This higher-elevation site in the southern end of the Walla Walla Valley grabbed headlines earlier this year when control of the 70-acre vineyard shifted to skilled Sagemoor Vineyards. The Braunel and Johnson families of Dusted Valley plan to keep pulling fruit from Southwind, which has earned a number of vineyard-designate bottlings — including this bold New World example of Cabernet Franc, emboldened with a dose of Petit Verdot and time in 40% new French oak. There’s an early whiff of toast that leads into cassis, Montmorency cherry, boysenberry and a pinch of red pepper flakes. The entry to the palate is fruit-forward and bright as strawberry, Bing cherry and more currant are framed by a medium structure of tannins that screams for a nicely marbled herb-encrusted steak.
Production: 200 cases