Simply put, this is the standard bearer of Washington Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine by which others are measured. Owner Rick Small has been producing this Cab since he launched Woodward Canyon in 1981, and it is his most recognizable and consistently superb wine. Each year, the label shows a photo of a Walla Walla Valley pioneer and shares that person’s story. This opens with intriguing aromas of black tea, black olive, lean black currant, blackberry, a hint of oak and a whiff of hazelnut coffee. On the palate, it carries flavors of dark fruit — primarily black cherry and blackberry — superb acidity, moderate tannin and a touch of spicy oak. Rated “Outstanding” by Great Northwest Wine. (16.7 percent alcohol).
Cases produced: 665.
Food matches: This is an exemplary wine to enjoy on a special occasion. Pair with prime rib, venison, grilled lamb or duck with a reduction sauce.
Woodward Canyon Winery, 11920 W. Highway 12, Lowden, 509-525-4129, www.woodwardcanyon.com