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 2019 Runway Red Blend

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2019 Runway Red Blend

 2019 Runway Red Blend
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Tasting Notes

This delicious co-fermented blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc exhibits complex aromas of dark cherry, blueberry, and black currant with cocoa and smoked caramel. Smooth and refined tannins lead into secondary flavors of anise, espresso, and sweet plum. The finish has an elegant balance of acidity along with delightful notes of oak spices that linger on the palate for an incredible amount of time.

Vineyard Designation

100% estate grown

Vintage Notes

The 2019 vintage started off with a very mild winter, then out of nowhere, we saw record snow accumulations in late February that lasted until early March. Thankfully, this did not affect buds on the dormant grapes, but it did delay bud break by approximately 2 weeks, which had some residual affects on the overall ripening process. We did see a decent amount of heat accumulation, but the 2019 vintage will go down as a cooler vintage for Washington State. Our typically amazing Octobers was very trying for us with not just one but two freezing periods that made our winemaking decisions ever more challenging. The first frost we saw we were happy with the results thinking we have escaped a terrible outcome in the vineyards, and then 9 days later we were hit very hard and we saw considerable frost damage to all our grapes. As we are seasoned winemakers, we took this challenge head on and decided to purchase brand new state-of-the-art equipment including an optical sorter that would eject bad and damaged grapes before any of these grapes went into a fermenter or press. The new equipment worked as amazing for us and the results in the wines are more than pleasing for us as well. Challenging vintages like 2019 really let you know as a winemaker what you are made of, and we at Airfield Estates not only took this challenge head on, but we excelled and the wines we produced from this vintage are going to be more consumer-friendly with higher acidity and lower alcohols but the fruit aspect is exceptional.

Winemaking Notes

Harvested at optimal maturity in mid-October from our reserve blocks in our estate vineyard, both the Cabernet Franc and Merlot were hand-harvested at the same time, these grapes were then destemmed and sent to a small concrete tank to co-ferment together. Fermenting in concrete gives this wine more complexity and more roundness while accentuating more fruit notes as well. After a cold soaking period of 72 hours, the wines were then inoculated with two different types of yeast strains; one to promote structure and varietal characteristics, the other for more bountiful fruit aromas. Our extraction protocol for a wine of this caliber is to be aggressive early on in fermentation, giving the wine a delastage (remove all juice from skins, then returning the juice back to skins) this gives us most of our color, aromatics and structure before higher alcohol levels are present. Once alcohol gets to about 9-10% we handle the fermentation much more gently with less pump overs and punch downs. Fermented dry on the skins for about 18 days, then free ran from the skins and gently pressed. The wine was then sent to exclusive French Oak barrels. Aged in 69% new French Oak and 31% 2-3-year-old French Oak. After malo-lactic fermentation was complete, the wines lees were stirred twice a month for three months, this process gives the wines mouthfeel more roundness while naturally softening the wines. Aged for 20 months in French Oak barrels, then another month aging in concrete tank before being bottled.

Food Pairing

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb
Beef Wellington
Manchego or Pecorino

  • Varietal Composition: 55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Franc
  • Appellation: Yakima Valley
  • Cases Produced: 490
  • Alcohol: 14.1
  • pH: 3.87
  • Acidity: 5.7
  • Ageability: Now through 2032