2007 Champoux Cabs from Januik, Fidelitas

Before today’s offering, a quick opinion on a potentially-destructive bill making its way through Congress: For the longest time, I thought House Resolution 5034 was a promotional ploy by HBO to generate buzz for their new Prohibition-Era drama Boardwalk Empire. As a “Return to the ’20s!” message, HR5034 is quite effective. Sadly, it turns out that HBO is not involved, and this is instead a real effort by the National Beer Wholesalers Association to limit consumer access to wine.

The main effect of this bill, if passed, would be to exclude wine retailers from the protections offered by the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, thereby allowing states to discriminate against out-of-state retailers. In short, it is a protectionist land-grab by a group unwilling to accept modernity.

As you can imagine, it is difficult for the NBWA to generate any legitimate arguments for this bill. Here is their effort: “Inconsistent rulings in these cases [alcohol-related court cases] demonstrate the judicial confusion about congressional support for state alcohol laws.” Luckily, we have an institution specifically designed to handle inconsistent rulings and judicial confusion. Ladies and gentlemen; the Supreme Court of the United States!

NBWA continues: “The system allows for laws to be changed and challenged, but the proper place for this to take place is in the statehouse, not the courtroom.” Um, really? I think I’d prefer laws to be challenged and decided by the group that *doesn’t* receive massive amounts of lobbying dollars and campaign contributions.

If you value your access to a broad selection of wine producers, I urge you to contact your representatives (which you can do using this form from Free The Grapes).

Other useful links: Tom Wark writes about HR5034 here and here. John from Wine Peeps chimes in here. The Stop HR5034 website is here and Facebook Page is here.

Now, onto today’s offering.

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Hello friends. I have secured small parcels of two oft-requested wines from the recent Wine Advocate reviews. Clearly there is great interest in Champoux Vineyard (and in the excellent 2007 vintage), and why shouldn’t there be? This is terra incomparabilis for Cabernet Sauvignon in Washington. It is a rare, talent-rich cadre of winemakers that gets access to this fruit. That cadre includes Mike Januik and Charlie Hoppes, two men with strikingly similar backgrounds.

Chateau Ste Michelle keeps a timeline of their history, and the 1990 entry reads as follows: “Mike Januik is named Chateau Ste. Michelle’s head winemaker (continues through 1999). Charlie Hoppes named assistant winemaker and later becomes the red winemaker (through 1998).” Both men did extensive work at Ste Michelle in the ’90s, all the while helping to grow Washington’s reputation. Both men eventually left to start their own wineries (Januik Winery launched in 1999; Fidelitas in 2000). And both men leveraged their vineyard contacts to produce remarkable wines under their own labels.

2007 Januik Cabernet Sauvignon Champoux Vineyard

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Jay Miller): “($50); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.”

2007 Fidelitas Cabernet Sauvignon Champoux Vineyard

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Jay Miller): “($60); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 95pts.”

If Full Pull is still around in 2032, I promise to host a comparative tasting of these two wines to determine the accuracy of Dr. Miller’s drinking windows. We can all ride to the warehouse in our flying cars.

Both of these wines are 100% Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Please limit order requests to 9 Januik and 6 Fidelitas, and we will do our best to fulfill all requests. Both wines should arrive within the next week, at which point they will be available for pickup or shipping during the autumn shipping window.

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