Hello friends. For every tasting on the calendar the past few weeks, my message to the folks pouring has been the same: we’re tasting now for potential January 2014 offers. And I meant it.
But one wine that I tasted last week has made me a liar, a wine where the end of my tasting note reads “underpriced by a long shot”:
We’ve offered several previous vintages of this wine, which now has a huge following among our list members. When it’s on, it’s really on, presenting some of the best value juice produced in Washington. And in 2011: It. Is. On.
This bodes well for a strong future review in Wine Enthusiast, but I think we should jump in pre-publication, don’t you?
The OS Red Wine is made from declassified barrels from the higher-end OS Bordeaux blends (e.g. R3, BSH, Ulysses), and in 2011 it’s 64% Merlot and 36% Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery doesn’t release specific vineyard sources for the Red, but it doesn’t take much sleuthing to figure the likely suspects: Sheridan, Klipsun, Champoux, Ciel de Cheval, Dineen, and Meek, to name a few. It spent about two years in French oak, one-third new.
The nose begins with a core of black cherry fruit, lifted by high-toned subtleties of violet and dustings of cocoa powder. In the mouth, the fruit quality is immediately evident – beautiful Cabernet blackcurrant and Merlot black cherry – but that’s only the beginning. There are notes of bay leaf, of silty mineral, of smoky barrel. It drinks like it must have come from barrels originally intended for the higher-end bottles. The palate is really dominated by Cabernet despite its lower percentage, rolling into a finish hefty and toothsome in turn with its chewy English breakfast tannins. This is an elegant, pretty mouthful of wine, offering layers of polish and class rarely seen at this tariff. An outstanding rendition of this well-loved bottling.
Just in case anyone needs a last minute holiday party wine, let’s open it up: first come first served up to 60 bottles, and the wine should arrive Wednesday, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.