Hello friends. Another week, another issue of Wine Spectator Advance with a strong review for a list favorite from Washington. I tasted this wine during my most recent sojourn to Walla Walla and had it lined up for a November offering, but I’m tearing that plan up like a losing horserace ticket. There’s no time to waste for a wine that could end up as a Spectator Top 100 darling:
Wine Spectator (Harvey Steiman): “($26); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 92pts.”
As a reminder, Spectator generally considers four factors for their Top 100 list: quality (score); value (release price); availability (cases made or imported); and the “X-factor.” That last one is qualitative, and therefore unmeasurable, but we can gather a lot from the first three factors.
We ran a five-year analysis of northwest wines in Spectator’s Top 100 list (this is what happens when an applied math major ends up in the wine trade), and it turns out that eight 92pt wines have made the cut. Their prices ranged from $22-$48 (median $29) and production from 1519-5800 cases (median 2815). So the 2009 Dunham ($26; 3757 cases) comes in at lower-than-median price and higher-than-median production: both good signs. Our model puts the chances of this wine ending up in the Top 100 at 78.4%.
Okay, that last sentence was a joke. We don’t really have a model that spits out percentages. At least not yet. But I’d say the odds are good for this one.
And the wine is good, too. As I mentioned, I tasted it with the Dunham folks in Walla Walla and was deeply impressed. Trutina has really been picking up steam in the past few vintages. We offered the 2008, and that one generated a slew of reorder requests, until it was sold out.
In 2009, the blend is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Merlot, rounded out with small amounts of Cab Franc, Malbec, and Syrah. I found it very Cabernet in character, with notes of cassis, beetroot, bay leaf, and some lovely earth/soil components. The thing to remember about Trutina: despite the price, this is not declassified juice. Dunham has the Three-Legged Red for that purpose. Trutina is a barrel selection, and it shows. This is ridiculously classy juice for the tariff.
First come first served up to 24 bottles, and the wine should arrive in about a week, at which point it will be available for pickup or shipping during the autumn shipping window.