Gordon Brothers 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley

About five years ago, I toured the Washington State wine country in Eastern Washington for the first time (over the mountains from Seattle lies a whole different climate, perfect for grapes), and fell in love. Not with the people I was with, but the place. It’s like Napa 25 years ago: authentic and uncommercial. The place was so under-appreciated and soooo high quality, I wanted to give it hug. So I did… I’ve pimped their juice constantly since I returned (been back twice) from that eye-opening  jaunt. One of the places I visited was Gordon Brothers, a family-owned and -operated winery in Columbia Valley. My favorites are their cabs and syrahs, which develop great fruit flavors from the searing, day-long heat but also acidity from the chilly night temps. This cabernet sauvignon tastes ripe, round and full of personality. It’s friendly, like Jeff Gordon, the owner. Full-bodied with dried black cherries, strong-brewed tea, concentrated plum, sweet vanilla, and cigar-like tannins. Also has a whiff of green eucalyptus just to throw you off and make you notice it. Worth the extra dough in this economy. Sw=1. $23. 4 stars.

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