2009 Raised By Wolves Cabernet Sauvignon
Mission Codename: Hungry like the Wolf
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Send Agent Red to the Columbia Valley, in Washington state, in search of a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon for our Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Elevage Wine Co.
Wine Subject: 2009 Raised By Wolves Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Bill Davis
The Columbia Valley is the largest appellation in Washington state and completely contains both the Yakima (as well as the city of Yakima) and Walla Walla Valleys. Located inland on a plateau of undulating hills and valleys and given is dry climate (nearly 300 days of sunshine per year) and northern longitude has nearly two hours more sun per day during the summer than Napa Valley. The region is known for growing excellent Chardonnay, Merlot and, as in today’s wine, Cabernet Sauvignon.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Stunningly dark and , with a distinct crimson color, from its edges through to its darkening heart. When swirled, thick wine-stained tears ring the glass and descend very slowly to the surface below.
Smell – Luscious jammy berry pie aromas leap from the glass. These are followed by ripe and sweet blackberry, black cherry, and licorice root. Beneath these, soft hints of baking spices, burnt creme brulee and toasty oak.
Feel – Soft, plush and generous, this wine has a crushed velvet feel that, combined with well-developed tannins, give the wine a medium weight. Beginning at the mid-palate and spreading outward, soft minerality and tangy acidity dries the the entire palate.
Taste – Plenty of ripe dark jammy red and black fruit lead the way, while softer notes of baking spice, subtle anise – while slight hints of soft black pepper, chocolate mocha and soft toasted vanilla and oak follow.
Finish – Long and packed with flavor, this wine shows pronounced fruit that, at the mid-palate, lingers longer than other flavors. At the end hints of the other complex flavors fade as the plush tannins, acidity and soft minerality dries the palate in anticipation of another sip.
Conclusion – If you are a fan of big juicy fruit forward cabs, then the 2009 Elevage Wine Co. Raised By Wolves Cabernet Sauvignon is a wonderful choice. Great aromatic ripe jammy fruit leads you in, leading you to a soft, round and crushed velvet feel that surrounds the ripe fruit. Clean on the finish and very easy to drink, this is a great wine to serve at an early evening barbecue. Enjoy now or for the next three years.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
WINE EDUCATION: Self Taught, Roy Davis (My Dad) and Kevin Rogers (Timberrock Winery)
WASHINGTON WINE JOB BRIEF:
1996-2003 StoneRidge Vineyards, Viticulturist, Royal City WA
2003-2007 Frenchman Hills Vineyards, Viticulturist, Royal City WA
2008- Present Founder/Winemaker for Elevage Wine Company. Ellensburg, WA
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Keep it simple, keep it clean and the wine will make itself.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “Will we ever know Agent Red’s real name?”
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: Peace, Love and Merlot, 7 Hills Merlot, Walla Walla Valley May 2010.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Bill. We are thrilled to be showing your 2009 Raised by Wolves Cabernet Sauvignon today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
BILL DAVIS: Thank you we are excited to commercially release our 2009 Cabernet with your operatives.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
BILL: It really was my Dad and I didn’t get it when he was alive. His passion for viticulture and oenology totally consumed his life and it was his true passion. After his passing, I knew there was nothing else that I wanted to do but continue his legacy and the passion quickly followed. It’s sad but extremely rewarding that I can continue his legacy and create a brand, something he didn’t have the chance to do.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
BILL: Kevin Rogers of Timberrock Winery in Post Falls Idaho. Kevin is veterinarian by trade but a phenomenal winemaker in his own right. He uses his scientific background to his advantage in the science of fermentation. Unfortunately his has decided to cut back production and just focus on his wine club.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
BILL: : I make wine for me and for what I think will represent our winery and Washington State. I have found there is fine line you must walk with each vintage and vineyard.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
BILL: 2009 was interesting year in Walla Walla. Things started off 2-3 weeks behind and with a hotter than normal summer we picked up a good week and harvested earlier than normal. Because we harvested earlier in the season, fruit from Walla Walla in 2009, in my opinion, probably fared the best. The cold air from the Blue Mountains settle into the valley at night really help the acids balance late in the summer. The 2009 Raised by Wolves Cabernet, I like to call “Youthfully Disciplined.” Even though it is a young Cabernet it has the structure and balance to take on the big dogs. Huge notes of Cherry, wet stones and cigar are easily discernible with a nice balance of acid and touch of oak on the end. Everything I could expect from Walla Walla AVA.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
BILL: Steak au poivre with a reduced cognac sauce and asparagus if I’m out on the town or if I’m in the winery just plain Lay’s potato chips.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Walla Walla so special?
BILL: From River beds to soil that is over 100 ft. deep and everything in between is what makes the terrior in Walla Walla Special. We benefit from long days cool nights from the mountain effect makes Walla Walla a unique region in Washington State.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
BILL: We just finished up bottling the 2009 Walla Walla Valley “Rebels of Vine” a meritage blend. Bottling a couple of pallets of Chardonnay and a little more Voodoo. Other than hitting the street selling we are pretty much finished until harvest.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
BILL: Without a glass and just pass the bottle around. Have fun and try everything once great wines are coming from the West coast even Arizona! Don’t be pretentious when it comes to wine because you might miss a sleeper.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
BILL: 2011 could be an interesting one. Stay tuned..
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The tasting room location of Elevage Wine Co.* can be seen in this satellite photo.