Almost from the moment is was founded in 1998, Seattle’s Cadence Winery has been garnering attention. They have been written about in leading industry publications such as Decanter, The Wine Spectator, Wine and Spirits, Wine Enthusiast, Food and Wine, and The International Wine Cellar. Their wines consistently earn high scores and have been on the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Top 100 Wines list 5 times in the last 8 years. Cadence’s 2008 Camerata was poured at the White House.

What’s their secret?

Cadence Winery owners Gaye McNutt and Benjamin Smith.

Part of the credit undoubtedly goes to the amazing terroir of the Red Mountain AVA. With more sunshine in mid-summer than California, cool nights to preserve acidity, mineral rich soils, and a dry climate that allows grape growers to precisely control watering, Red Mountain produces wines with uncommon depth and intensity. The combination is so good that in just over 40 years this small (6 square mile) area in Washington’s Columbia Valley has become the state’s most desirable vineyard location.

Nonetheless, while great wine starts in the vineyard, it is realized in the winery. Cadence’s fame is built on single-vineyard Bordeaux-style blends incorporating varying proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. The exact mix changes every year, and their self-described blending process is for co-owners Ben Smith and Gaye McNutt to lock themselves in a room with samples from all the barrels while they figure it out.

However it works, what emerges is some amazing wine. Their top tier estate wines are Bel Canto and Camerata, both using select batches from their own Cara Mia vineyard. Next come single vineyard blends from Red Mountain’s Ciel du Cheval and Tapteil vineyards. Cadence Coda is created from the barrels of wine that didn’t make it into one of the upper tiers. Much like a French second vin, Coda delivers exceptional quality at a lower price.

Cadence’s annual production is typically around 2,000 to 2,500 cases of wine. We are pleased to be able to offer these rare wines of exceptional quality to our customers.

Beguiling floral, herb, and spicy aromas. Power, texture, and energy pulse through the glass. Tannins are long, fine, and discretely buried in waves of fruit which fully awaken after time in the decanter. There is a suaveness, completeness, and tautness that is present only in the greatest of vintages. A wine for the ages. 75% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot. View catalog listing…

93+ pts Wine Advocate
93 pts Stephen Tanzer


Dark, deep black licorice aromas.  Black cherries and blackberries on the palate. Muscular tannins and acidity are deftly balanced. After an hour in the decanter, the tannins are silky and the flavors broaden and deepen magnificently. This wine will unfold gracefully for years to come. 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot. View catalog listing…

94 pts Wine Advocate
92+ pts Stephen Tanzer


Shows all the hallmarks of a great Ciel vintage — elegant and powerful with layers upon layers of interest.  Straight out of the bottle the wine has superb energy and ripping great length. After an hour in the decanter the subdued fruit blooms, boding well for a long, graceful evolution in bottle. 39% Cabernet Franc, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Verdot, 8% Merlot. View catalog listing…

94 pts Stephen Tanzer
93+ pts Wine Advocate


Explosive aromas of black cherries, spice, and subtle oak.  Tapteil is surprisingly open for business, with copious fruit coming in waves over fine tannins and juicy acidity.  The lingering finish makes you stop and savor, and the verve of the wine brings you back for more. 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc. View catalog listing…

94 pts Wine Advocate
93+ pts Stephen Tanzer


The nose explodes with black cherry, black raspberry, and spice that carry through to the palate in waves of deep flavors. Exceptional depth and structure build through a long finish, which ends with fine tannins that show the wine’s pedigree. 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot, 9 % Petit Verdot. View catalog listing…

91 pts Wine Enthusiast, Editor’s Choice
91 pts Stephen Tanzer