Two from Va Piano

Hello friends. Way back in December 2009, we offered one of Va Piano’s Bruno’s Blends (see that offering for the backstory behind this label). Back then, Bruno’s Blend was non-vintage, a mishmash of varietals, and yet even with that, it was a mightily impressive value.

A recent tasting with Justin Wylie (Va Piano’s vigneron) revealed an evolution for Bruno in several positive directions: there is now a red Bruno’s Blend and a white Bruno’s Blend; both are vintage bottlings (2009 and 2011); and both are now dominated by one varietal (Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc).

Tasting these two wines, I was immediately thrilled with the quality-for-price on display. Then the news kept getting better, as Justin offered our list significantly-reduced tariffs. Even at the winery release price, these both represent fine value. At our tariffs today, we’re bordering on obscene:

2009 Va Piano “Bruno’s Blend” Red

Currently priced at $23 (if we get oversold, you might consider buying your remainder direct from the winery), this sees Cabernet Sauvignon at a full 82% of the blend, and much of it is declassified Va Piano juice from the higher-end bottlings. While Justin doesn’t reveal exact vineyard sources for this, you can expect to find Va Piano Estate, Klipsun, Seven Hills, and/or Portteus among the vineyards represented. The remainder of the blend is 14% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Syrah.

Two aspects stand out right away that you don’t see in $15 wine: typicity and complexity. This smells very much of Cabernet, with its combination of crème de cassis, earthy soil notes, and violet. The 2009 vintage, as usual, provides us with tremendous generosity of fruit. This is rich, with a core of cherry (fruit and blossom), persistent earthiness, and barrel notes of high-cacao chocolate. The tannins are present (this is Cabernet, after all) but very supple. This kind of classy management of texture is another rarity at this tariff. This will outdrink (and perhaps outlast!) many a $30-and-up Cabernet Sauvignon. Those of you with autumn weddings or holiday parties ought to pay close attention here.

2011 Va Piano “Bruno’s Blend” Sauvignon Blanc

The white gets the Sauvignon Blanc label, and it comes from two Yakima Valley vineyards: Outlook and Roza. On a normal day, this is an $18 Sauvignon Blanc.

A lovely, clean, typical Sauv Blanc nose of grassy grapefruit gives way to a palate that combines citrus, salt, and mineral. 2011 was the second of two years in a row of cooler vintages, and cool vintages in Washington tend to produce lovely, acid-driven white wines. Sauvignon Blanc is a nervy varietal to begin with, so the vintage fits the varietal nicely here. A terrific mid-week white, this could also find a happy place on the Thanksgiving table.

First come first served up to 60 bottles total (mix and match as you like), and the wines should arrive in about a week, at which point they will be available for pickup or shipping during the autumn shipping window.

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