2021 LONG HAUL
93 POINTS, CELLAR STOCKER - NORTHWEST WINE REPORT
72% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petit Verdot. Opens with intense notes of plum, black cherry, chocolate and roast coffee on the nose. Plush yet focused on the palate with generous flavors of blackberry, cherry, black tea, and anise. Lingering spice and slight herbal notes are complemented by dusty tannins on the finish.
Quintessence, Ciel du Cheval, Red Willow, Phinny Hill, Olsen, Henry Earl, Klipsun
The 2021 Long Haul is composed primarily of merlot from Quintessence and Ciel du Cheval vineyards on Red Mountain combined with merlot from Red Willow Vineyard in the Yakima Valley. Ciel du Cheval is one of the oldest vineyards in the Red Mountain AVA. The older vines produce small clusters with intensely flavored berries. Seventy miles to the west of Red Mountain, the vines at Red Willow have an average age of 25 years and are planted on ancient soils above the deposition of the Missoula floods. Red Willow merlot offers a savory aromatic profile with complex depth and power on the palate. Bud break and bloom in 2021 were earlier than normal. The weather was hot throughout much of the growing season. Like 2020, the 2021 vintage produced exceptionally low yields. Berries were remarkably small, and clusters were extremely light. This led to wines with amazing depth and intensity. The wine was fermented in a combination of 1.5, 2 and 5-ton open top fermenters for 7-10 days and was then lightly pressed to barrel, where it finished primary and malolactic fermentation and was aged for 21 months in 35% new French oak.