2018 Cave B Vineyards Viognier - Best of Class
2018 Cave B Vineyards Chenin Blanc – Best of Show
2018 Cave B Vineyards Roussanne
2018 Cave B Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc
Freddy Arredondo, wine director at Cave B Estate Vineyards, may have outdone himself with this year’s wine releases.
Judges for the 2019 North Central Washington Wine Awards competition showered Cave B’s wide selection of entries with medals, including the Best of Show prize for its 2018 Cave B Vineyards Chenin Blanc.
Although Chenin Blanc may not be widely grown or widely known in Washington, the grape has been grown in France since the ninth century. Judges were bowled over by Arredondo’s version grown on the cliffs overlooking the Columbia River near Quincy.
The fragrant white wine, bursting with long lasting honey and gooseberry flavors and balanced by sparkling acidity was a Gold Medal winner on its way to being voted Best of Class and Best White Wine. It went on to easily garner the most votes against all other Best of Class winners for the prestigious Best of Show Award.
The minerality of grapes grown in the Ancient Lakes AVA, where all Cave B’s vineyards are located, contributed to three other Gold Medal winners for Arredondo. The 2018 Cave B Vineyards Viognier earned a Double Gold Medal and Best of Class Award. The 2018 Sauvignon Blanc and 2018 Roussanne were also Gold Medal winners.
Judges also awarded Cave B wines with an even dozen Silver Medals. Those winners included its 2016 vintage red wines Cabernet Franc, XXXI Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, XXXI Merlot, Cuvée Du Soleil, Caveman Red and Tempranillo. White wines earning Silver Medal honors were 2018 vintage Unoaked Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Dry Rosé, Curvée Blanc and Cavewoman White.
Cave B is a family operation. Freddy’s wife, Carrie, is winery events and marketing manager. Her parents, Vince and Carol Bryan, began planting vineyards on the steep bluffs above the Columbia in 1980, when there were few vineyards in Washington. The vineyards were gradually expanded around what is now the famed Gorge Amphitheatre and the Cave B Inn & Spa Resort. The vineyards cover 93 acres and include 17 wine grape varieties.
Many judges agree — and awards confirm — that the Ancient Lakes AVA, with Cave B at its center, is one of the best and most distinctive growing sites in the state, especially for white wine grapes.