Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wine Corner Review #51: 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon

Deep in the Pacific Northwest, down near the base of Washington State where it joins forces with the forests of Oregon, lies the winemaking appelation of Horse Heaven Hills. Not surprisingly, wild horses once roamed these hills, frolicking in the dry, windy meadows, drinking from the mighty Columbian River and generally just doing what horses do naturally. Recently, the Horse Heaven Hills appelation was carved out of the much larger Columbia Valley appelation which still surrounds it. In appreciation of the tough little horses that once populated this region, a new line of wines was created, named after their approximate height. (Horse heights are always measured in hands, and 14 hands is considered quite small.) You know, I could continue to horse around some more and talk about boring stuff, but maybe I should proceed directly to the discussion of the bottle or glass of vino at hand, specifically the 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon.

The robe of the 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon is magenta flecked with a touch of maroon. The nose suggests minerals, black cherries, and currants. Berries, cherries, and more currants wash playfully over the palate, finishing lightly with Melba toast points. Cabernets are often notoriously difficult to pair with food; not so this one, for by blending the cab sauvignon grapes, with cab franc, merlot, and a touch of syrah, winemaker Keith Kennison has created a quaff that can stand up to most red meat and pork, yet is quite fruit-forward and friendly enough to enjoy on its own. Website is www.14hands.com, where you will learn that Wine and Spirits Magazine has named 14 Hands Cabernet the fourteenth most popular wine by the glass in restaurants, which suggests a double dose of good luck to me. Horse around with a glass yourself soon, and remember:


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