2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2010 vintage was cool by any standard….at least until the 2011 vintage. The cool days in September and, more specifically, the cold nights, maintained high acid levels which is the defining characteristic of the vintage. Warm weather returned the last week of September and remained through the first week of October, ripening tannins and flavors but not reducing acid levels. With no frost to contend with in two years, the Cabernet had all the time it needed to ripen to pitch perfect levels. The 2010 blends are marked by purity and proportion, elegance and precision. It is a vintage for cellaring.
98% Cabernet Sauvignon
2% Petit Verdot
70% Red Mountain
20% Horse Heaven Hills
10% Walla Walla
10% Seven Hills
21 months in new (28%), single use (64%) and neutral (8%) French oak barrels
October 14 – October 22, 2010
137 cases of 750mL bottles
First, and foremost, a smoking Cabernet that incorporates 2% Petit Verdot, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon boasts a deep, rich, full-bodied profile to go with loads of black raspberry, spice, cedar and toast on the nose. Aged 21 months in 28% new, 64% once-filled and 8% neutral French oak barrels before being bottled unfined and unfiltered, this beauty opens up nicely in the glass, has a layered, elegant texture and superb underlying structure. While it’s reasonably approachable now, it should benefit from short-term cellaring, and have upward of two decades of longevity. (Jeb Dunnuck)
Sourced principally from Klipsun, with smaller amounts from Champoux and Seven Hills, this tight, dark, richly-flavored wine has impeccable credentials. Black fruits, expresso and citrus – notably blood orange – mingle seamlessly, though it takes some hours to open up. The Red Mountain fruit contributes characteristic notes of iron ore and underlying minerality. (Paul Gregutt)
Rich and smooth with juicy plum and black raspberry fruit; elegant, ripe and balanced; lush and dense with a core of bright acidity; long and intense. 2% Petit Verdot.
~ Anthony Dias, Blue Reviews
Pamplin Family Winery is one of a number of Northwest wineries that live in somewhat of a netherworld – a border crosser that is located in one state (Oregon) but draws all of its fruit from another (Washington). This makes it easy for the winery to fly under the radar but this would be a mistake as Pamplin is producing consistently impressive wines. One of the hallmarks of the winery is a judicious use of new oak (the 2010 received a mere 28% new French oak). The most recent release – a varietally labeled Cabernet Sauvignon – comes mostly from Klipsun Vineyard. Almost impenetrable when first opened, it takes several days to fully reveal its charms, but it is more than worth the wait.
Locked up tightly initially, it opens to reveal an energetic fruit profile of blackberry, cherry and dry chocolate. The palate is full bodied and densely structured with abundant tart cherry flavors and chewy, tightly wound tannins and a restrained oak profile. Takes a full three days to really strut its stuff. Give at least two years. 98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot. Klipsun (70%), Champoux (18%), Seven Hills (10%) and Wallula (2%) vineyards. Aged 21 months in French oak (28% new). 14.7% alcohol. (Sean Sullivan)
Previous vintages were called “Proprietary Red” wines because they were multi-varietal. Since this vintage is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon (70% Klipsun, 18% Champoux, 8% Seven Hills and 2% Wallula) with 2% Seven Hills Petit Verdot, it is labeled as a varietal. It displays a deep ruby color and intense aromas of wild blackberries, Bing cherries, cassis, crushed roses, mulberries, tobacco leaf, juniper berry, anise, rosemary and sage. On the palate, the dark fruit flavors are deep and full bore, true to variety, imbued with notes of licorice, Swiss chocolate, roasted coffee beans and minerally earth. The saturation continues on the back with sensations of macerated berries, roasted nuts, dried spiced cherries, fruit confit and graphite, all culminating in a moderately oaked (28% new French), lightly spiced (cardamom, clove), lingering sweet-dry grainy tannin finish. In re-tasting it the next day, it became even more mouth-filling, which gives it a plus.
A veil of crisp tannins wraps around a fleshy core of black cherry, rose petaland tomato leaf flavors, focusing into a solid beam as the finish lingers. Best from 2015 through 2018. 137 cases made. (Harvey Steiman)