Layered aromas of dark, rich blackberry and black cherry compote are weaved with iron undertones. Hints of toasted hazelnut and purple flowers play a hand as well. Dense layers of dark, lush blackberry and black cherry give way to cinnamon and cocoa nibs on the palate. The finish is long with ample tannic structure, giving this vintage true cellaring potential.
Ripe Plum skin and black tea are front and center in this warmer vintage, followed by undertones of tomato leaf and brambles. Generous dark fruit abounds on the palate with dense layers of black cherry and fig preceding notes of cracked pepper and fennel seed on the finish. The deep intensity and lush tannins make this a wine to enjoy now and savor for years to come.
Raspberry and brambles are front and center in this Bordeaux style blend. Inviting notes of cassis and dried herbs, with hints of pepper and cedar shine through as the bouquet opens up. On the palate, bright notes of cherry and raspberry play alongside black tea and licorice. A lively tannic structure leads the way for a long, brooding finish.
The word ‘trine’ (it rhymes with ‘wine’) is defined as a close group of three, and this wine pays homage to the families of Pepper Bridge: the McKibbens, Goffs, and Pellets. As with our Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Trine showcases the best of our Walla Walla Valley estate vineyards. However, it allows Winemaker Jean-François Pellet more freedom of expression since it is a creative blend rather than a varietal-based wine. Each vintage will contain a unique combination of Bordeaux’s traditional five red grapes.
Oak Program: 100% French Oak; 61% neutral, 39% new
Harvest Dates: September 3 through October 15, 2015
Bottling Date: March 7, 2017
The 2015 Vintage
The 2015 growing season is the latest in a trend of being the warmest on record for our valley. Bud break occurred at the end of March, which is about a week earlier than usual. High temperatures peaked at the end of June and were steady throughout the course of the summer. A cooling trend arrived as the grapes began to go through veraison, allowing them to ripen perfectly. For the first time ever, harvest began in August and was followed by optimal weather patterns for the remainder of the year.
Included in the Box
1x 2015 Pepper Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley
1x 2015 Pepper Bridge Merlot, Walla Walla Valley
1x 2015 Pepper Bridge Trine, Walla Walla Valley
4x 2015 Pepper Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley
Winery: Pepper Bridge Winery
Owners: McKibben, Goff and Pellet Families
Location: Walla Walla, Washington
Pepper Bridge Winery represents the pioneering spirit of the Walla Walla Valley. Owned and operated by three families - the McKibbens, the Goffs and the Pellets, the winery is a leader in quality winemaking, innovative technology, and vineyard development. For over twenty years their hard work and dedication to the Walla Walla Valley have helped define it as one of the great wine regions of the world.
Our estate vineyards - Pepper Bridge, Seven Hills, and Octave - produce some of the most sought-after grapes in the state. Furthermore, these vineyards are leaders in the practice of sustainable agriculture. We are committed to environmental stewardship and implement sustainable practices within the vineyards:
Utilizing organic products such as sulfur and liquid fish oil to replace hard chemicals that control powdery mildew.
Winemaker Jean-François Pellet plays an active role in the management of the vineyards and is a founding member of the Walla Walla Valley’s sustainable viticulture program, VINEA. The ultimate goal is to make quality wine and leave the soil healthier for future generations.
AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, TN, TX, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY
OMG…this juice is about as undervalued as Gold is in todays market! I have about a dozen bottles of Pepper Bridge goodness in my cellar and I’m going to have to find a way to sneak this amazing offer into my cellar! I visited the winery a few years ago and had my mind blown when Norm McKibben popped up out of seemingly nowhere and started a conversation with my father in law (A PhD botanist from WSU) and I. Turns out they knew many of the same folks from back in the day and he decided to give us an impromptu tour of the winery from the inside out, complete with the entire behind-the-scenes history! Needless to say, it was not only a history lesson, but an incredible tour of a top-notch, state of the art winery. Long story short, I spent three weeks in Bordeaux touring right and left bank Chateaus and this winery was right up there with not only a rich history (albeit short) but waaaaay more advanced in their wine making abilities! Their future plans for spectacular wines is a roadmap to success.
@chipgreen@ScottW58@StingingJ Those original Lot18 guys were brilliant. They had coupon schemes, referral bonuses, and promotions that we were clearly unsustainable, but would make the bottom line, “sales growth”, and market share look fantastic. I thought it was a bunch of idiots who didn’t understand what a successful company was. Then it got sold to someone else for I’m sure a good chunk of change. My estimate of the founders’ business IQ average went up about 80 points. The people who purchased it apparently thought they were getting a gold mine.
This is really your first ever casemates purchase?! At least you’ve shared some prior ones even if you weren’t the purchaser.
Now this has me thinking maybe I need to go in here just to try them.
