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Wine Pick of the Week

Monday, 06 March 2017 19:55

Badger Mtn 2016 Cab S bottle Picmonkey

2016 Cabernet Sauvignon


Badger Mountain

Columbia Valley

Alcohol: 13.5%

Suggested Retail:  $15.

“Intrigued by seeing “Certified Organic Vineyard” on the label, your reviewer purchased this week’s ‘Pick’ on sale for about $11 at a higher-end grocery store. It was attractively packaged and the only red wine we remember seeing  in a blue glass bottle. The Badger Mountain identity sounded familiar. I thought that it had a connection to Powers Winery and subsequent internet research indicated this is so.

“Perhaps 15 years ago I met the late Bill Powers. He was a fascinating interview subject and spoke passionately about his preference in growing grapes without chemical intervention. At that time, I bought a bottle of his Powers Winery Cabernet Sauvignon and took it home to California. Somehow the bottle got lost in the cellar and wasn’t opened until it was over 10 years old. Tasting it then was a very pleasant experience.  The winery, now headed by Bill’s son, Greg, still produces wine under the Powers label, as well as for their organic brand, Badger Mountain.

“Unfortunately, tasting the 2016 Badger Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon was an underwhelming experience. There were no detectable winemaking problems such as Brett, TCA/cork taint or volatile acidity and no apparent storage issues that might betray oxidation. It was clean tasting wine, such taste as there was. The winery website doesn’t have information on the 2016 vintage Cabernet, but does say the 2014 expresses qualities such as blackberries, black currants and red raspberries and shows some licorice, as well. These are frequently-used descriptors of Cabernet Sauvignon, but I couldn’t really taste any of them in this wine. While I found no particular aroma or taste to dislike, neither did I find anything to like. It tasted like wine, but only in a generic way. There was no Cabernet Sauvignon character. 

“Normally a red wine wouldn’t be released until two or three years after its vintage date—sometimes longer. This wine was perhaps five months old. In a later call to the winery, a spokesperson explained that the winemakers use no sulfites and that their organic Cabernet Sauvignon has an unusually short “shelf life” of about two years. The explanation sounded reasonable, but may be a clue to why the wine falls so short of the enjoyment normally expected from this variety.

“There are people who purchase only organic produce--some because they feel it’s better for the planet, others because they think it is heathier.  No doubt, some of these folks might be inclined to extend their philosophy to include the wines they drink. If so, the 2016 Badger Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon might be something they’d like to investigate. However, for those who’re accustomed to more traditional Cabs, it’s a tough sell.”


Food Affinity: “The mild personality wouldn’t be totally inappropriate with any dish you’d serve with red wine.”


Editor’s Note:  Wines reviewed in Taste Washington Travel are encountered by our staff in several ways. They can be discovered at trade tastings or visits to wineries. They may also be purchased by staff members for their own tables or be those sent by wineries for possible review. This is an editorial feature, not advertising, and appearance cannot be secured by payment. More information can be had by contacting  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last modified on Tuesday, 07 March 2017 19:25


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