2013 Silver Totem Cabernet Sauvignon
Silver Totem is our version of a quintessential Washington Cabernet Sauvignon; it is not so ripe and jammy as to be Californian and not so lean and gravelly as to be mistaken for a left bank Bordeaux. This is a full bodied red wine with notes of blackberry and oak that has been aged for 16 months to soften tannins and give it an extra flair.
Why we make this wine:
Cabernet Sauvignon is the number one red grape grown in Washington State and Washington has established itself as a reference region for the varietal. We started planting the vines 3 years ago at our beautiful Wallula Vineyard. 2013 is our first release.
How we make it:
The grapes for Silver Totem Cab come from three vineyards located in the Horse Heaven Hills and the Walla Walla Valley AVAs. Those grapes are machine harvested with the latest Pellenc harvester technology which guarantees that only perfect berries are picked. In fact, those new harvesters have the latest sorting technology on board selecting only ripe plump berries and rejecting raisins and material other than grapes. The grapes are usually picked late October at sugar levels between 24.5 and 26.5 Brix. The grapes are then put through another destemmer and fermented in stainless steel tanks at our winery in West Richland. The fermentation is conducted at high temperatures (90F) for a short period of time and then cooled down to 82F to avoid extracting too many tannins toward the end of the fermentation. The total time on the skin is 7 to 10 days. After a short micro-oxygenation treatment destined to stabilize color, the wine undergo malolactic conversion in stainless steel tanks. Thereafter, half of the wine is aged in oak barrels and the other half is aged in tank for 16 months prior to bottling. The final blend has a touch of Malbec (10%) and Syrah (8%). The wine is un-fined and it is filtered prior to bottling to guarantee no spoilage Brettanomyces yeast get into the bottle.
Fall favorite pairing:
Our favorite pairing this fall with Silver Totem Cabernet Sauvignon are duck magret with a potato gratin or fried goat cheese with a succotash.