2014 Estate Reserve Red Blend - 94 POINTS WineSpeed, I tasted this beautiful wine recently with owner/winemaker Rick Small. (Small, along with his friend the winemaker Gary Figgins, are legendary figures in Washington State, having virtually jumpstarted the modern wine industry in Walla Walla after teaching themselves winemaking in the 1970s). I suppose it’s hard not to be influenced when you taste with a wine’s winemaker. But the magnificence and artisanality of this wine could not be ignored. Bold streaks of red, blue, and black fruits splashed across the canvas of the wine. Tiny fireworks of saltiness and pepperiness kept exploding. Unlike many powerful and full-bodied cabernet-based wines, this Woodward Canyon feels sleek, but the richness of its flavor is undeniable (and attention grabbing). A great wine for your next dinner party perhaps. (Mostly cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc, with some merlot and petit verdot). (14.7% abv) - Karen MacNeil
2015 "Old Vines" Cabernet Sauvignon - 93 POINTS Vinous, (made mostly from a 1972 planting at Sagemoor): Dark ruby-red. Reticent, brooding scents of blackberry, cassis, musky dark chocolate, licorice and flinty minerality, with brighter notes of blueberry and spices emerging with aeration. Highly concentrated and fine-grained, with its ripe dark chocolate and sexy oak flavors nicely buffered by the creaminess and depth of the old-vines dark berry fruit. (This was aged in 100% new French oak but comes across as less obviously oaky than the other reds here.) According to winemaker Mott, the older blocks are more nutrient-deficient, and some lots can ferment their sugars until February or even March. Spreads out horizontally to saturate the palate and build slowly, with fine-grained tannins dusting the front teeth. While this wine has the material to age well, it's also balanced and inviting from the start. - Stephen Tanzer
2015 "Artist Series" Cabernet Sauvignon - 91+ POINTS Vinous, (mostly made from Champoux and the estate vineyard; aged in 50% new oak): Saturated ruby. Sexy nose combines cassis, crushed-stone minerality, tobacco leaf, dark chocolate and menthol. Alluringly sweet, plush flavors of cassis, plum, dark raspberry, spices, licorice, dark chocolate and glossy oak are complicated by slightly medicinal notes of kirsch, menthol and herbs. Offers noteworthy density and depth and finishes with rather powerful broad, dusty tannins. Winemaker Mott kept this in barrel for 28 months, compared to a normal 22. There's plenty of mid-palate energy and thickness here, but I find all these wines quite oaky and a bit herbal. Mott told me he generally likes them best five to seven years after the vintage, but this rather chunky wine will more like seven to ten years to assume its adult shape. He also noted that "more people age our Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon." Plush, menthol, cassis, kirsch and dark chocolate. A bit obvious, chunky? - Stephen Tanzer
At number ten, Woodward Canyon’s 1987 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is the first Washington wine named to the Wine Spectator’s Top 10 list.
“It’s nice, but as I’ve told some other people, it’s my job to make good wines. I’m happy for our state as much as anything, that people are really starting to look at Washington state wines.” -Rick Small