Horse Heaven Hills
Reserve Red Wine
Joe occasionally asks for a glass of inspiration while we are working at the winery. We felt that name fully described the few select barrels of reserve quality wine.
The 2009 vintage started out very slow! Bud break, the harbinger of the start of the growing season was later than normal causing some concern as to whether we would have a long enough growing season to ripen the grapes. Then the heat kicked in and we had an extremely hot and dry summer with some relief in early September. We waited and waited for the first grapes to come in and then BAM! Everything ripened at once resulting in a very compressed harvest. Although hurried, fermentation progressed normally. The wines have intense flavors, beautiful color & excellent balance.
Our middle son, Sam worked harvest with us. It was a pleasure to have him in the winery again!
The 2009 Horse Heaven Hills Inspiration (reserve red wine) is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec and 5% Petit Verdot. The fruit was sourced from our estate vines at Gunselman Bench, Andrews Horse Heaven Ranch, McKinley Springs and Phinny Hill vineyards. It was aged in 100% new French oak for 28 months. The ideal consumption is 7 to 10 years from release date, but this wine will develop for another 15 years. The alcohol by volume is 13.9%, 50 cases made, bottled September 2012.
92 Jeb Dunnuck Wine Advocate Easily the most complete and rich of the lineup, the 2009 Inspiration Reserve is comprised of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the balance Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, that spent just under three years in 100% new French oak. Black raspberry, spice, toast, cassis, licorice and liquid flower-like qualities all emerge from the glass and on the palate. It’s beautifully balanced, with full-bodied richness, superb mid-palate depth and a creamy texture. Impressive. This first-rate Cabernet will have 12-15 years of overall longevity. Drink now-2024.
These classic, well-made wines are produced by self-taught winemaker (physician during the day) Joe Gunselman. They have pure, clean profiles and in most cases, represent good values. - Jeb Dunnuck (June, 2013)