50 Best Wines of 2015
(#26 – 2012 Right Blend)
Seattle Met Magazine
2014 Top 100 Washington Wines
(2011 Auclair Winery Left Blend & 2011 96 Cedars Red Wine)
92 points – 2017 Auclair Left Blend Red Mountain
November 30, 2020
Full-bodied and richly structured, with deep blackberry, licorice and espresso flavors that build tension toward polished tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink through 2029 – TF
90 POINTS – 2017 96 Cedars Red Red Mountain
March 30, 2020
Supple and elegantly structured, featuring vibrant cherry, toasted spice and espresso flavors. Finishes with sleek tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Drink through 2027 – TF
92 POINTS – 2016 Left Blend Artz Vineyard Red Mountain
Aug. 31, 2019
Distinctive and well-built, with expressive black cherry, black olive and toasted spice flavors that take on complexity and richness toward polished tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2026. 146 cases made. — TF
90 POINTS – 2016 Right Blend Artz Vineyard Red Mountain
Aug. 31, 2019
Harmonious and easygoing, with expressive cherry and blueberry flavors, accented by spice and tomato leaf notes, lingering toward refined tannins. Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2023. – TF
90 POINTS – 2015 Left Blend Artz Vineyard Red Mountain
July 31, 2018
Broad-shouldered and firmly structured, with expressive blackberry, green olive and mineral accents that build toward burly tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2019 through 2024. – TF
92 POINTS – 2013 Left Blend Artz Vineyard Red Mountain
Issue: Web Only – 2016
Firm and chewy, with a sense of restraint to the orange peel—accented blackberry and currant flavors, hinting at roasted pepper as the finish presents presence and harmony. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2018 through 2023. – HS
91 POINTS – 2012 Right Blend Artz Vineyard Red Mountain
Issue Oct 15, 2015
Nicely articulated tannins dance around a focused core of black cherry and floral character, with a hint of pear joining in as the elements come together on the powerful finish. Shows depth and generosity, lingering well. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2017 through 2022. – HS
91 POINTS – 2012 Left Blend Artz Vineyard Red Mountain
Issue Web Only – 2016
Firm in texture, with red pepper and thyme elements accenting the mix of dark fruit flavors, set on a medium-weight frame. Has presence and a refined finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2017 through 2022.
90 POINTS – 2010 Right Blend Artz Vineyard Red Mountain
Issue Jul 31, 2014
Tasting Note: Grippy tannins frame a focused beam of black currant and blackberry flavors, shaded with lingonberry and pear notes as the finish lingers. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2016 through 2020. – HS
2019 Left Blend – 94pts – Cellar Selection
This is a magnificent Cabernet Sauvignon-driven Bordeaux-style blend. In the first few minutes, you will likely smell aromas of blackberry fruit leather, genuine leather (well-worn) and a note that will make you long for a sugar cookie. After a few swirls of the glass, cigar box, Chelan cherries and graphite appear. This could go on all night, so I’m stopping here. The wine’s sturdy tannins and elevated acidity suggest aging potential. At the same time, the flavors of boysenberry jam, blood orange and vanilla will tempt you to drink up its youth. Enjoy 2022–2034.
2019 96 Cedars – 92pts
Auclair Winery is a Red Mountain specialist and it shows with this blend of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot and 4% Syrah. Blackcap raspberries, black olives and leather are joined on the nose by a savory-spicy aroma that reminds me of blackened catfish. This wine manages to pull off the grippy tannin and bright elevated acidity combination in winning fashion. Concentrated flavors like tangerine marmalade, blackberries, basil and saline prevail on the palate.
2019 Cabernet Franc – 90pts
This Cabernet Franc contains 25% Merlot and was aged in 100% French oak. Black cherries and violets hit the nose first, followed by aromas of pulled pork with a mole negro sauce and wet concrete. Boysenberry flavors mix with tart nectarines on the palate. The mouthfeel is smooth, with velvety tannins a nice bit of acidity.
2019 Syrah – 90pts
This Syrah is positively graceful, balanced and light on its feet at a modest 13% ABV. The nose is earthy and wild, with aromas of blackberries, black pepper, grilled portobellos, leather and a hint of salinity reminiscent of miso. The wine’s tannins are supple, while the acidity is high enough to grab your attention. The wine’s black-cherry fruit slips and slides all over the palate while bits of balsa wood and white peach join the action.
2019 Right Blend – 90pts
This homage to the Right Bank of Bordeaux is a blend of 83% Merlot and 17% Cabernet Franc aged in 100% French oak. The sweet dark aroma on the nose is like smelling a tin filled with black-cherry pastilles. Aromas like petrichor, blueberry compote and wood spice stand off to the side. The tannins are grippy, but not enough to detract from the hedonistic flavors of blueberries, lemon sorbet, black tea and blackberries so ripe you can almost feel the juice dripping down your chin.
