Here are two 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Wahluke Slope AVA (pronounced WAH-luke). This AVA, authorized in 2006, is located just north of the Yakima valley. At present only two wineries operate within its boundaries – Fox Estate Winery and Ginkgo Forest Winery. However, grapes from Wahluke Slope constitute twenty percent of the total of the annual harvest in Washington state and make their way into a large number of wines. Wineries sourcing fruit from this AVA include Chateau Ste Michelle, Desert Wind, Isenhower Cellars, K Vintners, Northstar, and Syncline Cellar to name just a few. Some of the notable vineyards include Milbrandt, Indian Wells, and Weinbau.

Gilbert Cellars – whose 2005 Cabernet featured here is one of the finalists in our 2008 Reader Survey Wine of the Year – sources most of its grapes from the Wahluke Slope AVA. Brothers Sean and Nate Gilbert started Gilbert Cellars in 2004. Gilbert Cellars has an annual production of approximately 3,000 cases.

Nefarious Cellars is located in Chelan, Washington. Dean Neff makes the reds and Heather Neff the whites.

Both wines sampled at 62 degrees.







Gilbert Cellars Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Wahluke Slope 2005

A funky Bordeaux-inspired nose with mushroom, black pepper, and graphite. Fairly light on the fruit on the nose but rich with it on the taste. A very tight, compact profile that finishes and then hangs. 15.1% alcohol.



Nefarious Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Wahluke Slope 2005

Spicy dark cherry, white pepper, and light cassis on a nose that starts out somewhat subtle until the wine opens up a bit. Very well put together on the taste with a pleasing weight to the wine. The finish is a bit of a let down on an otherwise enjoyable wine. 15.1% alcohol. 175 cases produced.