When it comes to thrilling red blends, Washington’s Walla Walla Valley seems practically inexhaustible. One producer that has popped up on my radar over the years is Cadaretta, whose rich but suave wines I’ve enjoyed and reviewed in the past.
Cadaretta is owned by the Middleton family and their Anderson & Middleton Company, which began in the timber business near the turn of the 20th Century, before expanding into table grapes and, eventually, wine.
Their estate Southwind Vineyard is home to some 60 acres of grapes, with future plantings planned. The wines are made by Kendall Mix, who studied enology and viticulture at UC Davis and has worked at Robert Mondavi, R.H. Phillips. Kendall also spent 10 years making red wines for Washington wine heavyweight Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Canoe Ridge Estate, among other jobs.
These are dark and saucy red wines with a good amount of new oak evident, but they show a lot of complex non-fruit elements and some serious potential for cellaring. These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.
2014 Cadaretta Syrah - Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Light purple color. Nose of dark plums, blueberries black cherries, cracked pepper, leather and loam. Full but silky with rounded tannins and moderate acidity. Rich fruit but shows a tart edge, plum, currant, blueberry, and the fruit is laced with notes of dark roast coffee, eucalyptus, cedar, leather, violets. A lot going on here. Good now but should do nicely with 2-4 years. Aged 21 months in 60% new French oak. (89 points)
2014 Cadaretta Southwind - Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Bold purple color. Nose shows rich plums, blackberries, fig paste, charcoal, sweet violets and clove. Rich, chewy but deep and earthy, suave tannins and medium/low acidity. Rich waves of plums and blackberries laced with violets, sage, bay leaf, clove, cocoa powder. Complex, deep, delicious now but could improve for five years and then some. 37% Malbec, 37% Petit Verdot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 23 months in 60% new French oak, 14.6% alcohol. (91 points)
2013 Cadaretta Cabernet Sauvignon - Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Rich purple color. Aromas of juicy black currants and blackberries, with mocha, topsoil, cedar, anise and charcoal. Full and dark on the palate with some solid grip from the tannins, medium acidity. Rich but tangy black and blue fruits, with lots of charcoal, loamy soil, smashed rocks, anise, eucalyptus, dark chocolate shavings. Solid, bold wine that could age for at least a few years but it is delicious now. 9% Petit Verdot, 6% Merlot, 5% Malbec, aged 22 months in mostly French oak. (89 points)
2014 Cadaretta Springboard - Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Light purple color. Inky but tart aromas of black and red plums, roses, violets, loam, tobacco and eucalyptus. Medium/full-bodied with velvety but strong tannins, rich but tangy red and black currant and plum fruit. Notes of smoky herbs and tobacco mix with dark earth, clove, cedar, graphite, shows a lot of balance and accessibility despite the density. 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec, 9% Petit Verdot, aged in 60% new French oak. (89 points)
2014 Cadaretta Windthrow - Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Light purple color. Nose shows tart black cherries, plum skins, pepper, sage, violets, coffee grounds. Structured broadly and grippy but some smoothness already, moderated by fresh, balanced acidity. Tart black cherries, blueberries, plum skins, laced with black pepper, smoky charcoal, leather, vanilla and cedar. Lovely complexity, depth for cellaring, but pleasurable and delicious now. 76% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre, 9% Grenache, aged 22 months in half new Hungarian oak and 40% new French oak. (90 points)
2014 Cadaretta Cabernet Sauvignon Southwind - Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
SRP: $75Rich purple color. Dark but tangy red and black currant fruit, lots of violets, eucalyptus, violets, pepper, coffee, deep but evocative, too. Full-bodied, velvety but structured tannins, moderate acidity, the balance is very nice. Tangy black currant and suave blueberry fruit, rich and saucy but vibrant, loaded with black pepper glaze, soy, coffee grounds, eucalyptus, sweet cola, graphite – so many complex flavors to coax out. This will pay off years in the cellar or a solid decant. Includes 5% Malbec and 5% Petit Verdot, aged 23 months in 60% new French oak. (91 points)
This post first appeared on the daily wine blog Terroirist.