Hello friends. Well, so much for a quiet July.
Certain wines require snapping out of a mid-summer reverie, and this is one of them, likely (judging from e-mail traffic) our most eagerly-anticipated offering of the year:
First, a word on logistics, because I know this is going to be an *extremely* popular wine. I’m going to place my order on Monday morning, so please submit requests by end of day Sunday. You’ll see that I’m keeping the upper allocation limit relatively high (12 bottles). Apologies in advance if I have to under-allocate, but I suspect we’re going to snag a decent parcel of Graviere, both because of our list’s long-term support for Maison Bleue, and because I’m not sure anyone else knows this wine is about to hit the market.
How, you ask, do I know it’s about to hit the market?
Well, I have had the Sauron-style lidless eye of Full Pull trained on the Yakima Valley for months now, awaiting word of this wine’s imminent transit. My network of spies is vast and talented, and reliable sources tell me that, sometime in the next few weeks, a truck is going to summit Snoqualmie Pass with a pallet or two of Jon Martinez’s finest juice (let me pause here and say a special thank-you to one reliable source who knows who he is, on behalf of all our Maison Bleue-loving list members). Rather than waiting and confirming Graviere’s actual appearance, I’m sending this out pre-arrival style: a gamble, to be sure, but an educated gamble.
The great eye first turned towards Graviere in March. That’s when Paul Gregutt said the following on his blog: “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD].”
Then, in May, Sean Sullivan weighed in on Washington Wine Report: “I[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. Rating: ***** (Exceptional).”
And then recently, within a few weeks of one another, Jeb Dunnuck of The Rhone Report and Paul Gregutt in Wine Enthusiast published reviews of Graviere, in both cases the highest scores earned by Maison Bleue to date in those publications:
The Rhone Report (Jeb Dunnuck): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 95pts.”
Wine Enthusiast (Paul Gregutt): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. Cellar Selection. 96pts.”
Among PaulG’s strongest reviews of 2012 so far, this will almost certainly earn a top ten spot on Gregutt’s year-end Top 100 list and stands a good chance at landing on one of Wine Enthusiast’s year-end lists as well.
Fortunately, when I had the chance to taste this recently, it was double-blind, because I suspect that served naked (the wine, not me), I would have been impacted either by confirmation bias (“it’s as good as everyone says it is!”) or emperor-has-no-clothes bias (“what’s all the fuss about?”). As it happened, this wine was a standout in the flight, an absolute stunner. I won’t add much to all the review verbiage above, only to say that Jon has found something special with this Upland Vineyard fruit, and there is an undeniably wild character to the fruits and savories that is deeply, deeply compelling.
Please limit order requests to 12 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. If our sources are accurate, the wine should arrive within the next 2-3 weeks, at which point it will be available for pickup or shipping during the autumn shipping window.