The second vintage of Chester Kidder is quite a different blend from the 2002—38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Syrah, 14% Merlot, 12% Cab Franc, 5% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot. Yet despite the obvious effort to craft a vinous all-star, to me it remains somewhat amorphous and a bit over-driven by the barrels. The dominant flavors are all barrel-derived—mocha, coffee grounds, toast—and the fruit, though sleek and polished, stands well in the background. Notes of berry are most prevalent; seamless but a bit anonymous—this wine is still looking for a unique identity.
Paul Gregutt is a Contributing Editor for Wine Enthusiast magazine, a founding member of the magazine’s Tasting Panel, and reviews the wines of Oregon and Canada. The author of the critically-acclaimed Washington Wines & Wineries—The Essential Guide, he consulted on the Pacific Northwest entries in current versions of The World Atlas of Wine and The Oxford Companion to Wine.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.