Walla Walla Valley AVA Cabernet Sauvignon

2017 Cabernet Sauvignon – Walla Walla Valley AVA

Vintage Notes

A couple of good snow storms during the winter and a cool, wet spring meant there was plenty of water available for the vines once the weather warmed up in June. This led to vigorous canopies that growers had a hard time keeping up with. Dense canopies shade fruit early on and available water keeps them growing. It’s important to get sunshine on the fruit early to aid in the thickening of the berries skin – this is where flavor and tannins reside. Hot weather arrived in late June and continued through July, helping the canopies to shut down and allowed the vintage to catch up from the late start. Smoke from fires in British Columbia reduced sunlight intensity, keeping things cooler for the last three weeks of August. Days that were predicted to reach 100 degrees or more ended up 10 to 15 degrees cooler. Things thankfully cooled off further the last two weeks of September, stalling fruit development, which kept sugars and acids at reasonable levels. October was wetter than usual with very cold nights close to freezing. The cool temperatures pushed most of our Cabernet picks out to the second and third weeks of October. The wines of the 2017 vintage show great density and depth. They are a vintage until themselves that I find hard to draw any parallels to other vintages. The fruit is very dark and brooding backed by “sticky/dusty” tannins.

Blend Details

100% Cabernet Sauvignon


100% Walla Walla Valley


85% Seven Hills
15% Summit View

Aging Profile

20 months in new (24%) and single use (76%) French oak barrels

Harvest Dates

October 14 – October 24, 2017



Release Date

Fall, 2021


36 cases of 750mL bottles

View from the Cellar 94+ points

The Walla Walla bottling of cabernet sauvignon from Pamplin Family is a special, limited release cuvée produced at the winery, as there are only thirty-six cases of this beauty that will find their way into distribution. The wine is entirely cabernet sauvignon, with eighty-five percent of the fruit hailing from the Seven Hills Vineyard and the other fifteen percent from Summit View Vineyard. The wines comes in at the same svelte 14.2 percent alcohol, but offers up a more black fruity bouquet than the regular 2017 cabernet, wafting from the glass in a deep and very promising blend of cassis, dark berries, cigar ash, a beautiful base of soil tones, cigar wrapper and a refined foundation of oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with fine soil undertow, impeccable focus and balance, ripe, seamless tannins and a very long, nascently complex and impressively light on its feet finish. This is a stellar bottle in the making, but it is quite structured and built for the long haul, so if you are fortunate enough to find a few bottles, do not even think of opening one for at least the next decade! 2033-2075. (John Gilman)