Hello friends. It was almost a year ago that we offered the closest thing Washington has to a legitimate Ruby Port: Brian Carter’s 2009 Opulento.
That wine was well-loved by our list members during the 2011 holiday season, and so it was gratifying to hear news of Paul Gregutt’s strong upcoming review in the November issue of Wine Enthusiast:
Wine Enthusiast (Paul Gregutt): “($20/375ml); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.”
When I read PaulG’s review, I assumed the wine was sold out. But it never hurts to ask, so ask I did. And, much to my happy surprise, it turns out there is still a parcel floating around western Washington.
Before that review trickles its way into traditional retail/restaurant channels, let’s dip our toes back into this lovely water and grab our share:
Original offering here.
My original notes: “Opulento is as close as to a legitimate Ruby Port as you’re going to find in Washington. The reason is that Brian Carter, industry vet (30+ years in Washington wine) and blender extraordinaire, partnered up with growers at Upland and Lonsesome Spring Vineyard to plant the real-deal Portuguese indigenous varietals. So Opulento, in 2009, is 60% Touriga Nacional, 37% Souzao, and 3% Tinta Cao. Of those raw materials, 81% comes from Upland and the remainder from Lonesome Spring. Aged for 22 months in French oak (20% new), this was fortified with 190-proof brandy up to a finished alcohol of 19%. Inky-dark, this is a total glass-stainer. Aromatics include kirsch, sweet grape, caramel, and pecan. On the palate, it’s a Ruby ringer: dark chocolate, caramel, nougat, and rich black cherry.”
First come first served up to 12 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.