Retrospective - Hedges Reserve Red Mountain Columbia Valley 1996

Tom and Ann-Marie Hedges started Hedges Cellars in 1987. In 1991, they planted an estate vineyard on Red Mountain. Although vineyards had been established on Red Mountain for more than fifteen years and fruit from the area was already receiving wide recognition, Hedges played an instrumental role in Red Mountain receiving American Viticultural Area (AVA) status (Note that the bottle sampled below was labeled both "Red Mountain" and "Columbia Valley"). This status was granted in 2001.

AVA recognition by the federal government is an important step in establishing an area’s brand and identity. While Washington’s smallest AVA at just over 4,000 acres, Red Mountain produces fruit that goes in to some of the state’s most distinctive and sought after wines. In a sign of Red Mountain’s continued prominence, several long-established wineries have recently planted vineyards there, including Quilceda Creek, DeLille, and Col Solare.

Peter Hedges, Tom’s brother, has served as Hedges’ winemaker since 2002. With a number of other family members now working at the winery, Hedges rebranded itself Hedges Family Estate earlier this decade.


Wines

Score

Name

Notes

$

*

Hedges Reserve Red Mountain Columbia Valley 1996

A vibrant color with no signs of browning. Nose has pretty spices, a floral component, and cherry. The fruit on the nose occasionally shows some age on a wine that otherwise seems largely unaffected by time. Tart and puckering on the palate. As the wine opens earth aromas come to the fore and the wine soars and sails. This could be mistaken for a young wine and appears to have decades in front of it. 13% alcohol. 640 cases produced.

$45


Sean P. Sullivan

Please e-mail any comments or questions to wawinereport@gmail.com

2 comments:

  1. Sean,
    Just had the 1997 last week and couldn't agree more. I was surprised how purple the wine was with 12 years of age on it. Tons of tannin and acid left with just enough fruit. Most certainly has another 10 years of life left. Thanks for the note!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Indeed, I'm still just stunned at how well this wine was holding up. A tribute to Red Mountain fruit and Hedges' winemaking.

    ReplyDelete

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