The 2010 Vintage
RedMountain, 44% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot
Coda 2010 is the perfect reflection of its sources. The aromatics are all about Tapteil Merlot; earth and ripe plums. The palate is layered with fruits of all colors, red, blue, and black – clearly Ciel du Cheval contributed juicy bits here. The energy, intensity and fine tannins are all about Cara Mia. The best part is that the sum is more than the components – Coda 2010 works as a seamless whole with vibrancy, energy, spectacular deep fruit and beautiful acidity bringing the wine together as probably the finest Coda to date.
The 2009 Vintage
Tasting Notes Vintage 2009
The 2009 vintage was a little like 2007, hot but not stifling as was 2003. Flowering occurred normally, veraison as well and the season ended with a stunningly perfect September to finish up ripening. We picked Merlot on September 3rd, the earliest ever, but in time to preserve an absolutely juicy acidity and plump berry ripeness. The quality of the vintage allowed us play a beautiful balancing act of ripeness versus structure, fruit versus acidity and tannins. The inner tensions we blended into the wine will be a joy to watch unwind over a long, graceful evolution in bottle.
Tapteil Vineyard 2009, Red Mountain
57%Cabernet Sauvignon 26% Merlot 17%Cabernet Franc
The 2009 carries the signature Tapteil character – on the nose classic dusty spices, plums, pencil and black cherries. These follow through the palate to a firm finish. The real beauty of this Tapteil vintage is the wine’s structure. The flavors are deep and penetrating, the acidity maintains freshness and the tannins firm, long and noble. This level of intensity is apparent only in great vintages!
Ciel du Cheval Vineyard 2009, Red Mountain
41% Cabernet Franc 35% Cabernet Sauvignon 18% Petit Verdot 6% Merlot
Ciel 2009 is redolent with spicy blueberry fruit and minerality that need no coaxing from the glass. The flavors present a joyful expression of the complexity of Ciel; blueberries, darker fruit, minerality, layers and waves of flavor to ponder. Despite the open ripeness of it all and the sheer playfulness don’t be worried about its ageworthiness – all the pieces are in place for a nice long evolution in bottle.
Camerata 2009, Red Mountain
73% Cabernet Sauvignon 9% Merlot 9% Cabernet Franc 9% Petit Verdot
Camerata will please the Cabernet loving crowd with its full bore aromas of currant, menthol, and licorice. The flavors walk the wonderful stern but sweet balance playing bright deep fruit against acidity. The texture is almost giving, but the finish brings home the sweet tannins to remind you to cellar the wine for a long time, or decant well in advance of dinner. Stephen Tanzer wrote ‘I might have guessed Saint-Julien in a blind tasting.’ Yes, but with our distinctive Red Mountain signature!
Bel Canto 2009, Red Mountain
80% Cabernet Franc 10% Merlot 10% Petit Verdot
This vintage of Bel Canto is the most Cabernet Franc-centric wine we’ve ever bottled. There is no mistaking the wine’s makeup from the moment you pull the cork. Perfumed, rich aromas of Christmas spice, floral notes, graphite and deep berries abound. The palate offers waves of fruit with an incredibly textured, silky mouthfeel. The plushness is built on an iron framework, though, with leavening acidity and long, graceful tannins that are emphatic on the long finish. This is a wine for the ages, or a decant three hours before dinner. Stephen Tanzer said in his review ‘These wines are awfully impressive in the context of the vintage and seem set for a slow and graceful evolution in bottle.’
RedMountain, 34% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot
The 2009 vintage was a little like 2007, warm but not hot with a stunning September to finish up ripening. We picked in time to preserve an absolutely juicy acidity and plump berry ripeness. Coda fairly bursts with lip-smacking berry goodness. Plums, blueberries and a touch ofRedMountainspice lead the aromatic profile. The palate is ever so juicy, fresh and just plain delightful. Tannins are definitely present at the level that begs for food with which to play. There is so much intensity and balance that, though we’d like you to drink it soon, it will age gracefully for several years.
2009 Coda Rosé
75% Cabernet Franc, 25% Petit Verdot
Our second Rosé is a light salmon color. The aromas lead with strawberry, watermelon and minerals. There is real fruit and mineral intensity on the palate that plays well with the brisk acidity and ever-so-slight residual sweetness. A most refreshing summer wine, but built to stand up to real food, too. 48 cases produced.
