Wine of The Week Canvasback Red Mountain 91 Points

You might be surprised to know that Washington State is the second largest wine producer in the U.S. behind California. And yet Washington wine is still something of a mystery. Sure, grapes were first planted in 1825 in the Evergreen State, but it has not been able to brand itself the way California, even Oregon’s Willamette Valley, have done.

But that is changing with a place called Red Mountain, an American Viticultural Area (AVA) within the larger Yakima Valley AVA. Canvasback is committed to producing Cabernet Sauvignon from arguably the states’ best region. Canvasback, comprising mainly Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot and small amounts of Petite Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc, spent 20 months aging in oak barrels

The result is a wine offering black cherry, blackberry, blueberry compote, cedar and like many Washington wines, an earthier quality with less bright fruit and with a bit more acidity than Cabernet from, say Napa. There is a richness to this wine, a velvetiness on the palate. I’ve had the Canvasback each vintage since its initial release in 2013 and it keeps getting better, more refined and more harmonious and balanced.

Score: 91 Points

SRP? $40/ 750ML

What Can I Pair it With? Hangar steak with sautéed mushrooms; Smoked and grilled tofu with brown rice and sweet peas; Traditional ragu Bolognese.

14,000 cases

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Michael Cervin

Michael Cervin is Bonfort's Wine Editor. He is the author of eight books including California Wine County) and he contributes and spirits articles to various publications including Robb Report, Forbes Travel Guides, The Hollywood Reporter, Old Liquors Magazine (Netherlands), The Whiskey Reviewer, The Tasting Panel, Fine Wine & Liquor Magazine (China), Decanter (London), Sommelier Journal,, and many others. He is also professional wine and spirits judge serving at the Taste of Rum Festival in Puerto Rico, The Best of Vinho Verde Awards in Portugal, The Critics Challenge, San Diego Wine & Spirits Challenge, and San Diego Spirits and Cocktail Festival, The Central Cost Wine Competition, The San Francisco International Wine Competition, The California State Fair, and others. He is currently the wine buyer for the Santa Barbara Airport.