"The Hallmark of Hightower Wines is Exquisite Balance" by Andy Perdue

Hightower Cellars 2012 Reserve Red, Red Mountain,: The husband-wife team of Tim and Kelly Hightower use Cabernet Sauvignon from Red Mountain to build the foundation for their Reserve, which opens with tones of chocolate-covered pomegranate, blueberry and lilac. The hallmark of Hightower Cellars red wines is exquisite balance, and that indeed applies here as suave tannins and juicy blueberry acidity make for a long farewell.It is not red, nor is it a mountain, but “brown ridge” doesn’t sound like much of a grape growing region.

Red Mountain is a 4,040-acre bench in Washington’s eastern Yakima Valley, and in the 40 years since the first wine grapes were planted amid sand and sagebrush, Red Mountain has developed into what is arguably the most important region in Washington. It also is the state’s smallest American Viticultural Area.

Red Mountain doesn’t produce the most grapes in Washington, but it does have the reputation for growing arguably the best. And most of them are red (more than 90 percent).

On average, Red Mountain is the warmest spot in Washington. As such, the grapes never have trouble ripening. In addition, Red Mountain vineyard land is by far the most expensive in the state.

And about the name: It comes from cheatgrass that grows on the ridge and turns reddish in color each spring.

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