Klipsun Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
|Region||United States, Washington, Red Mountain|
I don't think the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Klipsun Vineyard matches the brilliant 2016, but it's not far off, offering a terrific bouquet of blackcurrants, scorched earth, chocolate, tobacco, and lead pencil. With its medium to full-bodied richness, present yet ripe tannins, and obvious sense of minerality on the finish, it would pass undetected in a lineup of top wines from the Médoc. It's terrific today, yet given its balance, purity, and structure, it's going to evolve for 20 years or more.
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain is composed of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Malbec and 8% Syrah, which immediately emanates with aromas of dark roasted espresso bean, toasted oak, dried tobacco and dusty black fruit tones of cassis, currant and blackberries covered in dark cocoa powder. Full-bodied, generous in complexity and still tight in the mouth, the wine unpacks layers of cedar and vanilla tones with dusty purple flowers and bitter dark chocolate across the mid-palate, giving way to fine-grained tannins that will loosen with time. As the wine sits on the palate, the 100% French oak regimen is on full display for all to see. The wine lingering long and continues to evolve in the mouth, ending with a drying finish that highlights the oak and terroir. It's still a baby, and I would keep it in the cellar for another few years before popping the cork-this will effortlessly coast for more than a decade. The 2017 vintage marks the second release of this wine, with 6,300 bottles produced. It comes from its namesake vineyard, first planted in 1984 on Red Mountain. I'm keeping my eye on this producer. I'm impressed, and even though the oak may be a bit much at the moment, it's still delicious.
French oak aromas are out front, with notes of dark roasted coffee bean, chocolate and toffee, along with cigar box accents. On the palate, the fruit is bright and juicy, exquisitely balanced, with an interplay of chocolate and spice barrel notes. It hangs on the finish. There's a pleasing sense of texture to it all. It needs time for the oak to integrate and the tannins to unwind. Best after 2025.
Bright red-ruby. Pungent sexy, spicy, smoky oak overshadows currently overshadows aromas of redcurrant plum, mocha, tobacco and fresh herbs; less expressive and complex than the 2016 was a year ago. Supple, spicy, deep red berry and plum flavors are complicated by smoked meat and sexy oak tones. I find that the wood masks the site character but there's lovely restrained sweetness here and the wine finishes with serious but well-managed tannins and excellent length. Not quite the grip or high notes of the 2016, but then the 2016 vintage at its best is splendid. The tannins turned dustier with air, and I wonder how much this wine will gain in sweetness and pliancy with bottle aging.