This unique Walla Walla property, now part of the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates portfolio, is in top form with its 2005 Derby, a 100% estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon. It's their best of show for the warm, ripe vintage, topping out at a hefty 15.5% alcohol, and bringing tight, supple, layered black fruits into play. The stiff acids and barrel accents of coffee and clove add detail and length, while the overall muscularity of the wine prevents it from seeming flabby or too jammy for food.
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.