Sunday, December 4, 2016

Spring Valley Vineyard Uriah Red Bordeaux Blend 2003

Spring Valley Vineyard Uriah Walla Walla Valley Red Bordeaux Blend 2003

After going to see Brad Pitt's new (movie) release, "Allied", (okay, but far from blockbuster, love story, war action, intrigue to the end), we settled in at home with Netflix, some wine and a plate of cheese, fruit and nuts. After the recent tasting of the Columbia Valley Syrah this week, I had a taste for another wine from the region. I wanted something of quality and complexity, so I pulled this Spring Valley Vineyard Uriah Red Bordeaux Blend from the Walla Walla Valley in Washington.

I wrote about this producer and label in an earlier blogpost

This has the profile of a 'Right Bank' Pomerol (AOC) Bordeaux, with a blend predominantly of Merlot 77%, with Cabernet Franc 22% and Petit Verdot 1%.

For neophytes, 'Right Bank' refers to areas to the north and east of the Gironde River that runs diagonally through the Bordeaux region, while 'Left Bank' refers to those areas to the west and south. While all Bordeaux (AOC - appellation original controlle wines - subscribe to the rules of the appellation governing such things), consist of 'Bordeaux varietals' - Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Merlot, accented by Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, perhaps some Malbec, Left Bank wines are predominantly Merlot, while those from the Right Bank are mainly Cabernet Sauvignon.

The last time I tasted this wine was eighteen months ago when I wrote, "This is the oldest of ten vintages we hold of this wine and is the last bottle from this year. This is a Merlot based Bordeaux blend. At fourteen years its likely at the apex of its tasting window/curve." Well, obviously it wasn't the last bottle, bottle variations aside, it certainly was at its apex as the bright fruits have started to diminish slightly, taking on a sense of overripe, raisin tones, and starting to give way to the non-fruit notes of tea, graphite and cigar box. The spicy tones of the Cabernet Franc are starting to show through.

In a tasting note from the period, I wrote the same thing about the 2004 vintage, "the fruits are starting to subside a bit and give way to non-fruit tones".  All that said, the same profile remains ...

I said above, 'bottle variations aside', but perhaps this bottle represents more the true character of this label, because I've written this about the 2005 vintage, "Definitely needs some time - decant and let breathe. A bit harsh up front with cedar and tar overpowering black currant and black berry fruits - turns to vanilla with creme brulee burnt sugar on the long firm tannin filled finish."

Dark garnet colored, medium to full bodied, bright vibrant flavors (starting to fade) of black berry, cherry and currants with (increasing predominant) tones of tea and cigar box turning to mild tannins and lively acidity on the long, silky, finish.

RM 89 points.