Substance – Cabernet Sauvignon; Columbia Valley, Washington; 2021 

 March 4, 2024

By  rackhouse

Washington produces so many exciting wines, and that definitely includes Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. With over 10,000 acres under vine, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the most widely-grown varietal in the state. Terrific examples hail from sub-appellations like Red Mountain, Wahluke Slope, Horse Heaven Hills, and Walla Walla Valley. One of the fascinations of these Columbia Valley Cabs is that they so often seem to have one foot in the New World and one in the Old. Representing the former are characteristics like the ripe, forward fruit that results from long sunny days during the growing season (up to two hours longer than in much of California). Old World similarities include an undeniable brightness from acidity, as well as notes of herbs, graphite and a dusty, sometimes gravelly minerality.


2021 was one of the warmest vintages to date in Washington. Bud break started early due to nice weather and moderate temperatures, then June was one of the warmest in recorded history, resulting in very small berries. The beginning of the ripening season was nice and even, leading to excellent fruit with incredible concentration. Overall, 2021 is a distinct and lovely vintage, producing fantastic wines to enjoy now and into the future.
This wine opens to classic Cabernet notes on the nose, with a fresh frame of blackberry, dark cherry and dusty plum, the 2021 Cs Cabernet Sauvignon is juicy and floral with hints of savory herbs and brown baking spices. Medium to full-bodied, it is firm, focused and fresh on the palate, with elegance, focus, grace and a balanced structure. The wine rested for about a year on the lees, and it boasts a soft shine from aging in 25% new French oak. Aromatics of cassis, blackberries, sage, tobacco, and leafy herb fill the senses, and it’s medium-bodied, balanced, and elegant on the palate.

related posts:


Cayuse ‘Edith’ – Rosé of Grenache; Walla Walla, Washington; 2021


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The Crane Assembly 2019 Disciples

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