3:25pm – Dunham Cellars 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon XX

by Tom Joe The “Hops ‘R Better” Winer

Another fine wine met during our speed-tasting at the 2018 Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC). How did I feel about tasting so many wines in a finite time and having to blog? Click here!

As simple as I, II, III…

Chatted with John Blair the General Manager of Dunham Cellars. He’s the guy that makes sure “all gears are turning”!

The first three vintages of Dunham, using numerals I, II, and III, were all made at L’Ecole N° 41. It all started when Eric Dunham was the assistant winemaker at L’Ecole N° 41 under head winemaker Marty Clubb. Marty let Eric make a few barrels off to the side for his own project and those barrels became the inaugural vintages of Dunham Cellars.

A few years after the initial vintage was released with great acclaim, Erick began Dunham Cellars with the help of his parents. In 2004, David & Cheryll Blair joined the team with John Blair following in 2011.

Only Cabernet Sauvignon was produced during the early years. The grapes are primarily estate fruit. “We have two estates,” says Blair. “Kenny Hill on the east side of Mill Creek in Walla Walla – it’s the newest vineyard site planted in 2010 – and Lewis Estate Vineyard at the south end of the Yakima Valley. This vineyard began getting planted in the 1990s and is the oldest vineyard site.” These two vineyards supply about 80 percent of the fruit for Dunham wines, leaving the remaining grapes coming from some smaller vineyard sites in the Horse Heaven Hills and Wahluke Slope AVAs.

The 2014 vintage has XX on the label indicating that it is the 20th vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon produced. The tradition started in 1995 with the Roman numeral I and, at the time, it was just a “cool idea”. – They didn’t realize that it actually made the wine somewhat of a collectible because people don’t want to miss a Roman numeral!

Remember, it’s all about having FUN with wine! 

Drink Wine – Drink Wisely!

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