice anise. On the palate, it’s structured and bold, full of Rocks minerals and rustic Cabernet tannins.. This is a serious wine—one that truly reflects the power this district of Walla Walla is capable of. Drink this wine with any classic Cabernet pairing, a juicy ribeye, barbeque ribs, or ever a rare, seared duck breast.
First come first served up to 12 bottles total, and the wine should arrive in a week or two, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.