Borne of Fire 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon

Borne of Fire 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon


There is a brand new wine region on the horizon in Washington State, to be called "The Burn". This AVA (American Viticultural Area) is in south central Washington, near the Columbia River, and going through the final stages of approval. With great excitement behind the impending new region, some are already jumping at the chance to make wine from here, which brings us today's Borne of Fire Cabernet Sauvignon.

Saint Michelle Wine Estates, the parent company of Chateau Ste. Michelle, is a no doubt a big one in the Washington State wine game. I don't often work with their standard line-up of wines, but they are a leader in state, and tend set the trends to come. They are the ones who created the Tenet series of wines, including the Pundit Syrah which was previously a very popular featured on Impulse. When they came out with new, exciting, small batch wines, I seek them out and see if they're worthy of presenting to you, and the Borne of Fire Cabernet meets that qualification.

The Burn region gets its name because the settlers of this area traditionally burned the field grasses as a way of getting nutrients back into the soils at the end of the season. This suggests that the region has nutrient poor soil, which is actually ideal for planting vineyards. The Burn is said to have temperatures on par with the Red Mountain AVA, which is currently considered the best region in the state for making big bold red wines. All in all, this new AVA is showing a lot of potential.

The Borne of Fire Cabernet Sauvignon is the first wine ever to be sourced exclusively from The Burn, though the label still says "Columbia Valley" because legally The Burn is not yet a codified AVA. It's a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Malbec, aged in large format Hungarian oak barrels with very light toast, so as to let the wine itself shine through without hindrance. It comes in at a relatively low 13.5% alcohol, well below the typical Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon. Its profile is very fresh, easily enjoyable, yet not without depth and complexity. The nose is full of ripe berries with hints of vanilla. The palate is smooth, medium bodied, and has just a hint of grip on the finish. It tastes of black cherry, licorice, and black currants, with a pop of pomegranate and raspberry jam, and just a hint of bouquet garni and freshly ground coffee beans.

As far as I can tell, we are the first to offer this wine, as I wasn't able to find it anywhere else as of yet.

  • Region: The Burn, Columbia Valley AVA, Washington State Wine
  • Vineyard(s): Chapman Creek and Trailblazer Vineyards
  • Grape(s): 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec
  • Aging: Lightly Toasted Hungarian Oak Barrels
  • Drinkability: 2018 through 2020, I suggest decanting and/or laying it down for a month or two at this point.
  • Body: Medium
  • Alcohol: 13.5% by Volume
  • Drink if you Like: Intrinsic Cabernet
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