Tim and Kelly Hightower share the winemaking and blending decisions, and that marriage of responsibilities continues to reveal itself with Meritage-type releases such as this Cabernet Sauvignon (88%) and Cabernet Franc (12%). Fruit-wise, it’s an even 50/50 split between the Hightowers’s Out of Line Vineyard and nearby E&E Shaw with a collection of Cab clones 6, 8 and 32. As usual, there’s brilliant balance and expression of the fruit core featuring black cherry, cassis and blackberry as new leather and pencil shaving notes are sifted into the background and polished off with a nibble of blueberry. Award: Cascadia International (gold).
Rating: Double Platinum, 98 points
Production: 195 cases