The 2008 Vintage
2008 Bel Canto, Cara Mia Vineyard
67% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot
Immediately upon opening Bel Canto leads with an intriguing, almost medicinal quality, tightly wound and razor sharp. Two hours of air soften the nose into red fruit, a host of baking spices, minerals and pencil lead. The texture of the palate is remarkably silken, given the firm acidity and present tannins. This is a Bel Canto for the cellar or long decanting. Again, from Steve Tanzer’s review: “These are some of Washington’s most Bordeaux-like wines, and Cadence is now firmly in the top tier of the state’s producers: recent vintages have brought sweeter fruit and greater density of material without any loss of structure or verve.” Bel Canto 2008 was also listed in the top ten of Seattle Metropolitan’s Top 100 Washington Wines of 2011.
2008 Camerata, Cara Mia Vineyard
75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 8% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot
Gaye and I performed the strictest selection yet of candidate barrels when we blended Camerata 2008. We found fantastic energy in our twelve barrel blend and the addition of even a single additional barrel detrimental. The nose is intense, pure red fruit, spice and minerals. The palate echoes these flavors and adds well integrated acidity and that elusive character energy. The tannic structure is firm, fine and reaches the far places in the palate. Steve Tanzer remarks that Camerata is “suave, lush and seamless” and, “remarkably, these vines were planted in 2004.”
2008 Tapteil Vineyard
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc
The nose leads with the now-typical Tapteil dusty fruit, oak spice and black cherry. These echo on the palate, joined by cocoa powder and plums. The tannins are fine and firm, and definitely need a couple years to soften, peel away and reveal more of the intense fruit and savory notes hidden inside. We opened a 1999 Tapteil from magnum at the RN74 winemaker’s dinner and wow, it was fresh, vibrant and downright delicious. It clearly had many more years of enjoyment left in it. This year’s Tapteil should be no different – a bottle to enjoy 15 years from now.
2008 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard
38% Cabernet Franc, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Petit Verdot, 12% Merlot
Probably the most unusual bend we’ve ever assembled for Ciel, but all to outstanding effect. This vintage is as dark, brooding, and structured as any Ciel to date. The nose shows deep layers of dark fruit and spice. The palate is atypically big for Ciel, with waves of black cherry, blueberry and plums crashing on bedrock style tannins. This is a large scaled wine, but the acidity brought by the Franc and Petit Verdot keep the flavors in check, preventing Ciel from becoming cloying or thick. This is truly a wine for mid to long term cellaring, or a couple of hours in the decanter. Steve Tanzer remarks that Ciel “is lightly medicinal in a Cheval Blanc way.”
35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot 28% Cabernet Franc, 6 % Petit Verdot
The nose leads with black fruit, baking spice, earth and plums. These are echoed on the palate, along with minerality and a broader spectrum of red fruit and great, balanced acidity. The tannins are present, perhaps firmer than in years past, but broad, sweet and fine. This is a multidimensional wine that will only get better with age. 790 cases produced.
The 2007 Vintage
Two short years ago I touted 2005 as the best vintage I’d ever seen. Had my crystal ball been better, I would have waited! 2007, our second Cara Mia vintage, has the laser focus of 2005 with deeper, purer fruit. 2007 was a season of moderate warmth with few heat spikes. In short, perfect ripening conditions. First harvest from Cara Mia Merlot was September 7th, the same day as 2006. The interesting differences in the 2007 vintage are the significantly lower pHs and brighter acidity in the berries. Stephen Tanzer said of our 2007 vintage “Here, too, the last couple of vintages strike me as the best yet. They definitely show less of the green (cabernet franc-influenced) Bordeaux side and more sweetness of fruit and mass appeal. But I liked the older wines very much as well.”
2007 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard
39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc, 13% Merlot, 13% Petit Verdot
Super sensuous aromatics of spice and blueberries. Cool, brisk flavors of berries and plums leavened by bright acidity. There are many layers here, waiting to unfold with time in the glass. The finish caresses the palate with deep fruit and very fine grained long tannins. This will age gracefully for a decade or longer.
2007 Tapteil Vineyard
56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot. This is our tenth bottling of Larry and Jane Pearson’s superb vineyard, and a wonderful decade has it been! Altogether deeper black fruit than Ciel du Cheval combined with a powerful sense of Tapteil dust, a signature trait of this vineyard. There is a solid core of massive blackberry and black plum fruit. The freshness of the vintage is present in the slight orange peel accents on the palate. The tannins are typically Tapteil: big, ripe, long and dense. This needs a steak like fish need water.
2007 Camerata, Cara Mia Vineyard
85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% each Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Briary deep cherry fruit and baking spice; classic cabernet nose! This will take time to unfold, there is huge deep fruit, an expansive mouthfeel but in a monolithic package. The tannins wrap through the spicy finish (I guess I really like our tannin management!) and promise to allow Camerata to develop for a long time.
