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Eighteen Below

Eighteen Below Wine Details

Description: The “18 Below” is a wine named for a freeze that took place January 4th, 2004. We had enough bud damage that night that we decided the best course of action was to cut our vines down, which meant 100% crop loss. In order to make wine that year we were force to buy fruit from a vineyard outside of the Walla Walla Valley. At the time Mike, our winemaker, was working at Canoe Ridge Vineyard so he was able to get a few tons of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The resulting wine is full of ripe cherries and raspberries, dark chocolate, firm tannins, and a hint of toasty oak. It’s a perfect match with all kinds of roasted or grilled meats… We like it with grilled marinated flank steak and baked sweet potatoes!

Varietal Definition
Merlot is known as a Noble Bordeaux varietal. Although it came to France in the first century, it was not named until the 1880s. Merlot was originally used only for blending, as it is soft and compliant, very useful in softening other Bordeaux wines like Cabernets. Recently in California and Chile it became popular as a 100% varietal wine. Merlot tends to be easier to grow in a variety of soil conditions and is harvested earlier in the year than Cabernet. Although most Merlots are made to be drunk earlier, there are many with complexities of a Cabernet. Flavors of plum, black cherry, violet, chocolate and orange pair well with rich, red pasta dishes, hearty chicken dishes, and any beef combination that you fancy. The perfect match of course is chocolate. Not only does the chocolate compliment the wine and vice-versa, but the essence of both flavors linger eternally.
Cabernet Sauvignon:
Cabernet Sauvignon is the most widely planted and significant among the five dominant varieties in France’s Bordeaux region, as well as the most successful red wine produced in California. Though it was thought to be an ancient variety, recent genetic studies at U.C. Davis have determined that Cabernet Sauvignon is actually the hybrid offspring of Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Sauvignon berries are small with black, thick and very tough skin. This toughness makes the grapes fairly resistant to disease and spoilage and able to withstand some autumn rains with little or no damage. It is a mid to late season ripener. These growth characteristics, along with its flavor appeal have made Cabernet Sauvignon one of the most popular red wine varieties worldwide.


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