Aryn Morell, a Washington State native, was on a mission in the wine business. After college he went onto making wine in Napa Valley where he was able to get 90+ point ratings on the regular. After 5 years, he made his way back to his home state with a wealth of knowledge, on a mission to produce amazing wines and show the world that Washington is on the short list of exceptional wine producing regions.
His vineyards, higher in elevation than some other parts of the region, are in the heart of Washington’s Royal Slope. He sources grapes from three different Vineyards in the area, this bottling though is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Scarline Vineyard. Named after the natural break in the land that looks like a scar.
2011 was a picky vintage in Washington. Much cooler than other years, but some of the distinct microclimates of the mountainous region were able to produce some really high quality fruit. 2011 was one of the latest harvests for the region, the goal was to let the grapes get as much concentration as possible before picking, since it took so long for the grapes to ripen.
The high altitude vineyards along with the cool vintage has created a fresher style Cabernet. All of the big fruit flavors upfront are balanced with the earthy aromas in the wine, all wrapped up in a rich spicy finish from the barrels.The wine was fermented and aged in oak for nearly 3 years.
The International Wine Report review really nails it on the head with their 91 point review, “This cold vintage bottling impresses with its structure and range of flavors. Coming from the Scarline vineyard in Frenchman Hills, near the center of Washington state’s Royal Slope region, the high vineyard elevations there range from 1,365 ft to 1,640 ft. The wine was fermented and aged 35 months in 70% new French oak 500L puncheons. There are bright aromas of red bell pepper, red cherry, and anise to the wine. There is the typical ’11 Cab herbaceousness. Flavors of red cherry, anise, and spicebox mingle with lovely minerality and structure. (Best 2016–2028)”
The wine is going on nearly 9 years of age, so don’t be hesitant to open it now. It is really settling into its prime drinking period, but still has some life in it as well! You can age this for another couple years, and it may even get better! Really an incredible wine made by one of the most experienced and passionate winemakers in Washington.