Mike Januik’s standing in the Washington wine industry allows him to cherry-pick among the state’s premier plantings. Here, fruit from historic Ciel du Cheval, managed for the Holmes family by Kade Casciato, joins berries from two vineyards in the vast portfolio of Washington Wine Hall of Fame inductee Dick Shaw — Obelisco and Quintessence. And this bottling’s provenance helps explain the sense of majesty to a structure that’s brimming with black cherry, plum and cassis. The use of only French oak barrels, half of them new, helps frame the tannins and add a sense of chocolate that doesn’t cloak the delicate secondary notes of rose petal and earthiness.
Rating: Gold medal – 92 points
Production: 632 cases