Three from Lauren Ashton Cellars

Hello friends. Now that many of you have wines in hand from our first Lauren Ashton Cellars offering, I have begun to receive a number of requests to access the remainder of the lineup.

Under normal circumstances, I would put a little more time in between offerings from the same winery.

But these are not normal circumstances.

A combination of scarcity and a series of potent reviews from Paul Gregutt (including a place in his year-end Top 100 list for one of today’s wines) suggests that waiting any longer would risk missing out on these lovely wines.

Please see our offering from mid-October for the details on Kit Singh’s winery. Now let’s jump into more wines from this incredible set of debut releases:

2011 Lauren Ashton Cellars “Cuvee Meline” (White BDX Blend)

I wish Washington produced more white-BDX blends like this, because they can be lovely when done well. Semillon seems to really thrive here (thanks have to go to L’Ecole 41 for their consistent efforts to promote that grape’s success in Washington) and presents a perfect blending partner with Sauvignon Blanc.

Here the blend is 83% Sauvignon Blanc from the Den Hoed brothers, blended with 17% Dineen Vineyard Semillon. I would have sworn the proportions were reversed, as the aromatics seemed very Semillon to me: figs mixed with cream-soaked melons and pears, with a hint of lime zest. Attractive to be sure. On the palate, the first thing you notice (as with many of Kit’s wines) is the silky texture. The mouthfeel is really lovely, with a big fat mid-palate replete with fig and apricot and mineral. Richness and vibrancy are well-balanced here on a 13.4%-alc frame, and the fruit intensity is something special.

Wine Enthusiast (Paul Gregutt): “($28); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 92pts.”

2009 Lauren Ashton Cellars “Cuvee Mirabelle” (Rhone Blend)

Tiny production (49 cases) of this 80/10/10 cofermented blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre. It comes entirely from Red Haven Vineyard, a site between Col Solare and Hedges Estate on Red Mountain, and it sat in neutral oak for 30 months before bottling. The Red Mountain fruit is on fine display, with rich red raspberry fruit interplaying with meaty notes and dustings of white pepper.

Wine Enthusiast (Paul Gregutt): “($52); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.”

2009 Lauren Ashton Cellars “Cuvee Arlette” (BDX Blend)

Slightly higher production here, although at 116 cases, I don’t think we’ll be giving Kendall Jackson a run for their money anytime soon. Another single-vineyard wine from Red Haven, this is a Merlot-dominant (57%) blend, rounded out with all four of the remaining Bordeaux varietals. The aromatics spill out of the glass, a riot of black fruit, cocoa powder, marzipan, and pecan. On the palate, this is so well-coiffed, so perfectly-balanced; there is not a single element out of place. PaulG has it right below when he says “perfectly proportioned.” I had the exact same phrase in my own notes. Red cherry fruit and mocha form the core, and there is enough power and density here to remind you that Merlot from Washington is something special indeed.

Wine Enthusiast (Paul Gregutt): “($50); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 95pts.”

[Note: this was also #22 in Paul Gregutt’s Top 100 list.]

Please limit order requests to 18 bottles total (mix and match as you like), and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. 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.

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