Winemaker John Abbott has been working with fruit from the Bacchus Vineyard since 1997 so he is intimately familiar with the site characteristics and terroir. Since 2002, he has been using fruit grown in a particular vineyard block– grapes that he makes into this wine.
Having access to the same rows, vintage after vintage, is a winemaker’s dream! This allows John the opportunity to learn everything about these vines, helping him hone his skills with each harvest. And, you know what they say about practice making perfect…
Dark fruit notes and earthy components jump out of the glass. Fruity black cherries, black plums and cherry tart in a graham cracker crust mingle with earthy smells of eucalyptus, fresh-tilled soil joined by aromas of espresso as the wine developed with exposure to air.
This Cab has nice acidity and was barrel-aged for 24 months, making it a perfect wine to age a number of years in your cellar. As I was drinking it, I kept referring to it as a baritone wine, with deep “low notes” of all the flavors I smelled. Earthy characteristics play well with the black fruit, developing into a rich, structured mouthfeel and prickly tannins that softened as the wine decanted in my glass. It ends with subtle, sweet flavors of maple syrup candy and dark chocolate.
In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t generally wax poetic over a Cabernet sauvignon but this Devona is an exception! Here’s a great example of a Northwest winemaker applying a lighter touch to a big, bold varietal that usually ends up as a massive fruit bomb. While the fruit notes are there, the earthiness and acid levels create a complex, unified balance in this wine.
I highly suggest buying a few bottles; one to enjoy now and the others for a few years down the road. Since this wine is really just a baby now, I imagine it will develop many more nuanced notes in 10-15 years time.
Michele Francisco, a founder and regular contributor to Winerabble, a blog primarily about Pacific Northwest wines, is living the dream in Portland, Oregon. Her passion leads some to believe she's got wine running through her veins. Contact Michele at email@example.com & be sure to visit her online portfolio at www.michelefrancisco.com.