Wine Tasting Dinner: 2007 Washington Cabernet Sauvignon Revisited



By Kori ~ March 19th, 2014.

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. And, the 2007 vintage was one of the best vintages in the history of Washington State. We featured 2007 Washington Cabernet Sauvignon in one of our wine tasting dinners several years ago when those wines were recently released. Now that wines from the 2007 vintage have some bottle age on them, we decided to revisit some of those Washington Cabs in our wine tasting dinner last Friday. It was another fabulous evening of great wines, the company of wonderful friends, and LaGayle’s (Mom’s) excellent food. All six wines paired extremely well with our dinner of tomato basil soup, mixed green salad, prime rib with beef glacé, braised kale, rosemary roasted red potatoes, and German chocolate dessert with whipped topping garnished with dark chocolate.

The consensus favorite was the 2007 Corliss Estates Cabernet Sauvignon. Michael and Lauri Corliss bought the building in downtown Walla Walla in 1999 that is now home to Corliss Estates and started the winery in 2000. Their first wines were released in 2008 from the 2003 vintage. Great attention to detail goes into the production of their wines. Corliss believes in extended barrel and bottle aging.

Even though Corliss finished in the top spot, Quilceda Creek, Leonetti, and Fielding Hills were hot on its heels. All four of those wines were outstanding. In fact, my personal favorites were Quilceda Creek and Fielding Hills. And, five out of the six wines in the tasting 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 Corliss Estates Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, Washington): 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot. Deep, dark garnet red in color. Nice nose with leather and black fruit aromas. Gorgeous blackberry, black cherry, leather, and spice come through on the palate. Full-bodied with crisp acidity and medium to high, smooth tannins. Well-balanced with good complexity and a long, lingering finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $75; Available elsewhere, $55 to $75

2007 Quilceda Creek Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, Washington): 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot. Deep, dark red. Very aromatic with black cherry, leather, and floral notes on the nose. Black cherry, blackberry, leather, spice, game, and a hint of earth come through on the palate. Full-bodied and lively with high, dry tannins. Well-balanced with good complexity and a very long finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of five)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $125; Available elsewhere, $190 to $400

2007 Leonetti Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon (Walla Walla Valley, Washington): 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 4% Carmenere, and 3%Malbec. Deep, dark red in color. Aromatic with red and black fruit, spice, and a touch of earth on both the nose and palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, and smooth 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: Full Pull Wines (Seattle, Washington), $90; Available elsewhere, $85 to $110

2007 Fielding Hills Cabernet Sauvignon (Riverbend Vineyard, Wahluke Slope, Washington): 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Syrah, 3% Merlot, and 1% Cabernet Franc. Deep, dark purplish red. Gorgeous nose with black fruit, licorice, and spice rack aromas. Blackcurrant, black cherry, licorice, smoked meat and a hint of tobacco come through on the palate. Full-bodied with crisp acidity and medium to high tannins. Well-balanced 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

2007 Columbia Crest Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, Washington): 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.8% Merlot, and 0.2% Cabernet Franc. Deep, dark red. Aromatic with herbs, spice, and black fruit aromas. Fruit-forward with black plum, blackberry, and herbs on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity and medium tannins. Well-balanced with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $40; Available elsewhere, $36 to $55

2007 Woodward Canyon Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon (Washington State): 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep, dark garnet red. Nose is a bit tight at first and then earth, black fruit, and grape Jolly Rancher come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, and medium tannins. Well-balanced with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $70; Available elsewhere, $70 to $85


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

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