Hello friends. I both love it and hate it when great wineries go from under-the-radar to properly appreciated. Love it because the universe seems just when good things happen to deserving people. And hate it because our list has to share our treasured gems with the general public.
I’m afraid Two Vintners is no longer under the radar. To wit, winemaker Morgan Lee let me know that, for all three of the wines offered today, we get one shot. There will be no reoffers, there will be no reorders. And the reason is: these wines are hot! Morgan’s Columbia Valley Syrah is now glass-poured all over town, and his white wines have their serious devotees as well.
Better one shot than no shot, though, right? Let’s dive in:
2012 Two Vintners Syrah
The Columbia Valley Syrah has been the foundation, in my opinion, for Two Vintners burgeoning reputation. Morgan’s Syrahs in general have just been stunning over the past few years. Last November we offered the 2011 vintage of this one (you may remember it as YakFunks meets RocksFunk), and then we followed it up with his single-vineyard Stoney Vines Syrah in February (Funkystunning). Both were well-loved. Both are long gone.
Three of the five vineyards that made up the 2011 are back in 2012: Stoney Vine (Walla Walla Valley Rocks), Olsen (Yakima Valley), and Discovery (Horse Heaven Hills). Then we add Klipsun (Red Mountain) and Stonetree (Wahluke Slope). Five vineyards, five AVAs; this is a true pan-Washington Syrah. It also includes a 2% Roussanne coferment (Olsen), and it was raised in large French puncheons, only 10% new. Listed alc in the warmer 2012 vintage is 14.5%.
The nose begins with black cherry fruit, a big kick of espresso, and threads of smoke and roasted nut. On the palate, the rocks rears its head with earthy and briny notes, but they’re subtleties in the 2012, which has a more soil-y sense of earthiness, likely from the nearly one-third Klipsun Vineyard fruit. This Red Mountain stalwart also adds its signature dark exoticism, with notes of star anise and guava to ramp up the complexity. This is rich and powerful, and it avoids fruit-bomb status because of that insistent earthiness, a lick of smoky bacon fat, and espressoey tannins that just won’t quit. The flavor profile differs from 2011, but the quality for the tariff remains. I’m not surprised at all that restaurants are choosing to glass pour this, but would you rather pay $12 for a glass in a restaurant or grab the bottle for a few bucks more?
2013 Two Vintners Grenache Blanc
All Boushey Vineyard fruit, this contains 7% Roussanne to add a bit of flesh. Dick Boushey’s vineyards are in the cooler part of the Yakima Valley, and it shows here, with a listed alc of just 12.2% in a warm vintage like 2013. You can practically smell the fresh acid in this, citrusy notes of lemon and pineapple to complement chalky mineral and eucalyptus topnotes. In the mouth, the Roussanne adds mid-palate weight and finishing nuttiness to the core of fresh, honeydew melon fruit. Complex and delicious, Grenache Blanc really provides its own unique flavor profile, difficult to compare to other whites.
We offered the 2011 vintage in summer 2012, which was well-received and then eventually received a nice review from Paul Gregutt in Wine Enthusiast, by which point it was sold out. I waited too long and missed out on the 2012 (oops), and I don’t intend to make the same mistake this year.
2013 Two Vintners Roussanne
Here’s one we’ve never offered before, and it’s tiny production. Just 50 cases produced, so you can imagine our allocation is quite a bit smaller than that. Of the three wines, this is the likeliest to be under-allocated. It is all Olsen Vineyard fruit, 100% Roussanne, and it clocks in at 13.6% listed alc. The nose offers a fascinating mix of aromatics: raw almond, mixed stone fruits (peaches and nectarines), and a terrifically appetizing green note, something like celery salt. Drinking ripe and rich, this has enough glycerin weight that I suspect a few percentage points of residual sugar were left here (not enough for any overt sweetness). That richness – in the form of peach preserves and marzipan – is well-balanced by a sturdy mineral-acid spine. This is among the more compelling varietal Roussannes I’ve tasted from Washington.
Please limit order requests to 24 bottles total (mix and match as you like), and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. 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.