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Hedges Family Estate, CMS Red 2017
Merlot 58%, Cabernet Sauvignon 30%, Syrah 12%
Sarah and Christophe Hedges
Such a fun mix of Strawberry and raspberry fruit, cocoa, earthy spices and a bit of red licorice. There is hints of dried sage, cocoa nibs and some pomegranate on the finish. The palate shines with bright acidity followed by a full and rich mid-palate showing flavors of red fruits, and rich, earthy spices. A tinge of vanilla balances out the rustic finish.
Grapes come from the Columbia Valley vineyards, Wooded Island, Bacchus, Sagemoor, Weinbau and Dionysus (all part of Sagemoor Farms), and the Red Mountain Vineyards of Hedges, Bel Villa, Jolet, Les Gosses and Magdalena. Most of the wines were pumped over during alcoholic fermentation for 6 to 10 days while on American Oak. About 40% of the wine was racked to barrel where it completed malo-lactic fermentation and then aged for an additional 15-18 months. The other 60% completed M-L in tank, at the end of which it was racked onto French Oak and had SO2 added. About 60% French oak /40% American oak.
Hedges is the leading winery in the Red Mountain AVA, perhaps Washington State's most prestigious appellation and an area that was awarded AVA status in 2001 thanks largely to the tireless efforts of the Hedges family. Their hard work was most certainly justified - this steep slope was formed (like much of the state's viticultural areas) by millions of years of glacial floods and the soil is a mix of clay, loess and rocky granite which has proved perfect for the cultivation of red varieties. Since their first vintage in 1987, the family have become known for producing wines that are structured, elegant and harmonious, with the capacity to age superbly. This stylistic focus is due, in part, to the French influence exerted by founder Tom Hedges' Champenoise wife Anne-Marie - their children Sarah and Christophe, who run the estate today, expound a philosophy of terroir and balance that is more typical of the old world than the new.
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