2012 began the return to more typical vintages after the record setting in 2010 and 2011. The year began warmer with a more typical bud break in April, followed by a moderately warm growing season (which seemed like a scorcher compared to the very cool first half of the summer of the past two vintages). The earlier start to the year coupled with the warm temperatures led to harvest for the earlier ripening varieties in the first half of September. Then a series of large forest fires over 100 miles to the northwest of Red Mountain played a large roll in the ripening of the later to ripen varietals. The smoke from these forest fires, while not damaging to the fruit like the smoke from some of the documented fires across the globe adjacent to vineyards, had an impact on the ripening of the remaining grapes. The smoke was thick enough and persistent enough across most of eastern Washington to significantly impair the photosynthesis of the grape plants, thereby delaying the ripening. Several weeks of smoky skies led to very little ripening for the later picking varietals for three to four weeks. The relatively warm temperatures in the fall continued into late October, allowing the grapes that were smoke delayed in their ripening to fully ripen late in the year. The wines of 2012 show the typical concentration and depth of fruit that we love from Red Mountain.
Best to Drink: 2016 to 2030