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Animale the Cat, 1985-2003 (RIP)

The Methods

Animale produces unusual Washington red wines -- dense, dark, full-flavored and full-bodied, exhibiting enchanting fruit aromas, jammy, spicy flavors, and true varietal character. Animale wines are food-friendly and drinkable at a relatively early age. Animale eschews common industrial wine processing techniques, never, for example, subjecting wine to the horrors of fining or filtration. And, unlike many boutique wineries, Animale de-emphasizes the role of new oak barrels - so you won't find flavors of acrid smoke and lumber in ANIMALE wines!

Animale works with highly select wine grape growers in the Yakima and Columbia River valleys of eastern Washington State, USA. The arid climate, barren rocky soils, ample sunshine and generally limited irrigation make for ideal vinifera grape-growing conditions.

Animale harvests grapes at maximum ripeness - to insure intensity of flavor and depth of color. A lengthy, high-temperature primary fermentation enhances fruit-tannin extraction from the grape skins, and the release of enchanting ester aroma components. The resulting wines display a delicate balance amongst varietal fruit aromas and flavors, ample but soft tannins, and nectar-like texture.