91 POINTS – 2013 Right Blend Artz Vineyard Red Mountain
A blend of Merlot (73%), Cabernet Franc (24%) and Petit Verdot, it rises from the glass with aromas of cedar, flowers and red and black fruit. The black-fruit flavors are dense but deft, with firm tannins backing them up.
91 POINTS – 2013 Cabernet Franc Artz Vineyard Red Mountain
With a healthy whack of Merlot (22%), this drinks a bit more like a Bordeaux blend than a varietal wine. It enchants with aromas of high-toned herbs, coffee, toasty oak and red cherry. The cherry and black fruit flavors are layered and tightly wound, with a pleasing mouthfeel. The tannins need time to unwind.
90 POINTS – 2012 Left Blend Artz Vineyard Red Mountain
A mix of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (26%), Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this wine displays aromas of black licorice, raisinated dark fruit, barrel spice, medicine cabinet and cherry cordial. The blackberry flavors are ripe and sweet, supported by a firm tannic structure.
International Wine Report
91 pts – 2015 Auclair Left Blend – The ‘Left Blend’ is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon with the rest Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Black tea and mocha flavors impress with light tannins at the finish. This will cellar well over the next decade. November, 2018 (OB)
91 pts – 2014 Auclair Petit Verdot – This wine comes off slightly herbal on the nose with black fruits. Black cherry and coffee ground flavors with milk chocolate impress. I like the viscosity here as this will age for a decade. November, 2018 (OB)
90 pts – 2014 Auclair Left Blend – The ‘Left Blend’ was sourced from the Artz Vineyard, and is composed of mainly Cabernet Sauvignon along with 23% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot blended in. The wine starts with aromatics of black cherry, blackberry pie, sage and green bell pepper. There are flavors of black cherry, black olive, blackberry pie and creosote. This has wonderful richness and viscosity. (Best 2017-2025) – May, 2017 (OB)
90 pts -2014 Auclair Right Blend – Sourced from the Artz Vineyard, the wine is a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot. The red blend wine begins with aromatics of green peppercorn, black cherry, black olive and hints of mint. There are rich flavors of red cherry, black olive, sagebrush and hints of mint which continue to persist on the finish. (Best 2017-2025) – May, 2017 (OB)
91pts – 2013 Auclair Petit Verdot – This Petit Verdot wine opens with earthy aromas of sagebrush, red cherry, red raspberry and suggestions of green bell pepper. There are ripe flavors of blackberry pie, black tea, anise and green peppercorns. This is hitting its stride right now and should continue to show well over the next five years or so. (Best 2017-2025) – May, 2017 (OB)
90 pts – 2013 Auclair Cabernet Franc – This lovely Cabernet Franc wine, sourced from the Artz Vineyard, has 22% Merlot blended in. There are bright aromas of dried herbs, red cherry and red raspberry leading to flavors of black tea, black cherry, eucalyptus and green bell pepper. This feminine style Cabernet Franc will cellar beautifully well into the next decade. (Best 2017-2025) – May, 2017 (OB)
90 pts – 2013 Auclair Cabernet Sauvignon – This Cabernet Sauvignon begins with aromatics of black tea, bulls blood, black cherry and mocha. There are rich flavors of blackberry pie, coffee grounds and mint alongside heavy tannins. This needs a heavy decant before enjoying, as the tannins are fairly massive at this juncture. (Best 2017-2025) – May, 2017 (OB)
International Wine Review
90 pts Auclair 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Heart of the Hill Vineyard Red Mountain – This Cabernet Sauvignon is ripe and focused with aromas and flavors of black fruit and roasted red pepper. It is firmly structured with good extract and ripeness. Slightly austere, it reveals good length, fine tannins, and medium finesse on the finish.
91 pts Auclair 2015 Left Blend Red Mountain – The Left Blend offers 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Merlot. Medium ruby violet, it offers light floral, cassis and roasted red pepper aromas. It has fine firm tannins and good length. It is fresh, stylish and lightly herbal, with a hint of pepper. Some alcohol on the finish mars the elegance but overall, nicely done.
91 pts Auclair 2015 Right Blend Red Mountain – The Right Blend consists of 67% Merlot and 33% Cabernet Franc. Sourced from the Artz Vineyard, it is dark ruby in color and displays lovely ripe red fruit aromas and flavors of coffee, fresh cherry
and sweet vanilla oak. Fairly full-flavored with sweet dark cherry and a long finish. Nicely done.
