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Photo: Ted Charles c/o Compass Wines

What: Gorman Winery Old Scratch Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 2013 $28

Where: Village Wines, Pete’s Wine Shop (Bellevue location), Ballard Market

Why: Cabernet sauvignon is increasingly becoming a calling card for Washington. It’s the state’s most planted wine grape variety by a long shot at just over 13,000 acres (the next closest is merlot at 9,200; the state has 50,000 acres total). While cabernet is grown all over the state, it’s king of the hill on Red Mountain. This tiny wine growing region near Benton City is consistently Washington’s warmest region, allowing cabernet to ripen fully both in cool years (like 2011) and warm years (like 2013).

The Gorman Winery Old Scratch Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 2013 ($28) is a delicious example of Red Mountain fruit. It’s a blend of two vineyards, Kiona and Quintessence. The latter is a young site that many winemakers are positively bullish about. This wine shows why. It’s chock full of black fruit, herbs and licorice aromas along with generous dark fruit flavors that show a fine sense of balance. With the onset of cooler temperatures signaling that it is once again red wine season, it’s a perfect segue into fall.


Want more? Take a look at this year's top 15 Washington cabernets

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