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Cedar River Cellars 2013 Ava’s Crush Cabernet Sauvignon, Rattlesnake Hills, $30
Renton, Wash., winemaker Micah Nasarow has spent much of his life working with craft beverages – beer and coffee – with a degree in food science from Oregon State University along the way. In Washington state, he’s focused his red program on historic Portteus Vineyard, one of the region’s under-appreciated plantings for Cabernet Sauvignon. He uses Paul Portteus’ hand-picked fruit for his Cab program that goes into older French oak, revealing classic aromas of black currant, plum, black cherry and sarsaparilla with hints of pipe tobacco, lavender, white pepper and minerality. The drink is bold, dark and focused on blackberry and plum flavors surrounded by pomegranate acidity and black currant skins. A dusting of spice and vanilla bean add to the finish. This wine is scheduled for a February release, and it’s already rounding into form.
Production: 74 cases