The Wine Advocate
91 pts Auclair 2017 Left Blend Red Mountain – Dark ruby with soft purple edges, the 2017 Left Blend has a red-fruited nose with red plum skin, black raspberry, blackberry and dark cherry with a soft spice note that flutters with elements a subtle dustiness, cocoa mocha and red flowers. Medium-bodied, the wine remains persistent and focused on red fruit expressions with a well-balanced structure that showcases melting tannins and supporting acidity before ending with a long, lingering finish that exposes flavors of vanilla, cocoa nibs and dark cherry skin. It’s absolutely delightful, and I must take another sip.
93 pts Auclair 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Old Vines Kiona Vineyard Red Mountain – Coming from some of the oldest Cabernet vines on Red Mountain, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Old Vines comes from the Kiona vineyard and starts with a deep ruby core with purple highlights. The wine explodes out of the glass like an avalanche tumbling down a mountain, gaining intensity as it exposes layers of dark cherry, blackberry and plum skin with wafts of vanilla and mocha tones, with elements of dried tobacco on the nose. Medium to full-bodied, the wine is elegant and silky with a beautiful mid-palate that remains focused on red fruit flavors with dusty pomegranates, hints of milk chocolate and dusty red plum before the wine finishes with a long, lingering conclusion with the soft baking spices of cinnamon and chocolate-covered cherries from the 100% new Taransaud French oak used. I’m going back for seconds! Bravo!
91 pts Auclair 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Heart of The Hill Vineyard Red Mountain -Deep ruby in color, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon opens with a fascinating nose of black cherry, dusty raspberry, blackberry, vanilla and mocha tones with ample red and purple flowers that waft with nuances of cocoa nibs from the 75% new French oak used. Medium to full-bodied, the wine boasts a plush palate with silky tannins that glide effortlessly in the mouth before leaving flavors of red plum and chocolate-covered strawberries with elegant red fruit and a lingering mineral tension on the mid-palate. There’s a persistent finish, and the wine shows the dusty red fruit frame of Red Mountain from the Heart of the Hill vineyard. Well done. I am going to indulge in a second sip.
91+ pts Auclair 2016 Left Blend Red Mountain – Deep ruby with medium to heavy staining of tears, the 2016 Left Blend is constructed from 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 17% Cab Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. It opens with dark, concentrated black fruit aromas on the nose, offering up scents of Chambord, black cherry reduction and cocoa nibs. Medium to full-bodied, the expression weighs on the palate with pleasing mineral tension while showing an elegant and focused structure before closing with a tannic grip and bitter, dark chocolate-covered strawberries on the long, lingering finish. This will be beautiful with a fire-kissed steak.
90 pts Auclair 2016 Right Blend Red Mountain – Medium ruby, the 2016 Right Blend is composed of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc and aged in 50% new French oak. The wine opens to an elegant nose with soft, dusty high-toned red fruits in the glass. Aromas of black raspberry, dark cherry, red plum and touches of cassis sprinkled with cinnamon waft from the glass with tones of fern, chocolate ganache and a red floral nuance. Focused and precise on the palate, the medium-bodied wine shows elegance with a balanced structure that delivers pleasure before lingering with flavors of black cherry, juicy plum, dried herbs and ends with an evolving mineral tension over a balanced and elongated finish.
91 pts Auclair 2018 Ciel Du Cheval Blend Red Mountain – Displaying a deep ruby core with soft purple highlights at the rim, the 2018 Ciel Du Cheval is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc that offers aromas of chocolate-covered cherries and dusty flowers. Full-bodied and with a firm tannic structure, the wine displays impressive balance with flavors of succulent, ripe blackberries that sway with a dusty plum essence. The wine concludes with a long, winding and evolving finish with a lasting impression of vanilla, bitter dark chocolate and a tannic edge. It’s still tight, so give it an additional year or two in the bottle to let it soften, and drink through the end of this decade.
90 pts Auclair 2018 Right Blend Red Mountain – Mostly Merlot with 25% Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Right Blend begins with a delightfully aromatic nose with juicy plum notions, dusty purple flowers, baking spices and elements of chocolate ganache. Medium to full-bodied, the wine shows impeccable balance, energetic acidity and buttressing tannins across the mid-palate, with a delightful array of flavors as black cherry skin, blackberry and crème de cassis tones splash down on the palate. Finishing long, the wine continues to offer dark red fruit nuances on the aftertaste for moments after the wine has left the palate.
90+ pts Auclair 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Heart of The Hill Vineyard Red Mountain – The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Heart of The Hill Vineyard displays a deep ruby core with a firm magenta rim, with aromas of dusty chocolate, dark cherry, plum compote and spiced blackberry with elements of red and purple flowers and a subtle lift of brown baking spices. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is firm and food friendly, with succulent acidity and drying tannins across the mid-palate. The wine concludes with a juicy, high-toned, red-fruited finish with a lingering dusty essence. Just give it another year or two in the bottle before opening, and drink through 2028.