Three 2010s from Balboa

Hello friends. One of the great stories in the Walla Walla Valley right now is the transition taking place as Tom Glase moves more of Balboa’s production into their estate Eidolon Vineyard. This is a site down in the rocks that used to be called LeFore prior to the Balboa purchase in 2009. Planted in 1999, it is one of the oldest sites in the rocks (Christophe planted the first Cayuse vineyards in 1997, for perspective).

We offered Tom’s 2009 Syrah from this site last year, and it was hugely popular both on original offer and through a bevy of reorders. That one served as a lovely whetter for the appetite. Today we have the main course: a trio of 2010s.

What makes these wines exciting: they’re each 100% varietal, and 100% from Eidelon Vineyard; they’re done almost entirely in neutral barrels; and the tariffs are ultra-competitive. Single-vineyard, estate-grown wine, managed with care from vine to bottle, and from the rocks (!) no less, at tariffs in the $20s: rare treats across the board.

2010 Balboa Syrah

I think we can all agree that nothing expresses the rocks quite like Syrah. Here it’s a Jackson Pollock pastiche of aromas and flavors: blueberry, red cherry, violet, smoked meat, olive brine, and a savory/marine seaweed element. Yum. Texturally, this is one of the richest Syrahs I’ve tasted from the 2010 vintage, but it still possesses that lovely 2010 acidity, which adds brightens and sharp detail to all those lovely, funky flavors.

2010 Balboa Cabernet Sauvignon

Let’s go beyond single vineyard here; this is single block (Block E1), and small production at just 140 cases. Cabernet from the rocks is more rare than Syrah, and while I’ve never found it to display the funk, it does seem to display extra-overt minerality, and that’s the case here. There is a nice vein of graphite streaking through the middle of this, a terrific complement to the blackcurrant, soil, and golden beet notes. With plenty of chewy structure and lovely balance of components, this would be a tough one to peg as old-world or new- tasted blind. Regardless, it’s a lovely example of the rocks as expressed through Cabernet.

2010 Balboa Malbec

And one final treat. There’s a tiny amount of Malbec planted at Eidolon, enough to make a mere 96 cases. It’s a tangy, vibrant mix of marionberry and black cherry, lifted by refreshing notes of iron/mineral and mint, which add a cooling sensation to the finish. Juicy, fresh, and openly delicious.

First come first served up to 24 bottles total (mix and match as you like), and the wines should arrive in a week or two, at which point they will be available for pickup or shipping during the spring shipping window.

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