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2008 Cadence Winery Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Wine Red Mountain
Producer: Cadence Winery
Style: Red Wine
Grape Type: Bordeaux Blend
Region: Columbia Valley
93(+?) Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - November/December 2010
($50; 38% cabernet franc, 33% cabernet sauvignon, 17% petit verdot and 12% merlot) Bright medium-deep red. Cherry, raspberry, licorice and flowers on the nose, plus a hint of tobacco leaf; lightly medicinal in a Cheval Blanc way. Then juicy, pure and tightly wound, with superb depth of bright red berry and floral flavors supported by firm acidity and solid tannic structure. Plenty of density and sweetness here but also energetic and light on its feet. Spreads out impressively on the back end, with the tannins reaching the incisors. Seems tighter than the 2007 version at a similar stage and really calls for five years of cellaring, even if it could be enjoyed today with food. Proprietor/winemaker Ben Smith describes 2008 as "a compressed harvest and a structured vintage for us." He normally picks on the early side (the pH here is 3.68) but notes that this wine is just over 14% alcohol. These are some of Washington's most Bordeaux-like wines, and Cadence is now firmly in the top tier of the state's producers: recent vintages have brought sweeter fruit and greater density of material without any loss of structure or verve.