Cab is king in Washington, across Northwest

By on June 4, 2017
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klipsun vineyards

Klipsun Vineyards on Red Mountain is most famous for its Cabernet Sauvignon. (Photo by Richard Duval Images)

King Cab is all the rage – not only in Washington, but also across the Pacific Northwest. Credible examples are being produced in Idaho’s Snake River Valley, British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley and Southern Oregon. The noble grape of France’s Bordeaux region has found the Pacific Northwest to be a hospitable environment.

In Washington, the driver is Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, which makes more than a million cases of Cab across its myriad brands. Last year, it launched Intrinsic, a Cab-focused brand that has taken off nationally.

There are several sweet spots in Washington. The Horse Heaven Hills has the highest concentration of Cabernet Sauvignon. Of the region’s 15,000 acres of wine grapes, nearly 7,000 acres are dedicated to Cabernet Sauvignon.

In the Walla Walla Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon makes up 40 percent of the acreage. And on Red Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon makes up more than 50 percent of the planted acreage.

Last year, Washington winemakers crushed more than 70,000 tons of Cabernet Sauvignon, a number that’s expected to grow as Ste. Michelle contracts new acreage to be planted each year. Cabernet Sauvignon has become Washington’s signature wine.

Here are 10 examples of Northwest Cabernet Sauvignon we’ve tasted in recent weeks, ask for then at your favorite wine shop or contact the wineries directly.

About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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