2019 J|R|G

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

97% Cabernet Sauvignon
3% Petit Verdot


35% Red Mountain
32% Rattlesnake Hills
26% Walla Walla Valley
7% Horse Heaven Hills


33% Scooteney Flats
32% Elephant Mountain
26% Seven Hills
7% Discovery
2% Klipsun

Harvest Dates

September 26 – October 15, 2019

Aging Profiles

20 months in new (22%), single use (19%) and neutral (59%) French oak barrels


14.3% by volume

Release Date

Fall, 2023


915 cases of 750mL bottles

This balanced wine aged for 20 months in French oak, 15% new, 32% single-use and 53% neutral. It’s as good a wine as many I’ve had for twice this price, with aromas of boysenberries, spearmint, wet rocks and fresh laundry hanging on the line. It has a clean, crisp texture, silky tannins and raspberry, black tea and saline flavors. (Michael Alberty)


Paul G on Wine 93 pointsA captivating dark blueberry/black cherry color, this Cabernet Sauvignon (labeled red, but 97% Cab) is sourced from vineyards scattered across the Red Mountain, Rattlesnake Hills, Walla Walla Valley and Horse Heaven Hills AVAs. As such, it ‘s a fine expression of an all-encompassing Washington state style – muscular, dark, deep and finished with polished, firm tannins that are set against 40% new and once-used barrels.  A percentage of press wine is blended in, a deft touch that adds texture and details of graphite and clean earth without pushing the wine into unfriendly bitter territory.  (Paul Gregutt)


View from the cellar 92+The 2019 JRG bottling from Pamplin Family Winery includes more Cabernet Sauvignon in the cépages this year than I can recall from any previous vintage I have tasted, as the blend is ninety-seven percent Cabernet Sauvignon and three percent Petit Verdot. The wine comes in at 14.3 percent octane, was raised in twenty-two percent new oak and offers up a beautifully refined nose of cassis, sweet dark berries, cigar smoke, dark soil tones, tobacco leaf and a deft framing of spicy new oak. On the palate it’s deep, full-bodied and already showing a nice touch of plushness on the attack, with an excellent core, good soil signature, ripe, buried tannins and a long, nascently complex and well balanced finish. This is going to be a lovely wine. (John Gilman)


NW Wine Report 92 pointsPamplin’s JRG always overdelivers. Though listed as a red wine, this is fully 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot.  The aromas bring notes of currant, cherry, flower and a whiff of green pepper.  Medium-bodied flavors follow, the oak pleasingly pulled back.  A whole lot of tannic structure backs it up.. The finish sails into the distance.  It’s a complete standout and a terrific value to boot.