This vintage marked the first time that Walla Walla Valley grower/winemaker Dennis Murphy incorporated all three of his estate vineyards into his Eleanor bottling, a Left Bank-Bordeaux style that is led by Octave (41%) in the historic SeVein development, the wine’s namesake planting (36%) and young site Sanitella (23%). Here’s the flagship wine at Caprio, and it offers indicators of each of the four varieties involved in the blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (62%), Merlot (20%), Malbec (12%) and Cabernet Franc. There’s also the influence of Octave with its soil profile of fractured basalt, adding fascinating notes of crushed brick and iron shavings behind the theme of black fruit, savory herbs from the Cab Franc and toast via the barrel program of 36% new French oak. The Cab Sauv and Malbec provide dark blue fruit flavors akin to black cherry, blackberry and blueberry as the Merlot helps build the gravelly plum-skin tannins and pomegranate juiciness for an age-worthy finish. Suggested pairings include Grilled Octopus and Herb-roasted Potatoes by CrushedGrapeChronicles.com.
Rating: Excellent — 90 points
Production: 866 cases