14 Hands Vineyard

17 April 2014 / By The Wine Gospel
Columbia River, south of Horse Heaven Hill
Hot to Trot by 14 Hands

Hot to Trot Red Blend

2011 14 Hands Vineyard Hot to Trot Red Blend – Columbia Valley

I can’t recall the last time I drank this wine, but it has been years. A friend brought it to a weekend dinner we both attended.  I poured myself a glass and immediately thought that I needed to pick up a bottle or two of this to have around the house.  It’s a casual-drinking wine you can buy for around $11; but one that tastes like a bottle that costs twice as much.

For a simple wine, it has a lot of depth.  The auburn color and the plum nose prepare your taste buds for some wonderful sipping.  The juicy, dark fruit flavor is rich and jam-like without tasting like Concord grapes. The finish was as smooth and clean as a New Zealand glacier-fed lake.  The winemaker has taken a page from southern Rhone, using several grape varieties in this blend including Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and a handful of others.

The winery’s unusual name, 14 Hands comes from the wild horses that used to run free on the present-day vineyard located in Washington state’s Columbia Valley AVA.  The horses were a mere 14 hands high, a measurement equal to 4 inches per unit.  I hate to disappoint you but the label Hot to Trot refers to these horses.  So get your get mind out of the gutter. It’s not a sexual reference.  Although, that shouldn’t stop you from pouring it at a “Do-Tell-All Girls Night”.

Columbia River, south of Horse Heaven Hill

Columbia River, south of Horse Heaven Hill

14 Hands Vineyard practices sustainable farming in Horse Heaven Hills (HHH) . They recently opened a new facility. The HHH appellation is home to approximately 30 vineyards, but only five have tasting rooms open to the public.  The wines produced in this region benefit from south-sloping, bench-work vineyards, situated along the Columbia River.

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The Wine Gospel

We're glad to have The Wine Gospel as a guest author. You can follow Gay Johnson, Certified Sommelier on Wine & Culinary Vacations, as well as her Blogs

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