3. Woodward Canyon Winery 2012 Old Vines Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $99
Rick Small and Kevin Mott didn’t feel the 2010 vintage measured up to their storied standards for their Old Vines Dedication Series Cabernet Sauvignon. The beautiful 2012 vintage from their traditional blend from renowned Champoux, Sagemoor and Woodward Canyon Estate vineyards is a return to form and one for the cellar. And yet, it’s been drinking beautifully for months. The aromas are redolent of black plum, black cherry, black licorice, sarsaparilla and enchanting baking spices. Those notes come through on the gorgeously intense palate, which finds perfect balance with smooth tannins and skilled presentation of acidity. Lingering touches of crushed black walnut, Earl Grey tea and bittersweet chocolate make for a marvelously complex finish that seems to hint at the influence of Petit Verdot (9%) from the Small family vineyard. This bottling merited a double gold at the 2015 Great Northwest Wine Competition, and it earned a gold at the Walla Walla Valley Wine Competition. It is an outstanding tribute to Amasa Piper (A.P.) Woodward, whose visage is featured on this year’s bottling. Woodward, a member of the U.S. Army who fought in the Battle of Walla Walla, later sold his Frenchtown farm in 1883 to Frank Lowden.
Production: 565 cases