“These are some of Washington's most Bordeaux-like wines, and Cadence is now firmly in the top tier of the state's producers.” – Stephen Tanzer, 2010
We’ve admired Ben Smith’s wines for a long time now. A former engineer for Boeing, today he is manufacturing something more fun - but decidedly less aerodynamic - in South Seattle, just across the Duwamish Waterway from his old employer.
Ben has always focused on Cabernet-based blends from Red Mountain, with deep gravel hillsides that make powerful, bold reds that are recognized as Washington’s best. Camerata comes from Cadence’s estate vineyard on Red Mountain, Cara Mia, a perfectly southwestern-facing slope. This wine is all about spicy black cherries, redcurrants, and is deeply concentrated on the palate. It will age 10 years effortlessly if you can keep your paws off of it.
In a land of red earth and sage brush, Cadence owners Benjamin Smith and Gaye McNutt envisioned rolling acres of vineyards. 1997 saw the realization of that dream when they purchased the land that would become their "Cara Mia" Estate Vineyard. Years of research revealed surprising diversity in soil and climate and so when they got the chance to plant seven years later, they decided to plant the land to ten separate blocks matching clonal varieties to the location and irrigating accordingly. This amount of attention to detail is justly due considering both Ben's background as an aeronautical engineer and Gaye's previous incarnation as a lawyer in a software law practice. Ben and Gaye share an ardor for winemaking, parlaying their skills into a successful business. Simultaneously, Red Mountain earned its AVA status in 2001 as the smallest of Washington's appellations.