Origin: United States
- Columbia Valley
The 2013 vintage:
After the cooler vintages of 2010 and 2011, Washington is back to the more typical trend of warmth in 2012 and 2013. Bud break arrived in early April in many areas across the state, a sign that harvest would likely arrive earlier than usual. Flowering took place anywhere from one week to four week early, and in very good conditions. The result was a large crop that could be thinned out to only keep the very best clusters.
The heat stayed constant through the summer months, with just a little cooling over a couple days in July when we experienced a small amount of rainfall. As September arrived, and we began to pick grapes, a cooling trend slowed things down in the second week of September. Some have called 2013 the tale of two harvests, referring to the period before and after the cooling trend. In 2013, the combination of above average heat, and cool nighttime temperatures resulted in rich textures combined with the life preserving acidity we value so much for freshness.
Just as we finished picking the Merlot blocks, the weather cooled down. This cooling slowed down the ripening for Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot: the extra time on the vine brought complexity and character to both varieties. The cooler weather also preserved the vital acidity of the grape and freshness in the wines, while allowing the tannin to ripen further. The result is a wonderfully integrated mouth feel, layers of fruit, with tension and dramatic length.
The high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (89%) gives the 2013 Père de Famille a vibrant, ruby‐purple hue. The breadth of aromatics is exciting, expressed as red currant, blackberry blossom, crushed herbs, and leather, with creamy bay leaf, thyme and star anise notes.
The palate is dense and penetrating, offers an elegant, vibrant structure, with a finish that reflects red fruits and spice. This vintage of Père de Famille is quite unique, with the readiness of a warm vintage, but the aromatics and aging ability of a cool growing season.
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