Devona Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
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I remember my first taste of Cabernet from John Abbott: 2002 Abeja in some of my first days at Avalon. He instantly became one of my favorite Cab-makers, it was that great.
John left Abeja to found Devona, a super-exciting newer project from both Oregon and Washington. Of course he's making spectacular Cab, but when I learned that John gained access to the most famous Cabernet vineyard in Washington State I just about flipped.
People throw the word "iconic" around too casually; in the case of Champoux vineyard it actually fits. The source of more 100-point Cabernets than any other vineyard in the state, Champoux has earned its iconic status.
Devona's Champoux Cab, from the outstanding 2018 vintage, opens in classic Champoux fashion: a beautiful heart of super-creamy and plush dark red fruits baked into a delicious pastry. As it swirls and opens in the glass, energy and concentration builds, all the while maintaining the plushness that has made Champoux fruit famous.
From John: Classic Horse Heaven Hills wines revel in complex deep red characters, such as wild strawberry, baked cherry pie, and red currant. These bright influences make for a luminous wine, with vibrancy and lift. The richness of chocolate around a juicy dark cherry reminds me of classic Canoe Ridge Vineyard wines from back in the day. Spices of desert sage and laurel add to a fleshy, luscious palate. This is a vintage with excellent depth, and it is well worth aging.
The flavor profile of this wine is so familiar and comforting, taking me back to the many vintages working with Canoe Ridge Vineyard fruit. Champoux and Canoe Ridge Vineyard were near each other in the Horse Heaven Hills and our crews were close. In the mid 1990’s the group of wineries that had been utilizing the fruit came together to purchase the site. This group of wineries are some of the very best in the state and they, too, have long been good friends of ours. All of this history makes working with the fruit extra meaningful.
From John: This wine is just our second vintage produced from this iconic vineyard. We felt fortunate to get in on the fruit last year, and it has been really fun to explore, especially in a gorgeous expressive vintage such as was 2018. The growing season was quite warm, but the extended fall weather was moderate, with cool nights. That large diurnal fluctuation is tremendously valuable to the development of flavor and complexity.