2020 produced a classic aromatic expression of Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon at Ciel du Cheval, with generous aromas of dark brambly fruit, sarsaparilla and licorice, along with hints of kitchen herbs, graphite, cardamom and clove. On the palate, great structure, finely dusted tannins and energetic acidity add length and polish to mouth-filling flavors of mulberry, Bing cherry, Damson plum, and black raspberry, with notes of clove and anise lingering on the long, resonant finish.
A cold, dry winter on Red Mountain was followed by an equally cool spring, which led to a slightly later-than-normal budbreak and bloom. Following mid-June rains that significantly reduced the size of the crop, the weather turned hot in July and August, and we began picking our Syrah, Merlot and Malbec the first week of September. While the outbreak of wildfires in Oregon was a concern, after travelling more than 200 miles to Red Mountain, the impact of the smoke was minimal, and we were careful to exclude any impacted grapes. Instead, the driving characteristic of the vintage was the low yields, which despite the cool weather allowed the grapes to get beautifully ripe, producing wines with dark colors, plush creamy textures and rich, vibrant flavors.