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Cedar River Cellars 2013 Ava’s Crush Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon, Rattlesnake Hills, $38
One of Washington’s top sites for old vines Cabernet Sauvignon belongs to Paul Portteus, and Puget Sound winemaker Micha Nasarow makes this 33-year-old, higher elevation site in the Yakima Valley a focus of his young program in Renton. This Cab signifies a single French oak barrel of 100 percent free-run juice, and the nose hints at plum, blueberry and pomegranate with influences of mocha, black licorice, vanilla and smoke. Its flavors bring purple plumminess with more dark purple fruit tones. Modest tannins akin to cherry skins and the charming finish of maple syrup give the structure a sense of elegance rather than power. Scheduled for a February release, this already is ready to enjoy.
Production: 25 cases