90 Points Pepper Bridge 2015 Trine Estate Vineyards Red
This is a blend of 40% Cabernet Franc with 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 10% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot. Bittersweet chocolate, anise, herb, black cherry, cocoa and graphite aromas and flavors form the core, with a light medicinal note in the background. Firm, slightly grippy tannins provide support, along with amaro-like bitters on the finish. Best after 2022, with a long life beyond that. SPS 4/1/19
88 Points Pepper Bridge 2015 Estate Vineyards Merlot
This blend from Seven Hills, Pepper Bridge and Octave vineyards brings distinctive raspberry, cedar, orange zest, black cherry, plum, flower and spice notes. This is supported by firm tannins that need time to soften. SPS 9/1/18
Some other words of wisdom…
Cabernet: Ken’s Wine Guide: Cases produced: 2,124. KWG Score: 90.7 (based on 4 reviews) Ken’s Wine Rating: Very Good (89) Review date: December 1, 2018
This very dark red colored Cabernet Sauvignon from Pepper Bridge opens with a black cherry and musty oak bouquet with a hint of red licorice and saddle leather. On the palate, this wine is full bodied, balanced and smooth. The flavor profile is a cassis and black cherry blend with nicely integrated gentle minerality. We also detected hints of plum and oak mixed in as well. The finish is dry and its moderate tannins build up for a bit. The Panel suggested pairing this Cab with shepherd’s pie or a pub burger. Enjoy.
Washington Wine Blog:
2015 Pepper Bridge ‘Trine’ Red Wine- Comprised of mainly Cabernet Franc (40%), Cabernet Sauvignon (28%) and Merlot (18%), with smaller portions Malbec and Petit Verdot, this wine was aged in 100% French oak (39% new) for 17 months prior to bottling in March 2017. The ‘Trine’ shows an aromatic range of smoke, green belll pepper and copious dark fruits that fill the nose. The palate reveals a silky texture and a lithe acidity. Roasted fig, blackberry jam, cigar box and milk chocolate covered dark cherry flavors all mingle nicely. This will have a long life ahead of it. Drink 2018-2030- 92 points
2015 Pepper Bridge Merlot- The 2015 Pepper Bridge Merlot is an excellent bottling which was sourced from the Seven Hills, Pepper Bridge and Octave Vineyards.The Merlot has 14% Cabernet Franc and 7% Malbec blended in. This shows perfumed red fruits and toasty oak on the nose. The palate has a smooth texture and lovely mouthfeel. Lip-smacking acidity connects with red cherry cordial, black tea, and blackberry pie flavors. While this is rich this shows Bordelaise tension. Enjoy this delicious effort over the next decade. Drink 2018-2028- 92 points
2015 Pepper Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon- Sourced from largely the Seven Hills and Octave Vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley, this great wine is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller parts Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The Cabernet Sauvignon shows herbal tones on the nose with anise and blackberry cobbler. Soft and round on the mouth, this shows black fruits that mingle with earthy and milk chocolate undertones. Enjoy this fantastic effort over the next decade. Drink 2018-2028- 92 points
@RRichmo I had some of those Lot 18 Cabs from back in the day- probably also bought with vouchers. Thought there might be a bottle still in the cellar, but, alas, they’re all gone. My recollection, though, is they were well enjoyed.
@karenhynes@klezman@WCCWineGirl What, exactly, is the “other side of Mediocre-land”? I have been on Casemates since the beginning, off and on, but clearly I am missing something. My wife loves the Pedroncelli Rose and I will be in trouble if I miss it…
@karenhynes@klezman@WCCWineGirl Dang, I should have lab ratted one of these! I tasted through the 2016’s last year at the winery and they’re great, if a bit pricey, with the Trine leading the way. At this price its a no brainer.
BTW, their closest neighbor, Northstar, also makes great merlots (among other things) at a more reasonable price. They should have an offer here.
Ack! Ok, with a SIWBM and recent rash of orders I was just reading today’s offering for fun. Casemate posters, I hold you fully accountable for our first 3 bottle purchase. I know I’ll regret not going in for a case though. I guess we’ll be opening up a large number of bottles of the stash to free up some space.
OK, the case price is well above my usual limit, but the comments make me curious. Will this wine be a “'transcendent experience” (my description), or are these “just” really good wines that a novice like me might like but might not appreciate for the cost difference compared to other Casemates offerings such as Winesmith, Martin Ray, Scott Harvey, etc?
@gillisr they are really good. I wouldn’t say transcendent. They will reward aging though, and Walla Walla terroir is very unique. I suggest getting a 3 pack and having an educational experience. Happy to do a virtual tasting sometime if you want a guide! Not that I’m an expert, but I’ve been around.
@aces219 Thank you! I realize wine appreciation is subjective but I appreciate your comment on the terrorist and it’s contribution. I usually limit myself to one “over $200” purchase every 6 months or so, but with the comments from names I recognize as longtime participants, plus the opportunity to experience unique flavors, I am going to chance a case. Oh, my wife is out of town, too, so no dinner table budget discussion. Darn
When I saw the offer I felt “Wow, that is exactly what I need right now!”. When I saw the price I thought “I can’t responsibly make that purchase right now”. After I read the notes and discussion I stopped thinking.
@InFrom I’m sure it has, but I (and a lot of people, I’m sure) mostly take a look at the current offer. I find the general Casemates forums less rewarding than woot was, mostly because of the way the threads are organized. If my son hadn’t texted me today I would have had no idea there was a “best of all time” Pedroncelli deal out on the Meh site.
So that I didn’t have any FOMO, I ran downstairs and found another “black tie” offer from 2018 that was $400/case: 2014 Whitehall Lane Mancino Cabernet. I could only afford the 2 bottle offer but I am sure glad I did. BTW Cellar Tracker comment says drink 2021 thru 2025, woops I’m early!