Blind tastings of wine can be exhilarating, and they can be humiliating. Every wine professional has at least one story of pulling their favorite bottle in a line-up from its brown paper bag, being so sure of its varietal make-up or origin. We had a recent blind tasting that proved to be a little of both but focusing on the upside, it gave us this month’s second Big Red on a silver platter: Soos Creek’s Stampede.
We haven’t fallen for a 100% Cabernet Franc for quite some time (the last one was Rasa’s Axiom of Choice 2012, which was a club selection more than a year ago). When this was poured for us from its innocuous brown bag, it screamed of fantastic Columbia Valley red wine. We guessed varying blends, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon with bits of Merlot and Cab Franc perhaps, and were stunned to learn it was all Cab Franc. I suppose we should expect that kind of excellence from one of our favorite Washington wineries and go-to Big Reds producer, Soos Creek.
It is so well-rounded and not overly herbaceous or spicy, with supple and sweet red fruits carrying the day. Drinking fantastically well right now, you can pair this with so many foods — just about anything from the grill, from meats to veggies.
Steve Tanzer’s note hits it spot on: “Expressive aromas of redcurrant, strawberry, cherry, mocha, earth and dried flowers. Lush, silky and sweet, showing lovely inner-mouth floral complexity to its pliant red berry flavors. Finished with a fine dusting of tannins and lovely lingering sweetness. Interestingly, this Cabernet Franc shows less of a herbal quality than the 2012s here that are based on Cabernet Sauvignon. A noteworthy value, and already quite appealing owing to its seamless texture.”