As part of Washington Wine Month, we bring you one of the great Washington wineries, Doubleback. The winery was founded by former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who grew up in Walla Walla and attended high school there. For many years Drew had wanted to own his own winery following his illustrious career in football. Going back to Walla Walla was the perfect choice for him. Drew returned to Walla Walla in 2007 to plant his estate vineyard, McQueen, on the southern end of the Walla Walla Valley AVA. Doubleback was born in 2008 which would focus on estate fruit to create world class Cabernet Sauvignon from Walla Walla. Drew knew he needed a top class winemaker and connected with childhood friend and superstar winemaker, Chris Figgins, of Leonetti Cellar, who served as consulting winemaker until Josh McDaniels assumed the role in 2015.
Here is my interview with Josh: (http://www.washingtonwineblog.com/blog/2016/10/13/interview-with-josh-mcdaniels-head-winemaker-of-doubleback-and-sweet-valley-wines).
Following up last year’s stunning wine is the 2015 Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 94) which comes from an extremely hot vintage in Washington. You wouldn’t know that if you try the wine as it has serious poise and tension that shows the talents of superstar winemaker Josh McDaniels. Even better is the 2015 Doubleback ‘Estate Reserve’ Red Wine (WWB, 96) which is the best wine from Washington that I have sampled in the past six months. This wine is an incredible effort that will cellar well for two decades. Learn more about this outstanding winery at http://www.doubleback.com/
2016 Doubleback ‘Walla Walla Valley’ Chardonnay- The 2016 Doubleback ‘Walla Walla Valley’ Chardonnay showcases a golden hue and exudes opulence. The Chardonnay was aged in 35% new French oak, 50% neutral French oak, as well as 15% concrete tulips. Fermented for 16 months sur lie, the wine saw bi-weekly bâttonage and you can tell why with this stunning texture. This great wine begins with intense aromas of marizpan, creme brûlée and toasty oak. The palate is exceedingly plush. The round mouthfeel entices as the soft texture beautifully coats the mid-palate. Vanilla creme brulee, Pazzaz apple pie, and roasted pineapple flavors make this absolutely impossible to resist. With serious weight, this gorgeous wine will pick up secondary characteristics if you cellar. Enjoy this outstanding Chardonnay that is built to age over the next decade. Drink 2018-2028- 93
2015 Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon-The 2015 Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon is a remarkable wine made from an exceedingly warm vintage. There is a marvelous elegance to this wine and a nice sense of place. Black cherry, black olive and cigar ash fill the nose. The balance and poise is lovely as this tends to glide across the mid-palate. Somewhat backwards now, with massive tannins, in the glass the Cabernet slowly reveals chocolate covered cherry, mocha, anise and blueberry compote flavors. This memorable wine really needs another year to fully develop. Drink 2019-2033- 94
2015 Doubleback ‘Estate Reserve’ Red Wine- The 2015 Doubleback ‘Estate Reserve’ Red Wine is a simply stunning effort from a very warm vintage in the Walla Walla Valley. Needing more than a two hour decant to fully come together, this inky and brooding in colored wine begins with heady aromatics reminiscent of cigar ash, graphite, creme de cassis, black olive tapenade and Turkish coffee. The stunning aromas bring you back to the glass for more. There is a marvelous sense of place to this wine, as the purity of fruit shines through. Black tea, blackberry pie, mocha and sagebrush accents complete this marvelous wine. With moderate to heavy tannins, this wine will cellar marvelously over the next 20 plus years. Another feather in the cap to the uber-talented Josh McDaniels. Drink 2019-2033- 96