2007 Bel Canto, Cara Mia Vineyard
62% Cab Franc, 31% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot
This, of all our 2007s, takes the most time to open up in the glass or decanter. Initially reticent, Bel Canto blossoms into a perfumed potpourri of baking spice, black fruit and intense minerality. It has the roundest mouthfeel and softest tannins of all the 2007s, though the tannins have a sneaky length, fine grain and expanding quality through the finish that bodes well for aging. I believe this is our finest Bel Canto to date; a wine that will reward patience and time in your cellar.
57% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 12 % Petit Verdot
The wine is a deep purple red. The aromas are of plummy deep fruit and subtle oak spice. The palate is broad and plush, ripe and round.There are minerals and spice dancing below red and black fruit. Coda 2007′s texture buries the tannins, but they are present, as well as enough acidity to keep the finish brisk and cleansing.
The 2006 Vintage
2006 was a slightly warmer vintage than 2005. 2006 is classic Washington; great fruit, sound acidity, and a balance unlike anywhere else on earth.
2006 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard
36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 12% Petit Verdot
Lithe, graceful, powerful, balanced. Great dancers or great wine, and certainly Ciel 2006. Fresh aromas of blueberry compote lead to flavors that are bright and lithe on the palate. The flavors are complex, deep and compelling. Tannins are soft, but present. This vintage of Ciel du Cheval will age gracefully for more than a decade, and do so on complexity and balance rather than sheer size.
2006 Tapteil Vineyard
53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc
Powerful Tapteil dust, with deep blue and black fruits complimented by spice on the nose.The palate reflects the aromas, carrying waves of plum fruit and spice through a long finish. There is enough acidity to keep Tapteil fresh, and the tannins are quite fine, powerful and long. Another powerhouse showing from our oldest vineyard.
2006 Bel Canto, Cara Mia Vineyard
52% Cabernet Franc, 48% Merlot
Structurally, this wine feels as if it is built on bedrock. It is powerful, deep, intense and brooding. It only hints at the layers of complexity folded into its framework. There are fresh forest pine/menthol, blue fruit and baking spice aromas. Lively acidity gives the palate a harmonious balance, and the tannins go on and on.
2006 Camerata, Cara Mia Vineyard
94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc
This is the very first time we’ve blended a full scale project (as opposed to a barrel or two) of predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cab simply did not need Merlot or Petit Verdot in the blend – those barrels quickly diminished the power and focus of the blend. One barrel of low yield (one ton per acre) Cabernet Franc made the cut and provided a subtle expansion in profile. The aromas are classic Cabernet – savory, brambly red and black fruit, spice, and dust. The flavors show more of the same, but the hook is set by incredible energy that builds through the finish. The core of red fruit just keeps expanding on the palate and is complimented by powerful fine tannins on a long dusty finish.
32% Petit Verdot, 30 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot
The wine is a deep purple red. The nose bursts out of the glass with wild Petit Verdot Raspberry, floral and dusty spice aromas. The palate conveys the same flavors, but builds in complexity and deepens throughout the finish. This is juicy, deep, and powerful, and quite a mouthful. The tannins are present yet refined. Decant and enjoy now or hold a few to see where they go.
With the quality of these three vineyards and a juicy dollop of Petit Verdot, Coda is a steal.
The 2005 Vintage
2005 is the finest vintage Washington State has seen to date. Period. Low yields, moderate heat and perfect ripening conditions in September produced wines of opulent aromatics, superb concentration and precision, and finely wrought structure and length. Each of our bottlings resonates with the energy of this incredible vintage. If there is a downside to 2005, it is that our production decreased by over 1/3 from 2004.
