(14.4% alcohol; just 700 cases produced, vs. a normal 1,300; half of this wine is from Cara Mia fruit): Red-ruby. Sexy, vibrant aromas of dark cherry, mocha, mint, espresso and licorice pastille, lifted by a lavender high note. Juicy, spicy and penetrating, with dark berry and mint flavors dominating. Terrific intensity for this entry-level wine, with a firm tannic spine and juicy, rising length calling for a year or two of patience. Rather strict for a second wine intended for early drinking, but I'm not complaining. Ben Smith told me he did not crush the berries in 2014. And he used three egg whites per barrel for the Coda wine to soften its tannins, which he described as "the heaviest yet" for this wine. Cadence’s entry-level wine, Coda, is a standout in 2014. This was the first year that vineyard guru Dick Boushey managed the Cara Mia vineyard, and yields were very low. In fact, total Cadence production in ’14 will be just 1,700 cases, the lowest since 2005. (ST)
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)