Two from Corliss/Tranche

Hello friends. We have two wines today: one from Corliss Estates and one from its sister winery, Tranche Cellars (note: while there is overlap in the ownership of the two wineries, they are separate entities, with separate winemaking facilities). Both are extremely limited and have been popular with list members in previous vintages.

2008 Corliss Estates Syrah

I’m really going to limit what I say here, because our allocation this year is the same as it was last year, and our list has grown considerably since then. Check out last year’s offering for more details on Corliss. That 2007 vintage went on to secure a strong review from Paul Gregutt in Wine Enthusiast (96pts) post-offering, and that has only increased the buzz around the release of the 08. A tasting of the 08 last week showed a more mineral-driven Syrah than the 07, but one that still possesses plenty of ripeness (15.1% alc) and a palate-coating mix of lush red cherry fruit, savory beef stock, and nutty oak. Intensity and length to spare with this one.

Please limit order requests to 1 bottle, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. As usual, our formula for prioritizing allocations will include overall orders, frequency of orders, recency of orders, and list tenure, among other factors.

2009 Tranche Cellars Cabernet Franc Estate

Another wine that has had huge fans on the list, and one where we had to severely under-allocate last year (PaulG’s 93pt score in Enthusiast made for a feeding frenzy on the 08). No reviews yet on the 09, so we might actually be able to score a decent allocation.

As a reminder, this comes entirely from Corliss’ estate Blue Mountain Vineyard. BMV (located here) sits next to Leonetti’s Loess Vineyard, in the deep silt-loam of the eastern Walla Walla Valley. The site was originally planted for the dearly-departed Nicholas Cole Cellars, and many of the well-received bottlings from that winery came entirely from this vineyard. It is developing an exceptional track record for Cabernet Franc.

The nose begins with a twin core of earth and star anise, lifted by lavender, roasted poblano, and red cherry. Plenty of complexity; a sneak preview of the palate to follow, which combines deep, rich blackberry fruit with a terrific leafy character (aromatic tea leaves). I love the balance between ripe fruit (thank you, fleshy 2009 vintage!) and savory/earthy notes (beetroot, rhubarb). You could certainly cellar this for a few years if you like, but it’s drinking beautifully right now, ready for immediate gratification.

For the Franc, please limit order requests to 6 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests.

Both wines should arrive at the warehouse in a week or two, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the spring shipping window.

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