93 Insider Points

REVIEWS

If We're Talking Cab, Washington is High on My Radar

Years ago, when managing the little wine bar in San Clemente, CA, I had the pleasure of getting exposed to all sorts of cool wines, some that I had not tried nor seen before. Washington Cabernet was one of those categories that I was completely new to, and quickly became a fan of. Today, it's an area that I actively seek, due mostly to the fact that you can find French tertiary qualities in the northern latitude wines. The Rich Table Cabernet Sauvignon caught me for it's Bordeaux-like flavor, and I recommend it for those with a similar palate preference. Drinking well now, it can lay down for at least 2-3 more years. 93 Points - JZ Oct '18

WHY WE LOVE IT
  • BLEND
    86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Syrah
  • APPELLATION
    Columbia Valley, Washington
  • ALCOHOL
    14.20%
  • SIZE
    750ml

Journalist, pioneer, environmentalist, and finally winemaker Andrew Rich has reinvented himself more times than we can count. After writing about wine in New York City, Rich relocated to France to study oenology. Six vintages at Bonny Doon set him up for a move to the Pacific Northwest, where he would make history as an early champion for Rhone Varietals in Oregon. His newly minted Andrew Rich label was named one of Wine & Spirits Magazine’s Top 100 Wineries.

You can almost taste all the years of award-winning wines that followed in this small-production Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the Columbia Valley. Dark in color and offering brooding dark chocolate and herbaceous aromas, this Washington red is Rich’s answer to an everyday table wine (hence the name) though without sacrificing personality. Ripe blackberry fruit is balanced with firm tannins and defined acidity, which makes this Cab a winner with foods—from black-pepper seasoned T-bone to poultry and even hearty fish dishes like grilled tuna steaks.

·    An outstanding vintage in Washington’s Columbia Valley, 2016 was rated 93 points by the Wine Enthusiast.

·    Andrew Rich attended winemaking school in Burgundy before landing a coveted position under maverick winemaker Randall Grahm at Bonny Doon in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

·    Rich produces his own label in the Carlton Winemakers Studio—a winemaking coop that boasts state-of-the-art equipment with a focus on sustainability and. The gravity-driven building was made with recycled materials and is designed to use natural light and passive solar heat and recycled materials. The Studio is also the first LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified winery in the U.S.

·    The Columbia Valley AVA enjoys a range of annual temperatures unheard of in California’s much more moderate appellations. Snow falls regularly on the vines during the winter, while daytime highs during the summer can easily reach a blistering 95 degrees.

TASTING NOTES 

Dark fruit flavors, spices, and rich texture combine for a silky-smooth mouthfeel.

THE STORY TO KNOW

From the winery:

After 20 vintages in Oregon, Andrew Rich is beginning to feel like a veteran. His passion for wine was nurtured not in the fertile soils of the Willamette Valley, however, but in the urban sprawl of New York City, where he once edited the wine column for a national magazine. When the pull of wine became stronger than that of publishing, he headed to Burgundy to study winemaking and viticulture, a move that lead to employment at the small but influential Bonny Doon Vineyard, in California, for nearly six years.

His skills honed, Andrew headed to Oregon in 1994 with the quixotic vision of making Rhône-style wines in the Willamette Valley from Columbia Valley grapes. Turns out he was a little ahead of the curve: it wasn't until 2000 – when Syrah, Roussanne, Grenache, and Mourvèdre grapes became available to him – that he was finally able to realize that vision.

Meanwhile, he had discovered his love of Pinot Noir, which has since become the more dominant prong of his dual focus. There are three Pinot blends, with fruit sourced from a dozen northern Willamette Valley vineyards: the soft and approachable Prelude; the classic Verbatim, a "grape for grape" translation of vintage and place; and the structured and age-worthy Knife Edge.

While the range at Andrew Rich Wines may be broad – in addition to the Pinots and Rhône-style wines the winery is known for Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer dessert wine, and several others – the intent is always to make wines of balance, grace, and sheer deliciousness.

PERFECT PAIRINGS

Drink alone or pair this with a beef tenderloin or smoked turkey dish.