Wine Tasting Dinner: 2007 Washington Cabernet Sauvignon



By Kori ~ April 20th, 2011.

Washington State Cabernet Sauvignons are among the best in the world, and they are much better values (higher QPR) than most Cabs in other wine regions of the world. Last Friday evening, we tasted six Cabernet Sauvignons from the 2007 vintage from Washington State in our monthly wine tasting dinner. It was another fabulous evening of great wines, the company of wonderful friends, and LaGayle’s (Mom’s) excellent food. Unfortunately, one of the wines was corked so I have not included it in this post. The other five wines paired extremely well with our dinner of tomato basil soup, Boston and red leaf lettuce salad with Gorgonzola cheese, crispy bacon, pine nuts, and white balsamic vinaigrette dressing, grilled beef tenderloin steaks, garlic mashed sweet potatoes, sautéed green beans, and German chocolate dessert with whipped topping garnished with dark chocolate. Since these wines were young, we opened them three hours before serving, used a Vinturi aerator, and double decanted them back into their bottles.

The consensus favorite was the 2007 Fielding Hills Cabernet Sauvignon. What can I say other than Fielding Hills has done it again? I continue to be amazed at the quality that winemaker Mike Wade is able to produce from vintage to vintage. If you have not yet tried any Fielding Hills wines, you definitely need to seek them out. A close second was the 2007 Grand Rêve Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

Not only did all five wines receive a Quality rating of 4 stars or higher (out of 5), but the top three also received a QPR rating of 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5). Even though these wines are not inexpensive, they are well worth the money. I would encourage you to try any of these wines, especially with a meal, to decide for yourself how Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon compares to other world-renowned Cabs.

From 1st to last in the group consensus rankings:

2007 Fielding Hills Cabernet Sauvignon (Riverbend Vineyard, Wahluke Slope, Washington): Deep, dark inky purplish red. Gorgeous nose with black fruits, licorice, and spice rack aromas. Blackcurrant, black cherry, licorice, and a hint of tobacco come through on the palate. Full-bodied and lively with medium to high tannins. Well-balanced and extremely smooth with a long, lingering finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $38; Available elsewhere, $40

2007 Grand Rêve Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Ciel du Cheval Vineyard, Red Mountain, Washington): Deep red. Very aromatic with beautiful black cherry, black plum, and spice aromas. Black cherry, pencil lead, and a hint of black tea come through on the palate. Full-bodied and lively with medium to high, drying tannins. Well-balanced with a long finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $75; Available elsewhere, $250 to $255

2007 Abeja Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, Washington): Deep, dark ruby red in color. Nice nose with very fruity and creamy aromas that lead to black cherry, pencil lead, and oak flavors on the palate. Medium to full-bodied and fruit-forward with lively acidity, medium tannins, and a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Full Pull Wines (Seattle, Washington), $39; Available elsewhere, $40 to $45

2007 Quilceda Creek Galitzine Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Galitzine Vineyard, Red Mountain, Washington): Deep, dark purplish red. Aromatic with toast, pencil shavings, and black currant on the nose. Black cherry, black currant, and spice come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied and lively with very dry tannins and a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $98; Available elsewhere, $129 to $175

2007 Leonetti Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon (Walla Walla Valley, Washington): Dark red in color. Aromatic with butter, smoke, black fruits, and spice on both the nose and palate. Medium to full-bodied with crisp acidity, medium to high, drying tannins, and a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Full Pull Wines (Seattle, Washington), $90; Available elsewhere, $88 to $200


Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Red Wine, Washington State Wine, Wine Tasting Dinners, Wines Over $25

Reader's Comments

  1. itsoffal | April 20th, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Sounds like it was a great dinner. I would venture to say that some of the wines may have been to young to drink and may show better at a later date. I am a big fan of Washington state wines, why even bother with california wines anymore.
    Q – Are all prices quoted , retail prices ? or are some of the prices – on premise prices.

  2. itsoffal | April 20th, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Too young : – /

  3. RJ Bodah | April 20th, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    I don’t think you can order any of these wines from the wineries! If you know other wise please let us know as I could use more Grand Reve Reserve at 75 dollars a bottle.

  4. itsoffal | April 21st, 2011 at 7:54 am

    In fairness to people in the distribution business, why would a winery sell their wines cheaper at the winery, wouldn’t they be sabotaging their business in the long term. At the same time, I am in favor of people being able to get their wines beyond their state’s borders.

  5. Kori | April 21st, 2011 at 10:34 am

    itsoffal,
    I agree with you that these wines are young. That’s why we opened them three hours before serving, used a Vinturi aerator, and double decanted them back into their bottles. Allowing them to aerate certainly helped, but it would be fun to taste them all again in a few more years to see how they changed. The first price quoted is the price we paid for that wine (several upon release from the winery) and the “available elsewhere” prices are where you can currently buy the wines according to Wine-Searcher.

    RJ,
    The prices listed from the wineries are the prices that we paid (upon release) so they may not be available from the winery at those prices, or at all, any longer. That’s why I link to the “available elsewhere” prices on Wine-Searcher as well.

    Cheers!

  6. Robertg7 | April 22nd, 2011 at 9:30 am

    From what I’ve read in the past few months,
    2007 was an amazing weather year for Eastern
    Washington wine in general. My wife is having
    gum surgery this morning and I promised her I
    would open a 2007 Northstar merlot tonight since
    she can only have soft foods for ten days but
    is allowed all the wine she can drink…

  7. Kori | April 25th, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Robertg7,
    Yes, 2007 was an amazing vintage throughout Washington. Hope your wife’s surgery went well and that you both enjoyed that Northstar Merlot. Cheers!

  8. Adam from scholars wine bar | March 11th, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    I would say that these wines are a bit to young, the prices seem fair as well. the wine selection is still great.

  9. Wine Tasting Room Houston | April 3rd, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Wine tasting is a great way for people to find out what types of wine they like and what brands make it best. Everyone has different likes and dislikes when it comes to wine and it is hard to fully understand wine until you try a few. Wine tasting rooms are cheaper to attend rather than buying several bottles of wine.

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