What we’re drinking: Canoe Ridge Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

Brynn writes:

What a delicious, fragrant wine. I’ve not had Canoe Ridge before, so I was more than pleasantly surprised when I tried the cab.

The nose is fragrant and bold with a lingering sweetness. Flavors of black cherry and cedar follow with vanilla notes lingering on the finish.

I’ve decided I like cabs that have the juicy fruit notes and where the oak is noticeable on the finish. Cabs that leave my mouth puckered and feeling dry, while I might enjoy them, are not my first choice. (Of course I am sure that one day I’ll have a cab like this that will prove me wrong).

What I like about the Canoe Ridge cab is it is approachable. I can tell there’s a lot of flavors mingling, which keeps me wanting more without overwhelming my mouth.

This is a concentrated wine with spicy oak notes — it’s aged in barrels for 18 months. The barrel breakdown includes 7 percent new French oak, 7 percent new American oak and 2 percent new European oak.

Canoe Ridge is part of the Precept Wine group, which describes itself as the largest privately owned wine company in the Northwest. They own Sagelands, Canoe Ridge Vineyards, House Wine, Washington Hills, Red Knot and Waterbrook, to name a few.

The grapes that make up the Canoe Ridge cab — a blend of 85 percent cab, 15 percent merlot — come from the Canoe Ridge Vineyards’ estate vineyard which is situated along the Columbia River. Being this close to the river allows for longer time on the vine because the river moderates the temperature. Natural ridges around the vineyard also shelter the vines, keeping the wind out and damaging hard freezes at bay during the winter.

We found the bottle at Fred Meyer, so it’s readily available. It’s around $15 to $18.