Sheridan Vineyard 2005 L'Orage Red Wine Red (Yakima Valley)

This is two- thirds Cabernet Sauvignon, one-third Cabernet Franc, picked at 24 brix. Despite the moderate ripeness it is a substantial effort, opening with aromatic spices and wild cherry fruit, then following with flavors of cured meats, resolving into thick and herbaceous tannins. Upon first opening, the wine is compact and firm, with plenty of acid. Tannins add a chewy, earthy character and the wine shows some suggestions of barnyard and leather in the nose and in the mouth. It's full-bodied and flavorful, more a European than a California style, with the herbal character overriding any sweetness in the fruit. Paul Gregutt

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