Horse Heaven Hills
Our production in 2011 was down substantially due to winter injury in November of 2010 in two of our vineyards. On McKinley Springs, our Malbec vines produced a very small amount of fruit and the Petit Verdot none at all. Additionally, our vines on Andrews Horse Heaven Ranch didn’t produce Merlot; however, we were able to get Merlot from Alder Ridge Vineyard, located a mile south of Gunselman Bench on the Alderdale Road. Although Gunselman Bench and Phinny Hill saw no damage, it was another cool summer in Washington state. To ensure complete fruit maturation we lowered yields through cluster thinning, employed canopy management (for light penetration,) and meticulous viticulture practices. Most grapes were harvested about 2 weeks later than usual with sugar levels that were 1° to 2° lower than typical, but the fruit was physiologically ripe.
The 2011 Horse Heaven Hills Claret (red wine) is a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 20% Malbec and 4% Cabernet Franc. This wine was aged in 80% French oak and 20% American oak for 23 months, 40% of the oak was new. The ideal consumption is 2 to 5 years from release date, but this wine will develop for another 5-7 years. The alcohol by volume is 13.9%. This wine was bottled September 2013.
88 Jeb Dunnuck Wine Advocate Made from 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 20% Malbec and the balance Cabernet Franc, the 2011 Claret is another smoking value from this estate that gives up classic red and black currant-styled fruit, lead pencil shavings, wild herbs and spice to go with a medium-bodied, supple and downright quaffable profile on the palate. Aged 23 months in 26% new French oak. Drink this superb 2011 over the coming 7-8 years.
Made by Joe Gunselman, these are serious, age-worthy Bordeaux blends that represent fantastic values. Don’t miss a chance to try some of these! - Jeb Dunnuck (June, 2014)
Double Gold Medal, Seattle Wine Awards