Folks this is not bias. As you know my nickname is “Captain Washington” I have never been to the State. It is getting so difficult to review the wines coming from this area of the world because I have to be tougher on them than California. In Napa you expect overpriced and mostly a lot of Residual Sugar. I have tasted many quality wines this year alone from California but have yet to taste one that was even worth 1/2 the asking price. A new addition to the measly Washington Collection we have at ABC Fine Wine and Spirits (But Double or Triple what sadly most retailers or Restaurants offer).
Who Is The Artisan Collection?
The Artisan Collection markets a portfolio of wines from small, artisanal, family owned wineries. Their winemakers seek to showcase the best attributes of the varietals and the land, using winemaking techniques that are non-interventionist and that emphasize the importance of attention to detail, starting with the vine. Native yeasts are used and, where possible, the wines are bottled with minimum or no fining or filtration.
Meet John Grochau
John Grochau was initially bitten by the ‘wine bug’ while pursuing a professional bicycle-racing career in France. He was limited by the shoestring budget of a racer and a rigorous training regimen, but enjoyed the intrinsic role wine played in most meals. He began to seek out new wines during his down time, particularly while living in the Loire Valley, where he rode past acres of vineyards while training or during races.
John has since been fortunate enough to learn the trade from some of the Willamette Valley’s finest winemakers. He began his career working his way from the bottom up at Erath Winery. He then spent four years as Doug Tunnel’s assistant at Brick House Wines. Finally, in 2002, he founded his own winery, Grochau Cellars, with his wife Kerri.
John Grochau explains that his goal is always to “make a wine that speaks of where the grapes are grown and the weather of the vintage…we do less in an effort to show more.
2015 Besadien Cabernet Sauvignon,
Columbia Valley, Washington
The name “Besadien” is a play on the word “BESO”, which means “kiss” in Spanish. When the artwork featured on the label, “Authenticity” by Christo Dagorov, was found, it was a clear fit for both the name ‘Besadien’ and the wine. If you look close it looks like a picture of a vineyard but the creative artwork also makes it look like “Kissing Lips” …Beso .. The winery is located in Amity Oregon and ABC does sell their Oregon Pinot but this Cabernet is sourced from grapes in Washington State’s Columbia Valley.
VINIFICATION: Fermented in open top fermenters with manual punch down and manual pump overs for cap management.
AGING: 40% aged 20 months in NEW French oak barrels
First I can’t believe the least expensive price I can find on the internet on this wine is $25.00. ABC is offering it on sale for $19.99. That alone made me say WOW if it was any good as I watch people buy stuff all day long for over $80 that I have tasted and to me all tastes the same as the next one. Too much Alcohol, Too Much Oak, Too Much Cost, Too Much Sugar
The color is stunning. Dark ruby with a hint of purple on the edge and almost black in the center. 14.1% ABV. I tested at 68 Degrees initially after opening and every 30 minutes over a 3 hour period. The wine is straight forward what I wish all Cabernet Sauvignons from America were but usually not. I am Jewish and for those of you who are during Passover, you may be familiar with those Joya Chocolate Covered Jelly Rings. That’s what this smells like once it opens up. For those who don’t know, I got dark cassis, dried prune vanilla bean, dark chocolate covered raspberries. On the palate a nice full mouthfeel that I would call medium plus on the body, very dark raisin like fruit and dark plum all through the mid-palate to the back end finish of the Darkest Bark Chocolate you can buy 90% Cacao, no sugary fruits with a dusty, grainy vanilla, cocoa powder finish that has some grippy tannins. Points wise I have to deduct 2 points only because there are so many great quality wines coming from this State that are spot on I would have preferred a little more layers of complexity and maybe some green notes which for most isn’t a plus anyway. I will score this wine 88 out of 100
I have stood on my soap box for almost 20 years. I am not going to preach the gospel anymore. It is your money to spend on whatever you like. I will go out on a limb even further this time…. Not only in America! When it comes to Quality To Price Ratio and the Grape Varietal Tasting like it is supposed to taste without winemaker manipulation being overdone… Washington State produces the finest wines in the world!!!!!! If you want to put away money for a Rainy Day or use a barometer as to what the Grape Cabernet Sauvignon is SUPPOSED to taste like and for only $19.99, BUY THIS WINE. You will “BESO” the bottle of “BESADIEN” and save a lot of money. For me no “BESO”! A simple Thank You to “Captain Washington” will suffice
Grape-fully yours, Larry