Chester Kidder 2003 Red (Columbia Valley (WA))

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

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