2005 Klipsun Vineyard, Red Mountain
82% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon
Precise aromas of anise, plums, and chocolate lead into an unusually silky, suave palate. There is the ample power Klipsun carries in spades, but the extra dimension here is the supple texture and length of the finish. 265 case production
2005 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard, Red Mountain
51% Cabernet Sauvignon 24% Cabernet Franc, 19 % Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot
This year’s blend is weighted more heavily to Cabernet Sauvignon than last year, and it is immediately apparent with the depth of the black fruit, spice and tobacco nose. Elegant, powerful, plush, and deep all describe the blueberry, blackberry and spicy palate. The finish lingers, carried by a rather more powerful tannic structure than normal for Ciel. 415 case production
2005 Tapteil Vineyard, Red Mountain
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 20% Cabernet France
Our 20 year old block of Tapteil Cabernet Sauvignon yielded a meager 1.2 tons per acre in 2005! The berries were the smallest I’ve ever measured – 0.89 grams per tiny berry. The tactile feel of this wine can best be described as a tightly coiled spring; the power, intensity, depth, breadth and length of the palate is remarkable. Only 240 cases produced
2005 Bel Canto, Red Mountain
50% Cabernet Franc, 42% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot
The bounty of 2005 left Gaye and I with an unbelievable wealth of barrels from which to select Bel Canto. We chose 12 barrels that fully express the undeniable character of the vintage, the power of Red Mountain, and our passion for the art of blending. The nose is explosive, leading with cocoa, roses, fruit and spice. These inexorably spread through the palate, and build in a dark wave of finely wrought tannins that will gracefully unwind for years. We are very proud of Bel Canto 2005. 290 case production
2005 Camerata, Red Mountain
Limited to 3 bottles per customer
100% Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Petit Verdot
The icing on the 2005 cake is one barrel – 23 cases – of 100% Petit Verdot from Ciel du Cheval. It is black (and blackberry). It is spicy and seriously juicy. It has more structure, depth and length than, well, most anything else. And it is really, really different.
2005 Coda, Red Mountain
80% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
The wine is a saturated ruby red. The nose bursts out of the glass with dusty spice, savory red and black fruit, and a caress of oak toast. The palate conveys the same flavors, but what is most striking about Coda at this early stage is the vibrancy of flavors and the length of the finish. This is juicy! The tannins are exceptionally fine and go on throughout the rising finish.
The 2004 Vintage
Klipsun Vineyard, Red Mountain
66% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon
A nose of black and red fruit, spice with depth. The palate offers precise flavors of plums and berries that build to a pure finish and fine, lingering tannins. A wine of power and intensity, weight and structure.
Ciel du Cheval Vineyard, Red Mountain
39% Cabernet Franc 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot
This is the blend I’ve always wanted from Ciel! Tobacco, spice and black berry aromas pour out of the glass. The wine really expands in the middle with an explosion of black fruit and velvety power. It finishes with characteristic Ciel elegance, sweet tannins and a long spicy berry finish.
Tapteil Vineyard, Red Mountain
63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 6% Cabernet FrancThis is big. It begins with aromas of blueberries, spice, and dusty minerality. It grows into flavors of currant and black fruit, spice, and minerals. It continues to build into a broad finish of tooth coating tannins. The wine doesn’t want to end, but persists on and on.
Bel Canto, Red Mountain
50% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot, 10% Petit VerdotAs always, Bel Canto is our favorite blend of the 10 most harmonious barrels in the winery, and a powerful statement about the quality of Red Mountain fruit. The nose is savory in spades with chocolate, tobacco, berries and spice. The aromas echo on the palate, with a breadth and volume to the mouthfeel that cannot come from anything but Cabernet Franc. The flavors build on the back half to a finish of finesse, length, power and precision.
Camerata, Red Mountain
100% Tapteil Vineyard Cabernet SauvignonIt’s back! Camerata is our Reserve level Cabernet Sauvignon blend, but in 2004 Larry Pearson outdid himself and grew nearly perfect Cabernet Sauvignon. So we bottled two barrels, or 47 cases of his best Cabernet Sauvignon by itself. The nose is currants, steel, and dusty sweet fruit. These flavors echo into the palate, and gain weight and thrust from the perfect acidity and fruit ripeness. The initial impact carries through a long finish of deep dark fruit and fine sweet tannins.
Coda, Columbia Valley
78% Cabernet Franc, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon
Captivating aromas of raspberry preserves, tobacco and smoke. Very soft and supple on the palate, with a delightful, mouthwatering freshness to the fruit. Lots of allspice and tobacco complexity, too, for the discerning Cadence drinkers who demand more than a fruit bomb. The wine finishes with velvvety tannins that do not get in the way of the lingering spice and berry flavors.
The 2003 Vintage
Coda, Columbia Valley
Our notes…… The nose begins with dusty raspberry, espresso and spicy notes. The palate is dense, plush and complex, showing more dark berry and spice with wonderful mid palate texture. The mouthwatering finish ends with a pleasing balancing acidity and softly tannic structure. 70% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Klipsun, Red Mountain
Our notes… A deep, powerful nose of plums, chocolate and oak spice. Warm, mouthfilling texture, lots of dark berries and chocolate, and a long sweetly tannic finish. 84% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon. 320 case production.
