Cellar Gem: 2007 Doubleback – Cabernet Sauvignon

This weekend we’ll be reviewing wines from Taste Washington, the annual show where winemakers from all over the state pour their vintages for enthusiasts, media and the trade.  To get in the spirit, we decided to crack open a bottle of Washington wine that we haven’t had for a while, and settled on the 2007 Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon.  This is the debut vintage of Doubleback from Drew & Maura Bledsoe, with Chris Figgins as the winemaker.  It has been a couple of years since we have had the 2007 Doubleback, so I wanted to see where it was as far as the evolutionary track.  Drew “drew” a lot of flack in the beginning for being an athlete making wine, and I’ve been impressed all along with his passion and insistence on quality.  I’m pleased to report that the 2007 lives up to his high expectations so far.

2007 Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon.
2007 Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon.

2007 Doubleback – Cabernet Sauvignon – Still very dark red/black in color.  On the nose, dark sweet blackberries and a little bit of tobacco with just the slightest hint of green pepper at the beginning, which blew off.  In the mouth, very dark, ripe fruits (blackberries, bing cherries and black currants), combine with some black tar (in a good way), and a little tobacco.  This wine has really excellent acidity and only 14.4% alcohol listed on the bottle, which is not particularly high these days nor is it noticeable at all.  There are some extremely fine, ripe tannins that kick in on the beautifully long very dark fruit and tar/tobacco finish.  I love the deep, dark-black fruit and tar combination that finishes with a little tobacco.  Very few wines from the US have this combination, usually you find it more in Bordeaux.  This is an absolutely beautiful wine that has a long future ahead of it.  If you have several bottles of this in the cellar, it is worth opening one now, but it will only get more complex with time.  I think this wine will continue to improve for another 5-10 years and then it will stay on the maturity plateau for another ten years after that.  There is no rush to drink the 2007 Doubleback, but it is very tasty right now.  (96 pts.)

I look forward to seeing where the 2007 Doubleback goes from here.  I’m also looking forward to making new wine discoveries this weekend – and sharing them with our readers!

Cellar Gems are reviews of wines aged in our cellar.

2013 Auction of Washington Wines Gala

We were delighted to be the guests of Kris Middleton and Tony Lupino of Caderetta Wines on Saturday night for the Gala Auction.  Before heading to the auction festivities, we got together with friends for a quick drink and photo opp.  Here’s the crew in action:

Pam Harrington, Chris Figgins, Maura and Drew Bledsoe, Greg Harrington, Kris Middleton, Tony Lupino, Christina and Bob Watt.
Pam Harrington, Chris Figgins, Maura and Drew Bledsoe, Greg Harrington, Kris Middleton, Tony Lupino, Christina and Bob Watt.

The auction vibe was great this year – there was a pervasive sense of community and camaraderie in the room.  An impressive $2,000,000 was raised, a testament to the very well-run auction.  We very much enjoyed the company of the guests at our table, along with their great wines.  Unfortunately, we were having too much fun with our hosts to remember to take notes on the vintages, but we loved getting to taste the crisp SBS white, as well as the Caderetta Cabernet. Springboard and Windthrow.  Next time we’ll have to do less talking and more note-taking!

2013 Gramercy Cellars and Doubleback Winemaker Dinner

We had a beautiful night on Friday at our winemaker dinner for the Auction of Washington Wines. We very much enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with our friends Pam and Greg Harrington of Gramercy Cellars, and Drew and Maura Bledsoe of Doubleback. Not only do they have great taste in wine, but as my wife says, they also have great taste in wives – we had a blast catching up with all of them this weekend.

Joey’s provided the food for the evening, and created some very inventive pairings, such as the crab with curry sauce that played perfectly off the flavors of Gramercy Cellar’s limited release rose.  Greg’s rose is a nice, dry wine in the provincial French style – it was a treat to be able to enjoy it, as he typically only makes it available to his wine list members.

Pam and Greg Harrrington of Gramercy Cellars with Christina and Bob Watt.
Pam and Greg Harrrington of Gramercy Cellars with Christina and Bob Watt.

Our highlights from the evening, besides seeing great friends, was the Gramercy Cellars ’06 Tempranillo, which was a nicely complex wine with good acidity, that makes it such a great food wine.  It’s still drinking young and appears to have a long life ahead of it.  We also enjoyed the Gramercy Cellars ’08 Lagniappe Syrah.  This wine was rich in fruit with spices, and paired well with the lamb course.

Greg Harrington of Gramercy Cellars with Drew Bledsoe from Doubleback.
Greg Harrington of Gramercy Cellars with Drew Bledsoe from Doubleback.

As always, the ’09 and ’10 Doubleback wines were full and lush, with dark berries and chocolate.  These tend to be big wines that will take years to mature and truly realize the complexity.  While drinking well now and a perfect pairing with any meat dish, aging these wines will definitely pay off.

Big thanks to Brian and Laurie Flynn for opening up their beautiful home, and to Greg and Drew for the great wines!

Cellar Gems: Doubleback and Gramercy Cellars

We are very much looking forward to our weekend.  It’s the annual Auction of Washington Wines – several days of good wines and our winemaking friends from all over the state come in to celebrate.

For the past few years, good friends Brian and Laurie Flynn have hosted a Friday night winemaker dinner at their beautiful Capitol Hill home. There are usually one-three winemakers in attendance, and a fantastic local chef who puts together the food pairings.   This year, the wines will be Doubleback and Gramercy Cellars, two of our favorites from Washington State, and arguably my wife’s absolute favorites.
Not only are the wines great, but Drew Bledsoe of Doubleback and Greg Harrington of Gramercy Cellars are also just great guys who clearly love what they do – it should be a good night!

Here are two recent write-ups from tastings of their wines:

grammercy 2013 003

2010 Doubleback (Walla Walla – Washington, USA) – Nice dark reddish purple color.  Nose of sweet black fruit and a hint of charred oak.  On the palate, sweet ripe blackberry/blueberry fruit and a touch of vanilla oak.  Very nice persistence in the mouth.  A big wine with a long sweet fruit filled finish, but with enough tannin to age gracefully for 10-20 years.  There are good things to come for those able to wait another 5 years before opening.  (95pts.)

grammercy 2013 002

2007 Gramercy Cabernet Sauvignon (Walla Walla – Washington, USA) – Nice dark reddish color.  The nose had sweet blackberry and red currants, with a hint of oak.  In the mouth, the sweet black and red fruits came through with a lively tang of acid that electrified the taste buds.  This wine really got the salivary glands going.  The slightly higher acid made this wine a great wine to go with food.  The wine had a nice long fruit filled finish, with an acid zip at the end, that makes you want to come back for more.  Great wine for the money (94pts.)

Cellar Gems are reviews of bottles aged in our cellar.