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Auclair Winery 2012 Artz Vineyard Left Blend, Red Mountain, $25
This reference to the tradition of Bordeaux producers along the Left Bank leading their red blends with Cabernet Sauvignon, Woodinville vintner Charlie Auclair follows that practice with his bottling of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (26%), Cabernet Franc (11%) and Petit Verdot from historic Artz Vineyard. The barrel program is focused on French oak and dominated by new wood, which accounts for notes of dark toast, Montmorency cherry and fresh-cut cedar. On the palate, it’s fruit-driven with blackberry jam on toast, black currant and President plum. Ageworthy tannins come across as Bing cherry skins, yet there’s plenty of fruit to support that structure. This is one of the more affordable big reds you’ll find from Red Mountain.
Production: 150 cases