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Pepper Bridge Vertical and Etc

Portland, OR

Tasted July 27, 2013 by Jake112380 with 270 views


We had a wonderful barbeque and dinner with great friends tonight. The food was really a vehicle to deliver four bottles of Pepper Bridge wine and a few other bottles once those were gone. Good fun and good friends.

Flight 1 - Pepper Bridge Wines (4 notes)

I dug deep into the cellar to find some decent Pepper Bridge wine. It was fun tasting the various vintages and seeing what a different a year made.

2004 Pepper Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
92 points
Of the six folks tasting this wine, half preferred it to the 05, 06, and 07 versions. It wasn't the standout hit, but it was preferred overall.

Soft but intense nose. Aromas of cedar, blackberry, earth, and, weirdly enough, sloe gin. Flavors lead with the woody and earthy dimensions, then transition more towards dark fruit on the finish.

Overall, this is a subtle but intense wine. Lots of life left, but drinking well now.
2005 Pepper Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
90 points
Of the six folks tasting this wine, one person preferred this wine above the rest. However, most people who didn't pick it number one had it number two.

Nose is a bit more assertive that the 2004, with earth and dark red fruit notes dominating. Red fruit flavors ride on silky tannins. On the bigger bodied side. Short finish.

Overall, this wine is fruit driven, but there's plenty of structure and tannins to make it far from Parkerized.
2006 Pepper Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
89 points
Of the six people tasting this wine, everyone rated it number four of the four vintages. Realistically, this is a good wine that suffered from being tasted with extraordinary competition.

Aromas tend to be straightforward fruit. Think raspberries, cherries, and blueberries. Lots of blueberry flavor with some earth and leather hints. Tannins are stronger here than they were in the other wines, and not as well integrated. The finish consists of the fruit flavors fighting with the tannins for final resolution.

Overall, this is a very good wine. I would be happy to drink it, and I'm happy to have some bottles left over. However, it doesn't stack up to the other vintages in a side by side.
2007 Pepper Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
91 points
Of the six people tasting, two picked this as their top wine. A couple other folks had it number two (either on its own or locked in a tie).

The nose initially punches you with red fruit, then dives deeper with black fruit and leather notes. A hint of cedar also present. Flavors start with a wall of red licorice, then raspberries and other tart red fruit, then to tannins for the finish. The tannins are strong but pleasant; this wine has a quite a few more years left in it.

Overall, this was a great wine. I wish I had a few more bottles. This wine is good now but will be even better in a couple of years.

Flight 2 - Other Stuff (3 notes)

After the Pepper Bridge, we had several other great wines. I managed to capture a couple of them here.

2008 Mount Baker Petite Sirah Proprietor's Limited Release USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
90 points
Surprise hit of the night. The aroma of this wine is very complex. There's some dark fruit, possibly blackberry. There's cigar. There's spice box. There's earth. There's anise. It an aromatic assault.

Flavors tend toward the dark fruit with a peppery backbone. Moderately long finish with pepper notes.
Red - Sweet/Dessert
2008 Dusted Valley Vintners Syrah Late Harvest Walla Walla Valley USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
89 points
Surprisingly devoid of port-ish flavors for a dessert wine. Very approachable for those who don't enjoy that style of red dessert wine.

Some faint raisin and dried plum aromas. Off dry as far as I can tell. Concentrated traditional Syrah flavors--dark fruit, some smoke, some tobacco and leather. Some tannins on the finish, but not hot with alcohol.
2009 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
89 points
It's been a real pleasure to watch this wine evolve over the past two years or so, and I'm looking forward to watching the evolution for the next couple of years.

I never thought I'd pick up the buttered popcorn aroma mentioned in another note, but I found it tonight. There's red berry there also. Tannins noticeably absent. Strong red fruit flavor with some smoke and a big body. Smooth finish. Great for BBQs, pizza, etc.
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