The Wahluke Slope is one of the warmer Washington appellations and is particularly good for growing red grapes to produce some of Washington's great red wines. It is not unusual to find pieces of petrified wood on the vineyard floor in the ancient sandy soils that allow for good drainage and low nutrient capacity. These soils along with the warm days and breezes produce small canopies and berries for concentrated flavors and color.
The Desert Wind Vineyard is owned and managed by the Fries family. This particular block was planted in 1993 and I've had the good fortune to make wine from this block since 1996. I like the Desert Wind Cabernet Sauvignon as it has a lot of Cabernet character which, while it can be a bit over-powering in the young wine, with aging this Cabernets’ herbalness translates into complexity and spice which is complimentary to the cherry fruit which is framed with moderate tannins. These grapes were fermented in a one ton bin and punched down daily by hand. Once flavors, color and tannin had been extracted to the proper balance the wine was pressed off the skins. The wine was then racked to French Oak barrels where it was aged for two years.