2018 Seven Hills Vineyard Bottle Shot

2018 Cabernet Sauvignon – Seven Hills Vineyard

Vintage Notes

2018 started out with a late bud break which can be beneficial in frost prone areas, delaying the emergence of tender young green shoots closer to Mother’s Day, the unofficial start of summer in the Columbia Valley. The conversations in the vineyard come June always revolve around “how late or early are we”? The character of the vintage is determined in July and August with the quality coming down to what happens in September and October, so I don’t fret too much about when bud break occurs. Perfect temperatures made up for the late bud break and caught everything up by the beginning of June. Bloom was very even and fast, which is ideal. This translates to a majority of the clusters ripening at the same time come veraison (the time when the berries transition from growth to ripening) and a good fruit set (crop level). This is generally a good thing as long as your crop level is thinned to appropriate levels pre- veraison. Heat didn’t arrive until July, which was perfect timing to help shut down vegetative growth. July was hot but not for extended periods. There seemed to be an on/off switch, which helped the vines recover. This trend continued throughout August and September. Temperatures through September and October were perfect, with a few days in the seventies come the third week in October! We had everything in by the second week of October. These moderate temperatures allowed a slow “braze” of the fruit. I think you could have made any style of Cabernet you wanted with this vintage since the ripening window was so wide. As usual, we made the Pamplin style.

Blend Details

100% Cabernet Sauvignon


100% Walla Walla Valley


100% Seven Hills Vineyard

Aging Profile

20 months in single use (50%) and neutral (50%) French oak barrels

Harvest Dates

October 13, 2018



Release Date

Spring, 2022


79 cases of 750mL bottles

View from the Cellar 94 points

The Seven Hills Vineyard bottling of Cabernet Sauvignon from Pamplin Family was also raised without any new oak in the 2018 vintage, as the wine was raised half in one-year-old barrels and half in older casks. The wine is 14.1 percent octane and delivers a deep and refined bouquet of black cherries, cassis, pretty spice tones, cigar smoke, a fine base of soil, a hint of mint and a nicely understated foundation of cedary oak. On the palate, the wine is elegant, full-bodied, focused and complex, with an excellent core of fruit, bouncy acids, fine-grained tannins and a long, poised and seamlessly balanced finish. (John Gilman)


PaulG On Wine Logo

It’s not unusual to taste a Seven Hills Cab, but here’s a slightly different twist from an Oregon winery. Tasting the three Pamplin 2018 Washington reds side-by-side, you see a spectrum from a three variety to a two variety to a single variety wine. This is tight, focused, firm and concentrated. Flavors of cherry, cassis, lead pencil and a touch of char are front and center. No new French oak was used; half single use and half neutral barrels, allowing the quality of the defining fruit to be the star. Drink now and through the mid-2030s. 79 cases; 14.2%; $65
(Walla Walla) (Paul Gregutt / December 31, 2022 / www.paulgwine.com)