Empyrean Draco Claret 2005
The dragon has captivated us, in literature and film for centuries. The sheer danger of the powerful beast is countered by its fearsome elegance. It is a fitting name for this Bordeaux-style blend from Washington State. It has a powerful presence from a New World technique and an elegance that makes it such a charming wine. As for danger, well, this wine is dangerously delicious and before we know it, we've often taken done more than a bottle.
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, this has all the hallmarks of a Bordeaux blend. However, it comes from the esteemed Yakima Valley of Washington. With oak aging of 18 months and now nearly a decade in bottle, this Draco has long been slumbering, waiting to be enjoyed. Now, it bursts forth, full of robust flavors, rearing its robust head.
The wine needs serious decanting time to open up but it is worth the wait. Draco is full throughout the palate with a long finish, traits that we believe are only enhanced by our Bordeaux-style blending. Draco tends towards chocolate, and dark red fruits but offers some brighter red aroma notes and flavors on the mid-palate, making for a very complex wine. The wine is showing the richness, and big structure, but its tannins have softened notably, allowing its fruit to remain fresh and well-integrated. Draco’s acid profile and dry fermentation encourage the wine to retain its fruit and restrained oak without turning the least bit flabby. Draco is just entering its peak and this tasting shows good evidence of a wine that will remain lively and rewarding for a considerable number of years.