2018 Hedges Red Mountain Blend
2018 Hedges Red Mountain Blend Earthy, cocoa, anise, cassis and a hint of dried herbs and cola. There is a refreshing hint of brine, menthol and floral perfume with a touch of vanilla. A soft entry of flavorful black fruits, cola, and licorice leads into a full mid-palate and very long supple finish. Blend: 26% Merlot 48% Cabernet Sauvignon 10% Syrah 12% Cabernet Franc 4% Malbec
A coveted source of top quality red grapes among premier Washington producers, the Red Mountain AVA is actually the smallest appellation in the state. As its name might suggest, it is actually neither a mountain nor is it composed of red earth. Instead the appellation is an anticline of the Yakima fold belt, a series of geologic folds that define a number of viticultural regions in the surrounding area. It is on the eastern edge of Yakima Valley with slopes facing southwest towards the Yakima River, ideal for the ripening of grapes. The area’s springtime proliferation of wheatgrass, which has a reddish color, actually gives the area the name, “Red” Mountain.
Red Mountain produces some of the most mineral-driven, tannic and age-worthy red wines of Washington and there are a few reasons for this. It is just about the hottest appellation with normal growing season temperatures commonly reaching above 90F. The soil is particularly poor in nutrients and has a high pH, which results in significantly smaller berry sizes compared to varietal norms. The low juice to skin ratio in smaller berries combined with the strong, dry summer winds, leads to higher tannin levels in Red Mountain grapes.
The most common red grape varieties here are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, among others. Limited white varieties are grown, namely Sauvignon blanc.
The reds of the area tend to express dark black and blue fruit, deep concentration, complex textures, high levels of tannins and as previously noted, have good aging capabilities.