Three from Maison Bleue

Hello friends. Maison Bleue is as hot a winery as there is in Washington right now, and from a glance at my inbox over the past few weeks, many of you are chomping at the bit for the new releases of their 2011 vintage reds. As an appetizer to that main course, we have today a new 2011 white, as well as reorder opportunities for a popular pink and a red.

2011 Maison Bleue Viognier “Notre Vie” Arthur’s Vineyard

This lovely, aromatic, balanced Viognier from a small DenHoed-farmed vineyard in the Yakima Valley is a delightful example of the vibrant, cool, low-alc (13.3%) 2011 vintage. It already has strong reviews from the locals:

Washington Wine Report (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. Rating: ***** (Exceptional).”

Review of Washington Wines (Rand Sealey): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 19/20pts.”

And then I’ve learned that the April issue of Wine Enthusiast will contain one of Paul Gregutt’s strongest reviews of 2013:

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

Yikes.

This wine has not even made it over the mountains yet. We’ll be special-ordering the first parcel to hit Seattle, so we should have access to a decent amount, even though production on this is quite small (190 cases).

2011 Maison Bleue Rose “La Famille”

Originally offered on April 15, 2012. While many 2012 rosé releases are right around the corner, it’s a treat to taste this Mourvedre-dominant, austere, acid-driven beauty with a year of bottle age. Like many of the best Bandol rosés, this one seems to be improving with a few months of age.

My original tasting notes: I first tasted this at a rosé tasting held at the warehouse of Maison Bleue’s Seattle distributor. 80% of the wines being poured were old-world, and when you moved to new-world section, the change was stark. Many of the new-world rosés were richer, plumper, fuller, higher in alcohol: a recipe for exactly what I’m *not* looking for in rosé. Jon’s rosé was a clear exception: austere, bone-dry, refreshing, and low in alcohol… It’s a pale salmon-orange color, with a spicy, grapey, garrigue-dusted nose. The grapes were picked nice and early, with low Brix that translate to 12.5% finished alcohol and loads of zingy acid. Malolactic conversion and lees-stirring adds some texture, but this is unmistakably grownup rosé, glorying in its mineral austerity.

Washington Wine Report (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. Rating: ****/***** (Excellent/Exceptional).”

Review of Washington Wines (Rand Sealey): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 19/20pts.”

The Rhone Report (Jeb Dunnuck): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 92pts.”

2010 Maison Bleue Grenache “Le Midi” Boushey Vineyard

Originally offered on August 13, 2012. This was the only 2010 red left in Seattle, and I bought out all the remaining bottles (not very much).

My original tasting notes: 100% Grenache, all from Boushey, this spent just shy of a year in three-to-four-year old French barrels. Jon nails the Grenache holy trinity of brambly-berry fruit, leafy brush, and white pepper, and this could easily be confused with something from the southern Rhone, a nice Vacqueyras perhaps. It possesses a profound sense of balance, always a good indicator of a lengthy life ahead.

This too already had strong reviews from Jeb Dunnuck and Rand Sealey, and this too is getting a rapturous review from PaulG in the April Wine Enthusiast:

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

For the Viognier and Rose, first come first served up to 12 bottles each. The Le Midi is extremely limited, so please limit order requests to 2 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wines should arrive in about a week, at which point they will be available for pickup or shipping during the spring shipping window.

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