Drew Bledsoe’s 2011 Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon ($89) is now being shipped to select liquor outlets across the country and can be found in limited supply in several Massachusetts stores. Individual allocation list members will receive their shipments (6 bottles minimum) in mid-April direct from the Doubleback Winery located n Walla Walla, Washington.
I picked up three bottles on Saturday, Feb. 2 at the Lower Newton Falls Wine Co., located at 2366 Washington St., Newton Lowell Falls, MA. Because of the limited quantity, you should call Stephen Pope, the store’s wine manager, in advance and reserve your order. He can be reached at 617-332-3000 or you can send him a message at email@example.com.
The 2011 allocation for individuals who signed up in advance, via Doubleback’s website, is sold out. My suggestion is that you go to the site, www.doublebck.com, and sign up for the 2012 release.
The 2011 Doubleback is unrated at this point but the tasting notes from top winemaker Chris Figgins suggest it is a keeper.
Cabernet Sauvignon makes up 90 percent of the blend. Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec round out the profile. There were 3,000 cases produced — 1,000 more than the 2010 vintage which has garnered 90+ ratings from wine experts and was selected as a top Cellar Selection by Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator magazines. The 2011 is expected to reach its peak five years after release, according to Figgins, and could be cellared for up to 15 years.
The 2011 blend has slightly more Cabernet Sauvignon than the 2010 vintage, which featured 87 percent CS and 13 percent Merlot.
The is the fifth vintage for Bledsoe’s Doubleback.
The 2011 vintage was challenging, according to Figgins, because it was one of the coolest growing seasons. Bledsoe’s decision to focus on fruit sourced from the southern Walla Walla Valley, with a warmer climate and more “feminine fruit profile,” made all the difference, said Figgins.
“In a year when “generous” and “voluptuous” will apply to very few wines produced in the greater Columbia Valley, the ’11 Doubleback will be a rare exception,” writes Figgins in the tasting notes for Doubleback.
Bledsoe also offers his thoughts:
“I’m learning to have a love/hate relationship with these cooler vintages. 2011 was stressful! In late September we weren’t sure if we were even going to have a vintage, but thankfully a few weeks of ideal temperatures in October saved the day. Our vineyards on the southern end of the Walla Walla Valley achieved optimum ripeness. As with most things in life, it takes some adversity to create something special. Our 2011 vintage is a prime example. I tasted over the course of a week and the ’11 continued to open up each day hitting its stride about day four. The wine shows the impeccable balance we look to achieve. Tannins are present but soft, bright red fruit is balanced by crisp acidity, and the long finish leaves you wanting another glass. This is a vintage we will be proud of for years to come (and not just because it’s 11).”