Enticed by Double Canyon 2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills


An enticing wine made from a windswept estate vineyard.

I'm often asked by visitors to Washington wine country about the quality of our wines. "Why are these wines so good?" As most of you know, you cannot make good wine without good grapes. And Washington wine grapes can be very good. Case in point.

The Horse Heaven Hills AVA is home to 25% of the state's vineyard acreage.  

Eastern Washington lies in a sweet spot in the Pacific Northwest. The Cascade mountain range captures most of the precipitation from the Pacific coast, leaving much of Eastern Washington semi-arid desert steppe. To grow grapes here, you must irrigate. The Northwest location also provides additional daylight in the summer, plus additional heat units and typically cool desert evenings. The best vineyards are located on poor soils, which are  relatively pest free, so no vine grafting required. Frequent winds also contribute to a nearly perfect growing region.

View of a portion of the Horse Heaven Hills AVA.

The wind. The wind blows almost constantly in some locations, such as in parts of the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. Wind increases vine vigor and blowing particulates thicken ripening grapes. All of these elements are present in the bottle of this 2012 Double Canyon Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is polished and ready to drink.
Strongly Recommended.


Tasting Notes

Color: Red plum to garnet.
Nose: Yum. Lively, candied earth, anise, coconut, blackberry, boysenberry, camphor. Like.
Palate: Good weight, good mouth feel, supple, ripe Bing cherry, smooth, black tea. Like.

After 15 Minutes: Blackberry, plum, spice, vanilla/coconut, fresh mint on the nose. Cherry, chocolate, light grip on cheeks, orange, mint, polished medium finish. Like.

After 30 Minutes: Earthy spicy nose, blackberry, cherry, tea, vanilla, mint. Creamy, integrated, focus to middle, ripe Bing cherry, fine chocolate, mint, subtle earthiness, easy drinking, enjoyable medium finish. Like.

After One Hour: Balanced, pleasantly dry, subtle earthiness, Bing cherry, clove, mint, polished medium finish. Rocking the Bing cherry and ready to drink. Excellent with dinner of fried steak and popcorn shrimp.

* Decanted One Hour: Enticing nose, polished and flavorful, Bing cherry, chocolate, light mint, lightly dry, medium finish.

Day Two: Nose was briny with olive juice and cherry. Very dry, with cherry pie, vanilla crème, mint, green tea and a medium finish.

Day Three: Earthy gingerbread and cherry, subtle olive in the background on the nose. Yum. Tasty cherry pie, a little unripe marionberry, chicory, dry on the gums, focused to the middle front, fresh almost tart on the medium finish.


Thoughts: Pleased with this wine. Polished and ready to drink. Perfect companion to roast beef, fried steak, and most hearty and savory dishes. Or enjoy with company by the fireplace.
Strongly Recommended.

AVA: Horse Heaven Hills
Blend: 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah, 9% Malbec
ABV: 14.5%
Closure: Natural Cork
Sample provided by winery
SRP: $65

About Double Canyon

The Double Canyon property was acquired by Crimson Wine Group in 2005.  Double Canyon, named for two ravines that run through the property, exclusively produces an estate-grown wine that expresses the individuality of the vineyard in this distinctive windswept, desert location. This unique piece of land is now in the capable hands of William Beightol, a second-generation vineyard manager who grew up directly across the road from the property.

They have 84 acres of vines planted densely, at about 1,850 plants per acre—double the norm in Washington— in order to crowd the space and achieve less fruit per plant. Having less fruit increases overall quality as all of the plant’s energy is focused on fewer clusters.

About Will Beightol

Raised in Prosser, Washington, Will Beightol learned about agriculture driving a tractor as a teen for Mercer Ranch. Today, that same vegetable farm surrounds many of Washington’s most prized vineyards, including Champoux, Phinny Hill and Double Canyon.

Will attended Washington State University, graduating with a degree in business and a minor in horticulture. He managed the vineyards at Hogue for over a decade, until he learned in 2007 that Crimson Wine Group had purchased the land next door to the old Mercer Ranch. Will convinced Crimson that, being a native to the area, he was the best man to manage their newly-formed estate.

Will was single-handedly responsible for planting the vines at Double Canyon, and his day-to-day operations focus on fruit balance through high-density planting.

Related Post: Review 2010 Double Canyon Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.


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