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Duckhorn to launch Washington State Cabernet

Duckhorn has become the latest Napa Valley winery to invest in Washington State and is preparing to launch a Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the Red Mountain area.

The as yet unnamed wine from the 2012 vintage, priced at US$40, was made by Duckhorn executive winemaker Bill Nancarrow at the Artifex custom crush facility and is set to be launched in autumn 2014.

Duckhorn Wine Company president and CEO Alex Ryan told decanter.com that the company was now ‘actively looking’ for vineyard land in the Red Mountain area, and hopes in the longer-term to build a winery and tasting room there.

‘As a company that has been making luxury Cabernet Sauvignons for more than 30 years, we have great respect for what has been achieved in Washington State in a relatively short time,’ he added.

Describing the Red Mountain American Viticultural Area (AVA) as ‘an incredible growing environment’, Ryan said: ‘We are there because the wines excite us, and because they are distinctive.

‘Wines from Red Mountain are not like Cabernets from Napa Valley, nor are they like Bordeaux. Red Mountain has its own singular character.’

Duckhorn’s foray into Washington follows the announcement in April that Napa’s Cakebread Cellars was launching Mullan Road, a Bordeaux-style blend from Walla Walla.

In January, another Napa producer, Trinchero Family Estates, entered into a joint venture with Washington winery Charles & Charles, taking on their wines’ sales, distribution and marketing.

Meanwhile, E&J Gallo bought Washington-based Columbia and Covey Run wineries from Ascentia Wine Estates in June 2012.

Washington State Wine Commission president Steve Warner said he was ‘excited’ by the Duckhorn announcement, adding: ‘Red Mountain has long been recognised for its structured and robust red wines, and this investment by a standard-bearer such as Duckhorn continues to solidify that reputation.’

Written by Richard Woodard

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