When Victor “Kid Platinum” Palencia swirled this Cab into the bottle, the Royal Slope had not yet been recognized by the federal government as an American Viticultural Area. That changed a year ago, so future bottlings of the Monarcha Cab from Frenchman Hills Vineyard can carry that appellation on the label. There’s remarkable complexity in this Cab, which is loaded with blackberry cobbler, clove, tomato vine, mint and toffee notes. Its long and spicy finish brings along a pinch of earth. Award: Bellingham Northwest (double gold).
Rating: Platinum, 91 points
Production: 392 cases