Longtime geologist Alan Busacca, who has successfully petitioned the federal government to establish a number of American Viticultural Areas, continues to grow his partnership with Iowa-based farmland executive Steve Bruere on their Windhorse and Wheatfield Vines projects in the Columbia Gorge and Walla Walla Valley, respectively. They recently launched the cleverly named Capital Call Wine Group, which includes Nikki Bruere, and they trusted the grape for this bottling with acclaimed winemaker Rich Cushman and the Gorge Wine Co., in Hood River, Ore. And while the AVA on the label is Columbia Valley, all of the grapes came from the Oregon side of the AVA. Echo West Vineyard near Hermiston, a site originally owned by retired NFL star Drew Bledsoe, contributed all of the Cabernet Sauvignon (75%) and the Petit Verdot (8%) while Cushman blended in Merlot from Windhorse and Dry Hollow vineyards. Cushman, the man behind the No. 1 Platinum Award wine of 2022, creates a wine of richness and elegance that’s dominated by cherries. They lead the nose that includes blueberry, barrel spice, mint and dill seed. The plush red fruit profile provide boysenberry juice and a finish that carries along cherry skin tannins and vanilla.
Rating: Outstanding! • 91 points
Production: 85 cases
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