Robert Karl Cellars 2012 The Phinny Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $36
Spokane vintner Joseph Gunselman focuses his attention on the Horse Heaven Hills, and he had the foresight to establish Gunselman Bench Vineyard in this now-famous region. With this bottling, however, he pulls from nearby Phinny Hill Vineyard, and the results from a crop load of 3.5 tons per acre are predictably stunning. He invested 23 months in two barrels of new French oak, which accounts for dark and perfumy aromas of milk chocolate, Bing cherry, black currant and blackberry that include touches of black olive, sweet herbs and a pinch of cumin. Its texture is one of massive dark red fruit with rich and round tannins akin to espresso. Finishing flavors of juicy red currant and mint include shaved dark chocolate and clove. It’s a wine that makes no apologies for its muscularity.
Production: 50 cases