This month I had the pleasure of judging the Washington State Fair wine competition held annually in Yakima. Wade Wolfe, noted winemaker who with his wife owns Thurnston Wolf, was my panel's head judge. Together, the six of us on the panel tasted about 150 wines including white blends, Bordeaux blends, Cabernet Sauvignon and dessert style.
Some of my top scoring wines are listed below. (Note that these are not necessarily the medals awarded by the competition.)
Coyote Canyon Horse Heaven Hill Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 - smoky raspberry with slight toffee note; nicely oaked with a herbal character. Good length.
Kiona Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 - raspberry, mocha, peat moss and graphite aromas with cedar, sweet curing tobacco notes; great structure and length.
Kiona Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 - blackberry, cedar, leather -- a deep, inviting notes with tea leaf notes; rich and ripe on the palate; nice structure and finish -- well integrated.
Maryhill Tudor/Gunkel Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 - inviting notes with cigar box, blackberry, tea leaf; cool herbal note at palate; good structure.
Windy Point Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 - mint, black cherry, boysenberry with a solid structure and pretty finish.
Cougar Crest Cougar Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 - cedar, black fruit, graphite -- very pretty! A hint of a peppery note with a solid finish.
Vin du Lac Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 - cedar plank, blackberry, tea leaf with a hint of almond; good length.