Horse Heaven Hills
We refer to 2008 as the vintage of the one armed winemaker! Joe tore his rotator cuff while hiking with our son & had surgery the day after we pressed the Sauvignon Blanc. Our family friend, John Nevers agreed to be our cellar apprentice. He was literally Joe’s right hand man.
The spring and summer were very cool. We rarely saw temperatures break 100°, usually they were in the low 90’s. We experienced a slow, even ripening resulting in incredibility balanced grapes. Harvest and fermentation progressed normally. The wines have intense flavors, beautiful color & excellent balance.
The 2008 Horse Heaven Hills Claret (red wine) is a blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon,
15% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 15% Petit Verdot, and 10% Malbec. 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 70% French oak and 30% American oak for 21 months, 50% 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 13.5%. This wine was bottled August 2010.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate The 2008 Claret, a blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, with the balance Petit Verdot and Malbec. It was aged for 21 months in 50% new French and American oak. Spice box, violets, incense, cedar, and assorted black fruits compose the bouquet of this medium-bodied red. Layered fruit, spicy flavors, good depth, and medium length characterize the wine’s personality. This excellent value has the structure to drink well for another 5-6 years. -Jay Miller (8/ 2011)
89 Paul Gregutt Wine Enthusiast This is a delicious rendition of the annual Claret blend. It includes all five Bordeaux grapes, and displays a generous burst of berries and cherries, followed with a swish of chocolate. The wine delivers the goods, mixing in darker fruits, coffee and licorice streaks, winding into a lightly herbal, tannic finish.
— P.G. (7/1/2011)
Bryan Brick’s Backyard Picks K&L Wine Merchants This wine can be drunk tonight without any remorse or guilt. It exudes class from the moment its gravelly, bloody, dusty cherry aromas hit your nose. It instantly reminded me of the more “modern” Médoc, and we all know how expensive those have gotten over the last few years. This is claret the way it used to be: earthy, savory, appropriate for teh table and full of well-balanced flavors with enough structure to keep it all together for four to six years. Truly a “throwback” wine.(September 2012)