February 2017 Domestic Wine: 2014 Desert Wind Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington State-USA
fine Wine Source Wine Club
Desert Wind Winery: From the very first harvest in 1994, the Fries (Frees) Family marveled at the intensely concentrated fruit produced by their Desert Wind Vineyard-fruit perfect for crafting wines with immense structure and aging potential. In 2001, the family introduced Desert Wind wines in order to showcase this exceptional vineyard through its own wine brand. In 2004, the family built a crush pad and wine production facility in Prosser, Washington, allowing them to process the fruit and age wines in close proximity to their vineyard sites. Three years later, they opened Desert Wind Winery, an immense Santa Fe-inspired destination housing a tasting room, restaurant and luxury overnight accommodations. .
About: Three vineyard sites owned by the Fries family: Desert Wind Vineyard, Sacagawea Vineyard, and Estate Vineyard, provide the fruit for Desert Wind wines. The Estate Vineyard surrounds the Desert Wind facility in the Yakima Valley. The other vineyards lie at the foot of the Saddle Mountains in the Wahluke Slope AVA, a sub-appellation of Eastern Washington’s Columbia Valley that is known for its fierce summer conditions. The site is considered Zone 3, the hottest in the region. The climate is extreme, and it is not uncommon for summer temperatures to reach 110°F. Winter days may be as cold as 14°F with an annual rainfall of only 7-8 inches. The vines require irrigation during the hot summer months and the soil is rocky and shallow with excellent drainage. The 480-acre vineyard is a southern facing block with a two percent slope and shallow, rocky soil. The vines are irrigated with an underground drip system; double catch wires are used to increase air circulation during the growing season. Leaf pulling and cluster thinning are important steps in aiding the ripening of the grapes. The 2014 growing season was a great one on the Wahluke Slope – warm throughout, with a sunny September. This allowed The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to achieve ideal ripeness, while still maintaining great naturally acidity. After fermentation, the wine was aged for sixteen months, allowing time for the tannins to mature and soften the finish.
Varietals: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Tasting Notes: The 2014 Desert Wind Cabernet Sauvignon is extremely rich, with flavors of blackberry and Bing cherry, with hints of cinnamon and cocoa. Enjoy now or cellar for three to five years.
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Rich, opulent, and loaded with flavors and complexity. Patience will be rewarded with cellaring for a few years. Best served with pork or roast beef.