2011 Renegade Grenache Walla Walla Valley

FP In The News UPDATE: I’m thrilled to announce that we have been included in Wine Enthusiast’s 40 Under 40: America’s Tastemakers feature, which will run in their June print issue but which is available online now. I say the “we” in “we have been included” on purpose, because despite my name being the one listed, this “tastemaking” is without question a collaborative endeavor; one that has involved the whole Full Pull team, a wonderful, deeply knowledgeable cadre of winery/distributor/importer reps who we love working with, and of course our never-afraid-to-be-vocal list members. I hope you all feel as much pride and ownership of this recognition as I do.

Now I know the natural next question: wait, Paul’s under 40? Yes, it’s true. Despite the copious grey hair earned during the existential angst of my 20s, I am still a few years shy of that particular milestone. Let’s just hope I’m still around for the 80 Under 80 feature in 2057!
Fortunately, we have a terrific offering today to help celebrate further. Following on our Rotie VdP offering of a few weeks ago, this is another one of those terrific opportunities that only happens by schlepping out to Walla Walla and sniffing around. If that’s what it takes, so be it. I’m happy enough in the role of the Merry Schlepper.

The deal this time: Trey has exactly eight barrels of this juice. The wine was bottled yesterday and will be shipped over the mountains in the next few weeks. Our list members have dibs, and if we want all eight barrels, we get all eight barrels. The 2010 vintage of this (which we offered last May) was massively popular among our list members, and since 2011 was a similar vintage, I suspect this will be similarly well-loved.

A reminder of what the Renegade program is all about: A winery is sitting on barrels of wine that it doesn’t want to release under its own label. There are a myriad of reasons why this could be the case. Regardless, Trey (whose main label is Sleight of Hand Cellars) purchases the barrels, bottles the wine under his Renegade label, and frequently signs a non-disclosure agreement regarding the source of the juice. Here’s what we can disclose about this Grenache:

1. It is single-vineyard, from a young vineyard in the rocks section of the Walla Walla Valley.

2. The vineyard sells fruit to exactly three wineries (last year it was two, but they picked up another great client in the interim), and they are three of the finest Rhone producers in Washington. These barrels came from one of those three wineries.

3. This is killer juice. A fresh, summery nose of raspberry and rosemary gives way to a rich, plush palate, with garrigue-dusted raspberry and pomegranate fruit. With time and air, complexities of mineral and meat and brine emerge, reminding you of this wine’s unique origins: the ancient cobbles of the Walla Walla River.

Like last year, this is wildly strong for the money, and continues my belief that 2013 is the year of value Rhone wines in Washington. First come first served up to 36 bottles, and the wine should arrive in a few weeks, at which point it will be available for pickup or shipping during the spring (or possibly autumn, depending on location) shipping window.

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