True to its opaque, inky-purple color, the 2015 Grand Passage offers hypnotic black fruit aromas of blackberry, huckleberry and blackcurrant. As it evolves in the glass, accents of crushed rock, graphite, and bay leaf emerge. On the palate, ripe, mouthcoating tannins combine with racy acidity to create a singularly indulgent texture. Silken edges surround a core of liquid fruit, melted chocolate and black cherry. Layered over this are earthy notions of forest floor and cedar, as well as hints of black licorice and sarsaparilla that add nuance to a long, mouthwatering finish.
While 2015 will go in the books as the earliest Washington grape harvest on record, it will also be remembered for its remarkable quality. A warm spring led to a very early budbreak, followed by ideal weather during bloom. With consistently hot summer weather, we tailored our canopy management to preserve shade on the fruit, while carefully timing our irrigation to protect the vines. A cooldown in the run-up to harvest slowed ripening, and allowed us to pick pristine grapes at a leisurely pace. With lovely balance and freshness, these grapes ultimately yielded wines of power and grace.