This is the third wine we have featured from the Aquilini family. We have introduced you to the family’s Sauvignon Blanc, their 2019 A56 Red Blend, and now, we are pleased to present the 2019 Aquilini A56 Cabernet Sauvignon. The owner, Luigi Aquilini came to North America in 1956 from a small farm in Northern Italy seeking a new future. Over the next 65 years he built an empire in agriculture, construction, entertainment, and hospitality. He is both one the state’s largest blueberry producers and the owner of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks.
With success, came the opportunity to travel and taste great wine. He loved it so much he decided to get in on the game. For ten years the family visited some of wine’s most hallowed grounds, including Tuscany, Napa, and the Willamette Valley. But the region that impressed them most was a little corner of land at the far end of the Yakima Valley in Eastern Washington called Red Mountain. This tiny AVA was barely on the map yet had all the prerequisites for producing 100-point reds. So, when the last 670 acres of growable land came up for auction in 2013, Luigi acted quickly and acquired this precious parcel. He loves walking in the vineyards each day and enjoying the finer things in life.
The A56 label is an homage to Luigi’s story having arrived in North America in 1956. This wine is purposefully crafted to serve as his legacy. The family wanted to create a high-quality wine that could be sold at a price point that all could enjoy.
This cab is comprised of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc. It is fermented on skins for 3 to 5 weeks in stainless steel, and then the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in the barrel. This A56 Cabernet Sauvignon is aged 22 months in 50% new French Oak.
The Red Mountain AVA is blessed with a confluence of growing conditions that winemakers dream of. Situated in the far corner of Washington’s Yakima Valley, Red Mountain is quickly making a name for itself by consistently producing award-winning, 95 to 100-point vintages.
At 4,040 total acres (1,630 ha), Red Mountain is one of Washington State’s smallest appellations. It is also one of the warmest, with broad, southwest-facing slopes that soak up the summer sun.
Due to these warm temperatures, red grape varieties dominate, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up 60% of plantings. The area’s warm temperatures and persistent winds lead to small berry sizes and thicker skins. Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignons tend to be full bodied, dark, and dense with firm tannins that age exceptionally well.
On the nose, intense and brooding aromatics with layers upon layers. On the palate, enjoy hints of blackberry, plum, mocha, graphite, fresh herb, as well as hints of leather and forest floor. The palate is powerful and elegant at the same time, and builds to a long finish framed by ample tannins. This Cabernet Sauvignon is bold, smooth, and utterly delectable. Decanting is recommended. Aquilini’s A56 Cabernet Sauvignon is the ideal wine to indulge in during winter months, and pairs well with rich, red meat-based dishes.
While searching for great undiscovered wines is hard work (poor us), sometimes one just falls in our lap. We were introduced to the Aquilini family wines through one of my closest friends from my undergrad days (when wine came from a bag). It was almost a throwaway thought. Something like, “Oh, and you should call my friend. He makes good wine.” Usually, that is a sign to run the other way, but this one was a winner. My friend is apparently a wine genius, as evidenced by the fact that this is now our third wine to feature from Aquilini.