High on the Horse

First of all, my glasses and decanter will probably never be clear again. While not completely opaque, this is a fiercely-staining wine, black-ruby to the core with a razor of a rim. And what a nose. Rich chocolate and decadent berry, vanilla oakiness on 11, plush and approaching extravagant, but gorgeous earth and briar pulls it back down into firm Cabernet-country a purist can swallow. But it’s ripe and round and packed with the kind of toe-curling black cherry and smoky, leathery nuances delicious in all aspects. Decanted heavily: not really to negate the sugar-rush–or to *open it up*–but rather to integrate and expand on what it presents. I could smell this stuff all day. There’s a dusty coffee-ground sort of icing on the fruit that both pronounces its lavishness and harnesses the velvet.

I have to say: one of the finest examples of WA cab I’ve tasted. I’ve had a Cab-franc that blew my mind–and numerous Syrahs, but there’s only two or three labels producing Cab up there approaching this sort of excellence in the glass.

In the mouth, restraint is *visible* but barely controlled. Perfect soft and eager ripe cherry fill the entry, a lush cascade of everything in the bouquet, pinning points of light to the palate. An acidic high-note juts out, built upon layers of stemmy briar and grainy citrus mineral. The black core is tightly integrated with bitter abrasion, lancing an abscess from which tannin freely oozes. All things work together for good in this wine, and the whole package comes off rather seamlessly. But not TOO seamlessly: and that’s where the interest with the wine 1% will lie. I suppose detractors could argue this wine is a bit TOO perfect, but trust me: there’s PLENTY of character there. Highly addictive. Highly structured. Highly recommended.

2018 TROTHE Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills Columbia Valley Washington 14.5


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