One of the descriptions that someone here proffered with regards to the offer of Gordon’s Cabernet at a price like this is like just walking along minding your own business and a $20 bill is just sitting on the ground in front of you waiting to be picked up. Imagine sitting quietly at your computer and a new email pops up that isn’t trying to sell you insurance, diet pills, or new phone service.
This email is about wine. In fact, it’s about a Washington State Cabernet that, thanks to a set of events, is one of the best values that you’re going to come across on a quality Cab. Are you seeing sunshine, rainbows, cherubs and puppies? Maybe hearing a harp? Well certainly that is a bit of an endorsement for a Cabernet that isn’t from the Napa Valley.
Yeah, over the decades we have learned about trying never to ‘oversell’ anything. So instead we’re going to calmly, rationally explain why you should be excited to find a quality Washington Cabernet to add to your holdings with summer ahead of you and barbecue season in full swing.
Gordon’s wines have graced our pages, particularly for their relative value and varietally true style. But this particular offer bears special attention. The 2013 Gordon Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is from the Columbia Valley, Washington, an area that long ago earned its wings as a source for excellent Cabernet.
Gordon Brothers pride themselves on being the oldest family estate winery in the region (starting grape planting back in 1980). They have been dependable producers that have relied on innovative farming to create fine wines. In baseball terms, these folks would be solid performers that could occasionally get the big hit. The 2013 vintage was one that provided such an opportunity.
The 2013 growing season was one of the hottest on records, right in stride with 1998 and 2003. Hot, 90-degree temperatures came on in early spring, prompting an earlier than average bud break. This heat spell was followed up by welcome spring rains that helped establish healthy canopies early in the season with bloom occurring early in June. Intense heat hung around from late June into mid-September when a dramatic shift in weather brought us a nice cool, but dry fall allowing for good hang time and a great finish for the harvest.
All of that lead to a riper than normal (for Washington) vintage that provided more amplitude and flesh to the this blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot. Tasted by a broader collection of our team, descriptors ran the gamut of melted grape Jolly Rancher kiss, new saddle leather, fresh turned earth, rose/floral bouquet and baking spices. The secondary aromatics are beautiful, pretty and “happy” with notes of nutmeg, fresh tobacco leaf, blackberry, pencil shavings, dark cocoa powder and toast. The wine shows more open drinkability and palate impressions of confectionary black cherry, caramel, and black tea.
The best part is that, while this is a well-performing wine at its original $36.50 fare, some ‘market factors’ allowed us to pick off the last few cases of this reserve Cabernet at a greatly reduced fare. The Columbia Valley has come a long way since the Gordons put down roots here. A little cooler stylistically than typical Cali Cab and positioned somewhere between that and a Bordeaux in weight, getting a reserve level Cabernet for under $20 ($19.98 to be exact) is a great ‘score’ for Cabernet fans.