Three 2010s from Rasa

Hello friends. Today’s set of new releases from the growing-ever-more-culty Rasa Vineyards will not be officially released until November 1, but the Naravane brothers have seen fit to let our list members have an advance screening. We should be able to have these wines in our warehouse within the first week or two of October, and they should ship during our autumn shipping window.

These bottles would make fine holiday gifts, as the higher end of the Rasa lineup can be very difficult to source outside of the winery itself. Because our list has grown up with the Naravane brothers’ project, and we’ve all been enthusiastic supporters from the beginning, we get access to small parcels.

Since these are limited, I’ll keep my own verbiage to a minimum, but I will weigh in to say again that what’s special about these small-production wines from Rasa is that they hit both the left and right sides of the brain, lighting up intellectual and sensual receptors in turn.

2010 Rasa Cabernet Sauvignon “Plus One” Kiona Vineyard

Washington Wine Report (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. Rating: **** (Excellent).”

Wine Advociate (Jeb Dunnuck): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 93pts.”

To each his own. While Jeb clearly preferred the burlier 09 vintage, I’m a huge fan of this 2010, which is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the old vines of Kiona on Red Mountain (location here). The eucalyptus topnotes from the cooler vintage are a perfect foil for the core of blackberry/blackcurrant fruit. For me, it packs all the delicious density and complexity of the 2009 on a lower-weight, lower-alc (13.4% frame). It drinks like a wine that will evolve in interesting directions for a very, very long time.

2010 Rasa “Creative Impulse” DuBrul Vineyard (BDX Blend)

Washington Wine Report (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. Rating: ****/***** (Excellent/Exceptional).”

Wine Advociate (Jeb Dunnuck): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.”

As usual, Billo has captured the exotic, sultry, earthy side of the incomparable DuBrul Vineyard (location here). About two-thirds Cab one-third Merlot, it offers up stunning breadth of descriptors: currant and beetroot, mint and cucumber, exotic spice and loamy soil: the list goes on and on. One of Washington’s best expressions of a singular vineyard.

2010 Rasa “In Order to Form a More Perfect Union”

Washington Wine Report (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. Rating: ***** (Exceptional).”

Wine Advociate (Jeb Dunnuck): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.”

A 43/41/16 blend of Cab, Merlot, and Cab Franc, it mixes the two vineyards referenced above with several of the Sagemoor properties (Dionysus, Bacchus, Weinbau). Oh to sit in on a blending trial for this wine someday, because those raw ingredients are something special. Better yet, Billo has created a wine that is better than the sum of those outstanding individual components. In my opinion, Jeb’s review on this one is a touch conservative.

It starts with a soaring nose of violets and crème de cassis, profoundly floral and just beautiful to sniff. The palate is an ultra-intense mix of cassis, cherry, peach, and mango fruit, streaked with peppermint and espresso and silty mineral. The dense layering is immaculate, the flavors live-wires of intensity, and again, like the best of the 2010s, this carries no extra weight. It’s impossibly sleek, oh so classy, among the very best expressions of this cooler vintage that I have tasted to date.

Please limit order requests to 6 bottles of each wine, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wines should arrive in a week or two, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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