Planted in 1991, the vineyard at Canoe Ridge Estate lies on a steep, wind-swept south-facing slope on the bank of the Columbia River in Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills AVA.
The site’s proximity to the river protects it from temperature extremes,
allowing uniform ripening and superb balance. Ripe grapes were destemmed and sorted with a new cutting-edge grape receiving and sorting system designed to gently remove
any green material from the grapes, allowing for pure varietal expression and soft mouthfeel. Daily gentle pumpovers were used to extract optimal flavor and color
and minimize harsh tannins. The wine aged for 22 months in French and American oak, 60% new. Antonio Galloni scored this 91 points saying "Dark ruby-red. Very sexy oak notes of black raspberry, black cherry, licorice cocoa powder and violet, along with intriguing earth notes and a suggestion of medicinal reserve. At once plush and bright, with the sappy, almost syrupy black fruit and bitter chocolate flavors avoiding heaviness. Salty more than sweet, finishing with a strong spine of building tannins and excellent length. Merlot in this vineyard is actually more structured than the softer Cabernet Sauvignon here, according to winemaker McKee."