Hello friends. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
A series of coincidences (Full Pull offering the Waitsburg Cellars wines; an old friend changing jobs to work there) has led recently to multiple conversations with the folks at Precept Wines. One of those conversations was short and sweet:
“Would you be interested in some of the older vintages of Canoe Ridge wines?”
This a Washington winery/vineyard with a rich history that fell on hard times, and is hopefully now in the process of bring resuscitated by Precept. The Chalone Wine Group (out of California) partnered with a number of Washington investors in 1989 to plant Canoe Ridge Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills. When the vines came online in 1994, Canoe Ridge Winery was formed.
It was a launching pad for many a successful winemaking career in Washington. Luminaries such as John Abbott (Abeja) and Kendall Mix (Corliss, Goose Ridge) plied their trade at Canoe Ridge and helped establish the winery’s reputation for soulful Cabs and Merlots.
But in 2004, Chalone was bought out by Diageo (a gigantor wine company based out of London), and that’s where things went south for awhile. As you can imagine, Diageo was focused more on their new California holdings. Canoe Ridge was like Deep Space Nine: out on the frontier, nearly forgotten (and next to a wormhole?).
You can imagine the scene when Precept purchased the brand in 2011 and started exploring the winery cellars. I envision folks walking around with candelabras and blowing dust off old bottles, but the reality was probably considerably less exciting, involving considerably more fluorescent lighting. Regardless, there were buried treasures to be found, and Precept, eager to turn the page on the Diageo chapter of Canoe Ridge’s history, is looking to unload those treasures.
Enter Full Pull.
Wine Enthusiast (Paul Gregutt): “($35); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 92pts.”
I tasted this a few weeks ago, loved it, and bought every last bottle sitting in Canoe Ridge’s cellars. I suspect it’s a small enough parcel that we’ll sell through it on first offer, but you never know. Regardless, it’s a wine in a lovely place right now (note: PaulG’s review above was published in May 2010; three years later, this wine is no longer very young, nor does it require extended aeration).
The winemaker at Canoe Ridge in 2006 was Christophe Paubert, who has since moved on to man the winemaking helm at Stags’ Leap. This bottle comes from Block 1, the oldest part of Canoe Ridge (located here), and presents a lovely Cabernet mix of cassis fruit, earth and mineral (graphite), and beautiful black-tea tannins. Time in bottle has combed the tannin structure to a fine sheen. They’re present, and add a pleasing Cabernet chew, but they’re so fine-grained and silky at this point, it’s more like shadow tannins. There’s such a pleasing earthiness here: I couldn’t get enough of it.
Please limit order requests to 6 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine is already in the warehouse and ready for immediate pickup or shipping during the spring shipping window.