Skip to main content

Wine Review: 2011 Wautoma Wines Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon


Another premium Washington wine by Jessica Munnell.

It was a pleasure to enjoy a lovely Cabernet Sauvignon made by Jessica Munnell from her Wautoma Wines label. This review follows another wine review about a Rose' also made by Ms. Munnell from the Mercer Estates label. She's a busy and talented winemaker.

If you are not familiar with Wautoma Wines, it is a partnership between vineyard manager Tom Merkle and winemaker Jessica Munnell. Tom provides the premium Washington grapes and Jessica makes the wine. Tom  and Jessica met at Tom's Wautoma Springs vineyard in January 2000. Working together, they became friends. The friendship developed into a business partnership which became Wautoma Wines in 2008.

Wautoma Wines are made of the best Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from Wautoma Springs Vineyard and of Malbec from Wahluke Slope’s Stone Tree Vineyard. This bottling is 100% Wautoma Springs Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.

Tasting Notes 2011 Wautoma Cabernet Sauvignon

Color: Dark Burgundy.
Nose: Big, cherry, oak, incense, pomegranate juice, vanilla.
Palate: Bing cherry, chocolate, hint of bell pepper, medium body, polished, medium tannin, balanced, moderate finish.  Approachable and friendly at open.
After 15 minutes: Chocolate gingerbread, candied cherry, dusty nose. Dusty dark chocolate, coffee bean, oak, cherry, pleasing finish lingered.
25 minutes: Perfumed nose, candied spice. Good texture, chocolate-cherry, spice, growing finish. Wine integrating, not heavy, balanced, easy drinking and showing well. Think grilled steak.

After an hour: Ebullient, aromatic, deep nose, dark fruit, tomato leaf, sandalwood. Cherry, blackberry, dark chocolate, cinnamon, note of cumin. Not a brawny wine, aromatic, cozy, and fun to be with, tannin more present, still coming together. Lingering finish. Moroccan lamb, flat bread, rose water rice and labneh on my mind.

After 2 hours: Fresh cherry, dry on the tongue and lower gum, blackberry, chocolate, medium finish, tingle on the gums. Very food friendly. Enjoyed with pasta in a white sauce with sliced mushroom, diced red bell pepper, white cheddar, black pepper and Marsala. Delicious. Also had chicken wings cooked in apple cider, French thyme, black pepper and garlic salt. Then Pressed on hot skillet until skin caramelized.  Flavors were complimentary. Very enjoyable meal.

After 3 hours: Blueberry, silky, dark notes, tar, cherry cordial and orange chocolate into the finish, pleasant spike mid-palate. Shifted from the nose onto the palate. Longer finish. Eminently drinkable at this point. I had to exercise restraint.

Day Two: Blackberry, smoky violets, dark chocolate on the nose. Creamy cherry, blackberry, fluid, silky, chocolate and dark notes on the finish. Yum.

Thoughts: Yes, food friendly at two hours and very drinkable at three hours. From my tasting notes you can tell I really enjoyed this wine on the first day. But it was better and better the longer it was open. Therefore, I would suggest holding for a year or five before drinking, or decant for the most pleasure today. I believe I am becoming a fan of this winemaker. Strongly Recommended.

Vineyard: Wautoma Springs 
Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Closure: Natural cork.
Heavy bottle with deep punt, nice shape.
ABV: 14.1%
SRP: $48
Winemaker: Jessica Munnell

Wautoma Wines LLC
Facebook Wautoma Wines

About Tom Merkle
Owner/Vineyard Manager
Tom Merkle is a second-generation grape grower. In 1999, he planted the first grapes at his own Wautoma Springs vineyard. That has since developed into a fifty-acre, exclusively Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard supplying fruit to some of the best-known, most-respected wineries in Washington. In addition to Wautoma Springs, Tom manages several other top-rank vineyards on the Wahluke Slope.

Wautoma Wines Winemaker Jessica Munnell.

About Jessica Munnell
In 2003, Jessica left viticulture for winemaking, beginning with an internship in Australia. She later returned to the states for an enology position with Snoqualmie Winery. In 2005, she began work at Canoe Ridge and worked her way up to an Assistant Winemaker position with Chateau Ste. Michelle. After a few years away from full-time wine industry involvement to begin raising a family, Jessica approached Tom Merkle about working together to create a wine that featured his grapes. A partnership was formed in 2008 that became Wautoma Wines – made of the best Cabernet Sauvignon from Wautoma Springs and Malbec from Wahluke Slope’s Stone Tree Vineyard. In addition to her work with Wautoma Springs, Jessica is the head Winemaker for Mercer Estates.

Related Post: Review Mercer Estates 2013 Sadie Louise Rose' Horse Heaven Hills



Popular posts from this blog

Chateau St. Michelle, Indian Wells, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon

Good Wine, Happy Camper Fall is settling on us quite rapidly. Today, our sunny afternoon was framed by ominous dark clouds lurking on the horizon north of us. It‘s unsettling how quickly the cool weather descends on SE Washington. That touch of autumn sunshine put me in the mood for grilling steaks tonight. I‘ll embrace the sun when I can. But, what good is steak without wine? On my way home, I grabbed a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. On a whim, I bought a wine I would not usually purchase; it was priced on sale for less that $15. My expectations were not high for the wine, I was just hoping for something palatable. Chateau St. Michelle Chateau St. Michelle, is a Washington winery - an Eastern and Western Washington winery. The St. Michelle winery and tasting room is located in Woodinville, Washington, just across lake Washington from Seattle. However, this wine is made in Patterson, Washington, from Columbia Valley grapes (Indian Wells series) at their attractive Columbia Crest

My Favorite Recipe | Flourless Chocolate Torte

Satisfying those chocolate cravings. My Instagram followers have seen me post photos ( @williampollardjr ) of my favorite dessert for over a year. Possibly, I've posted the original recipe to Instagram. If you ask, I usually do. After success and failures, I've learned that this dessert does not always deliver desired results. With some effort, I've figured out why, and the remedy. Yes, I've been gently tweaking the recipe. Adjusting ingredients. Modifying and streamlining the process. With mixed results. Confiding with my wife, she gave me a tip that finally nailed this recipe down. I'm happy to share this recipe with modifications. It's truly a lovely dessert. My favorite. Enjoy responsibly. Just out of the oven flourless chocolate torte. Recipe: Flourless Chocolate Torte An easy recipe to follow. You will need an oven, mixer, spring form pan and a double boiler. While you can eat this torte warm, I prefer to let it cool down and refrigera

The Best Sci-Fi Series You’re Not Watching. But I Am

The Ministry of Time/El Ministerio Del Tiempo History is under threat. Someone is attempting to alter the past. In response, a secret government organization is working to protect the sanctity of time. This group is the Ministry of Time. Agents of the ministry, are able to travel to different times and places via a deep well of stairs located in Madrid, Spain. From these stairs, innumerable doorways branch off to different periods of the past. Agents are recruited from other time periods, they work diligently to protect the history of Spain. And we get to go along for the thrilling ride. I’m changing up things today by recommending my favorite Spanish TV series. I found it accidentally, now I'm hooked. Improving my Spanish language comprehension Among my self-improvement efforts, there are many, one is to enhance my comprehension and speaking abilities of the Spanish language. With a neglected minor in Spanish, I’m embarrassed to have forgotten so much vocabulary and