2012 Castle Rock Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Winery

Producing low-priced wine is not difficult in California – as long as one uses undistinguished central valley grapes. Yet Castle Rock Winery sells premium, handcrafted wines from the best appellations in California, Oregon and Washington at prices that match those wines labeled “California.” Castle Rock Winery’s secret to providing “appellation wines at affordable prices” is to operate as a kind of “virtual winery,” owning neither its own vineyards nor a winery. Instead it maintains close, long-term relationships with around forty growers in such areas as Monterey County, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Willamette Valley and Colombia Valley and leases state-of-the-art winemaking facilities in all three states. Winemaker August "Joe" Briggs works closely with the growers to ensure they produce the best quality fruit while overseeing the winemaking at the same time. This unique method of operating allows Castle Rock to avoid the “money pits” of land and fancy buildings that sink many wineries and focus everything on securing the best grapes and crafting delicious wines. Since the beginning in 1994, Castle Rock has focused particularly on Pinot Noir, making distinct bottlings from such key Pinot districts as Carneros, Russian River Valley and Willamette Valley. However, over the years the winery has also branched out into other popular varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel and Riesling. Though an oft-repeated wine country adage goes, “it takes a fortune to make a small fortune in the wine business,” Castle Rock Winery has shown there is a way to make captivating wines for the discerning drinker without deep pockets. 

Wine

An arid plateau east of the Cascade Range and beyond the tempering influence of the Pacific Ocean, the Columbia Valley has little in common with the appellations along the west coast. On the other hand, at 46° N, it shares the same latitude as the great French wine growing regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy, allowing for much longer summer days than in points south. The Columbia Valley’s combination of a long growing season, rich volcanic soils and plenty of mountain run-off for nurturing vines in the dry climate produces bold and nuanced wines, full of structure and balanced acidity. Castle Rock’s south-facing vineyards produce a Cabernet Sauvignon that is rich, structured and supple.

Winemaking

This wine was aged for 18 months in French oak.

Tasting notes

With concentrated flavors of cassis, blackberry, black cherry and plum, this wine is a delight on the nose and palate. This medium-bodied wine spices things up with a hint of oak, firm tannins and fresh acidity and will accompany a wide range of meat dishes and cheeses.

Appellation

Columbia Valley (Washington)

Varietal

Cabernet Sauvignon

Size

750ml

Closure

Cork

Alcohol

13.5%

MLF

100

UPC

083837005820