Hello friends. I recently had the pleasure of tasting through Tim and Paige Stevens’ current releases, and wow, what a lineup.
Stevens continues to fly a little under the radar. They are self-distributed, and the truth is: they don’t really need retail/restaurant accounts like us, because their mailing list happily snaps up the vast majority of their production.
These are insider gems, rarely seen outside of Woodinville, let alone Washington. The bottles are absolutely beautiful (Tim’s previous career as a commercial artist is on full display), and the juice inside is equally good. Stevens is laser-focused on the burgeoning Yakima Valley, and the luscious fruit quality of that AVA is on fine display here:
2011 Stevens Viognier “Divio”
Just 230 cases produced, all in a combination of stainless steel and neutral barrels, and this is what I wish more Washington Viognier looked like: 13.5% alc, sleek and vibrant. All from a single 1-acre block (Lanie’s Block) of Dineen Vineyard, this blasts out of the glass with Viognier’s typically expressive aromas of flower, orange peel, and crushed ginger root. This has all the wonderful cool-vintage acidity from 2011, and plenty of minerality. It’s a mouthful of rock-hewn creamsicle, a lovely autumn white.
2009 Stevens Syrah “Black Tongue”
From Dineen, Sheridan, and Meek, this is a lovely example of briney Yakima Valley Syrah. Inky black-purple in the glass (and, I suppose, on the tongue), this possesses the wonderful open richness of the 2009 vintage, with handfuls of black fruit dancing with notes of graphite and green olive and roasting rosemary. Salty and peppery, this is a meal unto itself.
2009 Stevens Cabernet Sauvignon “XY Reserve”
This is a barrel-selection that comes mostly from a sought-after section of Dineen Vineyard, called Katherine’s Block. Stevens’ rows run over the top of the crest, where the soil is extremely shallow and rocky, giving natural yields of tiny, concentrated berries at about 1.5 tons/acre. Not very much fruit, and what’s there is dense and concentrated; it’ll snap your head back like a quick uppercut. Aromatics are a ripe, lovely mix of kirsch and crème de cassis and clean soil. The palate is liquid silk, a seamless palate-stainer with tremendous depth and energy. What mouthfeel! And all of it carrying densely-packed layers of Yakima fruit – black raspberry, cherry, peach – swaddled in mocha barrel notes.
First come first served up to 12 bottles of each wine, and the wines should arrive in a week or two, at which point they will be available for pickup or shipping during the autumn shipping window.