06 Dunham Lewis Vineyard Wines

In Washington on October 1, 2010 at 8:22 pm



I’ve had the chance to try these single vineyard wines from Dunham in the past, and always been impressed with them. The 06 Lewis Vineyard Syrah was my favorite out of a fantastic selection of wines at a Washington tasting earlier this year. The 06 Lewis Vineyard Cabernet and 06 Lewis Vineyard Merlot that I tasted today were no exception. I’ll admit that these wines are typically loaded with a lot of sweet fruit, so for the Bordeaux fanatic they may not be the best choice. But from my perspective, they are a fantastic example of this style of wine. They do have a lot of fruit, but it’s balanced and concise. There is no missing the oak in the wines, but it balances with all that fruit, making for wines that are both approachable now, and which seem to have to potential to age for a decade or longer. The irony in tasting these two wines was the juxtaposition of approachability between the Cab and the Merlot. Normally one expects Merlot to be a bit softer and more approachable than Cabernet, but in this case the Cabernet was the more silky and integrated of the two, with black cherry, cassis, vanilla and licorice, with fine, well-integrated tannins. While the Merlot showed more brooding, dark wild berry fruit, and bigger tannins that will surely integrate more harmoniously in a few more years.

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