Discovery Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

2019 Discovery Vineyard

Vintage Notes

A terroir-driven vintage? Perfect? We just made it over the finish line in 2019. We picked 80% of our fruit in one week due to the frosts that hit the Columbia Valley the second week of October. Luckily, everything was ripe and ready and I was already booked on our growers’ picking schedule a week ahead of time. Picking within a day or two of a frost is critical to avoid the once-green leaves, now brown and crunchy, from getting into the picking bins. Once they are on the fruit, they are impossible to remove and can negatively impact the flavor of the wine. We were able to get in all of our fruit before this happened except for our Merlot from Canoe Ridge Estate. Luckily, I had my vineyard intern Elijah Shields. I sent him out to the vineyard with a leaf blower to blow all the dried leaves off the vines before the fruit was picked. A miserable task, but one that paid dividends in terms of the quality of the Merlot we realized — Thanks Eli! 2019 was a tricky vintage for growers. Forecasts for hot weather never seemed to come to fruition, which made it difficult for vineyard managers in terms of scheduling irrigation. If you held off on watering, you were fine as the evolving forecast pushed high temps off into the future, but if you pulled the trigger too soon, you over-watered which resulted in excess vigor in the vineyard. Over-watering also makes for delayed ripening and big berries – which are not desirable with any vintage. Very intense scrutiny of the vineyards throughout the vintage on my part really paid off. The 2019 wines are pure with each vineyard showing its’ unique personality. I can’t remember a vintage where every lot was so distinct and defined.

Blend Details

100% Cabernet Sauvignon


100% Horse Heaven Hills


100% Discovery Vineyard

Aging Profile

20 months in neutral (100%) French oak barrels

Harvest Dates

October 12, 2019



Release Date

Fall, 2023


46 cases of 750mL bottles

View from the Cellar 94+ pointsThere are only two barrels of the Discovery Vineyard bottling of Cabernet Sauvignon from Robert Henry at Pamplin Family Winery, but the wine will certainly be worth a special search to try and find a few bottles in the market. The wine comes in at 14.3 percent octane in this vintage and was raised entirely in neutral oak barrels- a rarity for west coast Cabernet Sauvignon these days! The bouquet is deep and pure, wafting from the glass in a refined blend of sweet dark berries, cassis, espresso, cigar wrapper, a fine base of soil, currant leaf and a gentle touch of cedary oak from the older casks. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, focused and complex, with a beautiful core of black fruit, excellent soil undertow and grip, fine-grained, seamless tannins and superb balance and grip on the long, very promising finish. This is a gorgeous wine in the making! (John Gilman)


This is 100% varietal, with fruit coming from a site that is increasingly establishing itself as a top spot for Cabernet. Enticing aromas of expresso, dried herb, licorice, dried leaf, cherry and plum lead to reserved, well-balanced, vivid cherry flavors. The feel is polished and appealing, with the oak dialed back. Bright acid only ups the interest. It’s a very classy wine, with a lot of structure behind it. (Sean P. Sullivan)


NW Wine Report 93 pointsThis wine manages the rare feat of offering electric acidity and brawny tannins. It is the color of a black marble, with blueberry and cinnamon spice aromas. The wine’s flavors are juicy and expansive, ranging from black cherry and bittersweet dark chocolate to cara cara oranges and wet slate. (Michael Alberty)



Paul G on WineIt’s interesting that winemaker Robert Henry puts his most expensive, most rare, single vineyard Cabernet entirely in neutral barrels. It’s a testament to his appreciation for the quality of the fruit, and it flies in the face of the long-standing, unspoken rule that the better the fruit, the more expensive must be the barrels. The emphasis here is on fruit purity and vineyard expression. Ultimately it makes a more delicate wine, and one that must be examined more closely as it doesn’t hit you over the head with massive fruit or new oak. It’s more like Pinot Noir in the way it unfolds, the layering of details and the overall elegance. (Paul Gregutt –