The Fall Line Portfolio

by Amanda Wilson

The heart of the portfolio consists of wines that are traditional expressions of place or varietal purity. Primarily, Fall Line crafts classic Bordeaux-inspired wines showcasing the distinctive characteristics of specific, thoughtfully selected vineyards or the nobility and purity of particular varietals.

Single-Vineyard Blends

The place wines are classic Bordeaux-style blends employing fruit from single, carefully chosen sites. By design, these blends are led by the perfume and herbal nuance of cabernet franc followed closely by the luscious, textural flavors of merlot. They include just enough of the rich, complex tones of cabernet sauvignon to lend optimal balance, and in latter vintages, a couple of them enjoy a bright, spicy touch of petit verdot.

From 2004 through 2007, Fall Line's single-site wines were composed of fruit from Artz Vineyard on Red Mountain and Destiny Ridge (2004) or Aldercreek Vineyard (2005 to 2007) in the Horse Heaven Hills. Beginning in 2008, Fall Line opted for an exclusive Yakima Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area) program. The single-site wines from this point are graced with fruit from Artz Vineyard (Red Mountain, also contained in the far east of Yakima Valley), Boushey Vineyard (east-central Yakima Valley), and Red Willow Vineyard (far-west Yakima Valley). These three single-vineyard blends provide a remarkable tasting tour, revealing an intriguing diversity of aroma, flavor and structural attributes across Washington state's first officially designated AVA.

Single-Varietal Wines

Fall Line has produced its 100% Cabernet Sauvignon since 2004. This wine inverts the single-vineyard formula, instead blending a single varietal from all of the winery's vineyard sources. From 2004 through 2007, these were Artz, Boushey, and Destiny Ridge (2004) or Aldercreek (2005 to 2007). From 2008, they are Artz, Boushey, and Red Willow. Bringing together the florality and perfume of Boushey, the compact structure of Artz, and the dense earthy fruit of Red Willow et al., this sumptuous Cabernet displays unique grace and a long, lingering finish.

In the only departure from its Bordeaux-themed portfolio, Fall Line produced an additional single-varietal wine from 2009 to 2012: Tempranillo. In fact this is a single-varietal single- vineyard wine from vines planted specially for Fall Line by grower, Dick Boushey. Floral and exotic, this lovely wine captures the aromatic allure of Boushey fruit while holding true to the noble Spanish varietal.

Something Else

In 2007 Fall Line introduced a less specific, more playfully conceived wine: Exhibition. The blend for this wine uses fruit from all of the winery's vineyard sources, and it ranges from just the three principal Bordeaux varietals—cabernet franc, merlot, and cabernet sauvignon—to those three plus petit verdot and tempranillo. Typically more fruit forward and a bit less firmly structured, this wine offers an amazing value and a representative introduction to the Fall Line style.