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Cloudlift Cellars 2014 Ascent Cabernet Franc, Yakima Valley, $28
Wood craftsman Tom Stangeland shifted the focus of his Cabernet Franc program from the Horse Heaven Hills to the Rattlesnake Hills in 2014, and his budding relationship with Wise Brothers Vineyard near Elephant Mountain yields rock-solid results. There’s a sense of opulence from start to finish as aromas of black currant, blueberry, toast and chocolate lead to round flavors of blackberry and black cherry wash over the top of smooth and sweet tannins. This Georgetown winemaker shows skill by balancing the boldness of Merlot (18%) and Petit Verdot (6%) while removing herbaceousness from the equation.
Production: 142 cases