Remember those earlier vintages of Abeja Cab? I do, because they were some of my favorite wines of my first years at Avalon. The winemaker responsible: John Abbott.
John left Abeja to found Devona, a super-exciting new project from both sides of the Columbia Gorge (Oregon and Washington). Of course he's making spectacular Cab, but honestly I'm surprised at how great it is, especially for the price. Rich Cab goodness, expertly weaving together blackberry with chocolate-covered dark cherries. The pipe tobacco accents add a comforting touch. Super-solid, delicious Cabernet. - Marcus
From winemaker John Abbott: Our fruit sources are limited to just a handful of old vineyards that we have worked with for a long time and are very special to us. We don’t go outside of our usual fruit sources to purchase lower priced fruit from which to make a lower priced wine. In fact, all of the fruit that we bring in is produced with the intent that it will become part of our vineyard-designated bottlings. And the fruit costs are the same, too.
In every vintage, though, there will be some variation among our vineyards, barrels, and lots, so that is why we select barrel-by-barrel for the vineyard designated wines. Those wines are very focused examples of the best that particular vineyard offered in that vintage. What that leaves us are some delicious barrels that we can have fun blending together to make this wine, one that combines the sub-regions of the Columbia Valley. These are the lots that have a more gentle structure, soft tannins, and an overall approachable personality, making a wine that is enjoyable with less cellar time. So this is our first Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and it has the potential to become one of those reliable, go-to wines in your cellar.
This Cabernet is filled with flavors of briar fruits and dark cherries. It has a deep purple color and is a full mouth of wine. The tannins are soft, as promised, yet it is a complex and serious wine with a chewy texture. Cola, cocoa, pomegranate, and sweet pipe tobacco have also come up in our technical tastings, among other things, but you get the idea. It is a delicious, interesting, complex Cabernet Sauvignon that is ready to enjoy. The music here is quite interesting to me. The album, A Taste of Yesterday’s Wine, is a collaboration between Merle Haggard and George Jones released in 1982. One of the songs on the album, Yesterday’s Wine was written by Willie Nelson and is also the title track to an album of the same name that he had released earlier. What an amazing blend of talent!