Two From Modern Wine Project

Hello friends. We offered two of Trey Busch’s Modern Wine Project wines back in July (we’ll include reorder links for those two below), and today we’re coming back with the final two wines from that release.

A reminder of what the Modern label is all about: Much of the fun comes from the fact that the wines are shrouded (or, at least, lightly covered) in mystery, due to the presence of non-disclosure agreements. But we can deduce the likely scenario: a higher-end winery had plans to release these wines with much higher price tags attached, but in our current economic climate, that tag became impossible. Rather than harm the brand with a price-drop, they sell the juice to Trey, who bottles it, slaps an attractive label on it, and pushes it out the door at a steep discount.

2010 Modern Wine Project Chardonnay

What we know about this Chardonnay: it spent two years in 65% new French oak, with regular battonage and full malolactic conversion. At least some of it comes from Celilo Vineyard.

It starts with a big, smoky nose, with smoke wafting through layers of ripe peach, pineapple, and mango fruit. On the palate, it displays plenty of richness without venturing into buttery territory. Plenty full-bodied, it still contains loads of bright lemon-curd acidity from the cool vintage, bready subtleties from all that lees stirring, and hazelnut nuance from maturing barrel notes. Whatever new French oak was used here must have been high quality.

If I were tasting this blind, I’d guess high-quality California Chardonnay. There aren’t a lot of Washington versions that drink like this, and I’ll admit: I was seduced. There are times (especially autumn/winter) when a full, richly-fruited Chardonnay is just the thing.

2009 Modern Wine Project Malbec

What we know about the Malbec: 30 months in a combination of new and used French oak, followed by another year in bottle. That’s much more age than we usually see on Washington Malbec, and it shows both in the unusual complexity and the silky mouthfeel. The twin stars here are pure boysenberry fruit and insistent iron-tinged minerality. It possesses the richness of the warmer 2009 vintage, and that cooling minerality provides a fine counterpoint. Hard to say what the aging curve is for Washington Malbec (because no one holds them!), but for me, this is drinking great right now. For those of us who prefer our gratification immediate, this is a fine choice, existing as it does somewhere between the Malbecs of Cahors and Argentina.

First come first served up to 12 bottles of each wine, and the wines should arrive in about a week, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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