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2012 Kirkland Signature Series Red Mountain cabernet sauvignon 

Red Mountain, Washington

Retail $16

This cabernet sauvignon is from Washington's largest American Viticultural Area (AVA), Columbia Valley, which also encompasses the AVAs of Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley and Red Mountain. Red Mountain enjoys an exceptional microclimate. Rolling hills reach an elevation of 500 to 1,500 feet. The sloping hillsides bask in long, sunny days during the growing season, receiving almost two hours more sunlight daily than Napa Valley, California, and cool down during breezy nights. Large swings in temperature contribute to slow ripening and retention of acidity during the fruit's development. Vineyards rest on gravelly, loamy soils with high calcium carbonate content that encourages deep root systems and adds minerals. With scant rainfall and low humidity, dry soils limit growth, yielding a tannic structure and concentrated fruit flavors. In the cellar, the addition of a small amount of merlot softens the cabernet fruit. In the glass, it offers aromas of cedar, black cherry and plum. On the palate, taste cassis, mocha, blackberry, earthy notes and dried currants. Decant 30 minutes before serving. Drink it with rare steak, barbecued ribs, rack of lamb, wild game and firm cheeses. Buy it at: Costco.

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