Charles Auclair’s continued fascination with Red Mountain for Bordeaux varieties — red and white — pays off again as usual, however the Woodinville winemaker’s blend barely qualified for this comparative tasting with Merlot accounting for 75% of the bottling. His three best barrels of Merlot from Heart of The Hill Vineyard were joined by a barrel of Cabernet Franc from Artz Vineyard — both sites now controlled by the Williams family of Kiona renown. Blackberry and blueberry aromas include a sprig of mint from the Franc before cherry candy and blackberry burst through on the flavors. Its tannin management is splendid, while the squirt of black currant and scrape of vanilla in the finish impart delicious longevity.
Rating: Gold medal – 93 points
Production: 100 cases