Northern Light (on Washington Cabernet Sauvignon)

Friday, April 6, 2007, by Jordan Mackay

A classic Washington Cabernet is different. It can have the same generous fruit of a California wine, but it will also have the acidity and structure of an old-world wine. And more often than not the tannins are sweet and smooth.Cabernet needs prolonged sun exposure to ripen its surfeit of tannins. In Washington, which is at the same latitude as Burgundy and Bordeaux, the grapes get longer, slightly cooler sunlight—two to three more hours per day during the prime growing season than they would get farther south in California.

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