2011 Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Notes

2011 got off to a late start and never caught up. Weather from July to the end of September was nearly perfect and saved the vintage. Powdery mildew was an issue throughout Washington since temperatures rarely got into the mid-nineties. As a result of the lower temperatures, it was a very compressed vintage with all the fruit picked in the last three weeks of October. It was a grower’s vintage (every vintage is a winemaker’s vintage) with the best fruit coming from vineyards that reduced crop level early and worked at keeping the canopies open to reduce mildew pressure and to allow sun into the fruit zone. Despite all these challenges, the wines show great finesse and depth. 2011 was a gift that will likely not be duplicated anytime soon. The bouquet of both wines is complex and beautiful. It is a vintage for cellaring.

Blend Details

97% Cabernet Sauvignon
3% Petit Verdot


49% Rattlesnake Hills
48% Horse Heaven Hills
3% Walla Walla


49% Elephant Mountain
48% Alder Ridge
3% Seven Hills

Aging Profile

21 months in new (33%) and neutral (67%) French oak barrels

Harvest Dates

October 25 – November 2, 2011



Release Date

Fall, 2014


149 cases of 750mL bottles


pamplin-review-spectator11-cabLean, lithe and firm at first, glowing at the core, with juicy, licorice-accented blackberry flavors, gliding into the long, sleek and expressive finish. Best from 2016 through 2020. 149 cases made. (Harvey Steiman)


pamplin-review-enthusiast-11-cabAlmost entirely varietal (3% Petit Verdot) with the fruit mostly split between Elephant Mountain and Alder Ridge vineyards, this wine is a bit aromatically locked up at present with notes of cherry, green herbs and blue fruit. It’s medium bodied in feel, with the oak dialed back (33% new French), tart acids and a gentle squeeze of tannins with bitters on the finish. It should only improve with additional time in the bottle and has a lot of life ahead of it. (Sean Sullivan)


pamplin-review-rand-sealy-10-cabBlended with 3% Petit Verdot, this Cabernet exhibits a semi-opaque ruby color and a classic nose of wild blackberry, black cherry, plum, crushed black roses, cigar box and smoldering incense. The full-bodied flavors mirror the aromatics with layers of dark fruits that are intermixed with licorice, Swiss chocolate, French roast and alluvial minerals. On the back, the wine turns deep and penetrating with the dried fruits – spiced cherries, orange peel and grape skins – and roasted nuts and pencil lead giving it a Bordeaux-like character that is accentuated by the lingering sweet-dry tannin finish. The overall finesse gives it a plus.


pamplin-review-adovcate-11-cabMade from 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot, it offers hints of sage brush, green herbs, plenty of dark and crushed rock-like minerality to go with a medium-bodied, fresh, focused feel on the palate that lacks the depth and density I found in the prior vintage. Nevertheless, it’s still a solid wine that will have 10-12 years of longevity. (Jeb Dunnuck)