Notes from Steve Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar… Bright red-ruby. Aromas of currant, lead pencil and mocha; slightly warm and exotic but with good lift. Sweet but firm in the mouth, with red fruit, mineral and gamey notes and an exotic suggestion of mango. Still, this is understated and rather claret-like. Ripe but solidly structured, finishing with substantial dusty tannins. 90 pts
Notes from The Wine Spectator… Rich flavors of black cherry, sweet spice and black pepper, framed with chewy tannins. Focused, impressively long and well-formed. Best from 2007 through 2013. 90 pts. – H.S.
Notes from the Wine Enthusiast… Dark and roasted, with espresso, toffee and tar flavors right up front, this thickly tannic wine features big, plumy fruit with the concentration of strawberry preserves. A bit of heat, and the massive tannins that are typical from Klipsun vineyard fruit. 90 pts
Ciel du Cheval, Red Mountain
Our Notes… More dusty fruit showing underneath the pie spice nose. Round yet firmly tannic palate begs for a year or two in the cellar to show its best. The typical Ciel blueberry and red fruits are there hidden beneath the wine’s structure. Decant for a couple hours for the most enjoyment 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, 18% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot. 390 case production.
Notes from Steve Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar… Bright red-ruby. Highly nuanced, claret-like aromas of redcurrant, blueberry, tobacco, leather, rose petal and licorice, along with a light leafy quality. Then sappy-sweet in the mouth, with nicely delineated, vibrant flavors of cherry and raspberry complicated by mineral and floral nuances. This mounts impressively toward the back and finishes floral and very long, with broad, fine-grained tannins. Classy juice! Ben Smith notes that the Ciel du Cheval vineyard does extremely well in the warmer years. 92 pts
Notes from the Wine Spectator… Beautifully structured, with rich, ripe tannins swarming around a supple core of gorgeous plum, currant, cherry and cedary spice flavors. Long, vibrant finish. Best from 2007 through 2015 92 pts. – H.S.
Notes from the Wine Enthusiast… Gorgeous, elegant and refined, this opens into wonderfully aromatic scents of dusty coffee, cocoa and mocha. There are streaks of chalk, limestone, gravel and pencil lead, mixed fruits and hints of expressive spice all beautifully layered throughout. Cellar this for at least five years to pull everything together. 94 pts
Tapteil, Red Mountain
Our Notes… Wow. Huge nose of dusty fruit and anise. Serious black fruit density on the palate and huge, long, fine tannins that coat the palate front to back. Tapteil conveys a real sense of energy from the attack through the long finish. 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc. 540 case production
Notes from Steve Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar… Good saturated deep red. Very ripe aromas of red raspberry, smoke and dusty minerality; less expressive and nuanced today than the Ciel du Cheval. Offers a tightly wound core of sweet red fruits kept in check by firm acids for the vintage. The floral, dusty red fruit flavors reminded me of an old vintage of Chateau Palmer. Although firmly mineral in character, this also offers a rather plush texture. Finishes with fairly substantial tannins. 90(+?) pts
Notes from the Wine Spectator… Flanked by firm tannins, this has a rich core of licorice-scented cherry and raspberry fruit that sails through the long, shapely finish. Best from 2007 through 2013. 91 pts. – H.S.
Notes from the Wine Enthusiast… Intense and sappy, this focused and brilliant young wine tastes like condensed berry juice. Despite it’s raw power, it retains a slick, elegant mouthfeel, like a ride in an especially well-built sports car. 92 pts
Bel Canto, Red Mountain
Our notes… Menthol, fruit, tobacco and spice wonderfully express the varietal blend. The palate shows blue and black fruit, anise, and complexity as a seamless whole. The finish builds in length, culminating with the finest tannins we’ve tasted in our wines. Bel Canto should also be decanted to be enjoyed currently. 50% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot. 245 case production.
Notes from Steve Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar… Good full red. Captivating aromas of tobacco, espresso, chocolate, flint and rose petal. Very suave on entry, then intense, focused and brisk, with red berry and mineral flavors lifted by a floral element and given superb energy by firm but ripe acids. This has grip of steel. Finishes minerally, firmly tannic and very long. Smith cherry-picked his best barrels to make this wine, which features the highest acidity of his 2003 releases. 93+ pts
Notes from the Wine Spectator… This seductive wine has real backbone to carry it through. Rich and velvety, it bursts with blueberry, plum, cherry and exotic spice aromas and flavors. Best from 2007 through 2013. 93 pts. – H.S. Notes from the Wine Enthusiast… The winery’s selection of its best barrels makes a fascinating wine, showing mixed Asian spices, supple fruit and beautiful fine-grained tannins. Muscular and detailed, it has a bit of an alcoholic kick to the finish. Powerful and very well-crafted. 94 pts