Unique, terroir-driven wines from the best vineyards in Eastern Oregon and Washington

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2011 Creative Impulse

2011 Creative Impulse
2011 Creative Impulse

Winemaker Notes: The blend for the Creative Impulse is for the first time Merlot dominant. It is 54% Merlot and 46% Cabernet Sauvignon. This blend gave us the best wine, so that is, of course, what we bottled. Dark ruby in color with a captivating bouquet: cassis, mint, spice, earth, forest floor, and gravel. Firm, powdery tannins with crisp acidity and high palate concentration and complexity ensure a great future. This gorgeous wine has layers upon layers of flavor, notes of cassis, blackberry, mint, violet, tobacco, espresso, bittersweet chocolate, earth, gravel, and gentle notes of garrigue. The finish goes on seemingly forever with resonant notes of earth, exotic spices, mint, and thyme. This wine should reach maturity in 10-12 years, and properly cellared, this wine will gracefully evolve for 20+ years.

Fermentation: The wine had a pre-fermentation maceration of 195 hours and a post-fermentation maceration of 137 hours. The wine was fermented with 100% native yeasts and was punched down by hand 3 times each day during macerations and fermentation. All individual wine components, including free run and press fractions, were kept separate until final blending. The wine was racked three times and not fined. The wine was very lightly filtered to capture any remaining lees.

Cooperage: The wine had an elevage of 28 months in French Oak. The oak profile is 60% new French oak (predominantly from Troncais and Alliers) and 40% neutral French oak.

Cases Produced: 240

Varietal54% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon
AppellationYakima Valley
VineyardDuBrul Vineyard
Acid5.9 g/L
Volume750 ml
Cases Produced240



93+ Points



Made from 54% Merlot and 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2011 Creative Impulse DuBrul Vineyard is a smoking effort that has some upside. Classically styled, with full-bodied richness and a firm, focused, structured profile, it gives off beautiful plum and black cherry fruit, coffee bean, cedar and hints of chocolate on the nose. It, too, will require short-term cellaring and have 15 years or more of overall evolution.

Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate

92+ Points



Bright dark red. Aromas of licorice, rocky minerality and bloody rare steak show lovely subtlety and lift. Sweet, seamless and deep but with plenty of underlying mineral structure to support the flavors of bing cherry, pepper and spices. Quite deep, and oakier than the Plus One cabernet. Finishes very long, with building ripe tannins and a repeating cherry note. A bit less suave on the finish than the Plus One but boasts terrific depth. Interestingly, this wine is more backward in the early going than the 2010 version was, in spite of the fact that the newer bottling contains more Merlot.

Stephen Tanzer , Vinous Media

92 Points



This spent 8 months in French Oak, with 60% new (predominantly from Troncais and Alliers) and 40% oak. This was made from a blend of 54% Merlot and 46% Cabernet. It opens with a lovely dark fruit bouquet of blackberry, black cherry, cassis, anise and oak. Slightly vegetal with fantastic dill and provencale aromas as well, reminiscent of this cold year. Lovely ripe mouthfeel with flavors of red currant, black cherry, anise and blackberry. Lovely smooth mouthfeel as you can taste the Merlot dominance, alongside moderate tannins and a silky texture. Nice complexity achieved in this cold vintage, right bank style red. (Best 2015-2024)

Owen Bargreen, International Wine Report

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