2011 Guardian Cellars Gun Metal

Hello friends. A week or two ago, I starting receiving a mysterious number of requests for three wines from Guardian Cellars. It didn’t take long to unravel the mystery, as I quickly learned that several of Jerry Riener’s wines are set to receive outstanding reviews when the September issue of Wine Enthusiast is published.

I inquired about the availability of the 2011 The Wanted (94pts). “Sold out.”

I inquired about the availability of the 2013 Angel Sauvignon Blanc (94pts). “Just sold out.”

And I inquired about the availability of 2011 Gun Metal (94pts). “Not sold out. Yet.”

Wine Enthusiast (Paul Gregutt): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. Editor’s Choice. 94pts.”

To put the strength of the review in perspective, there have been 583 Washington red wines reviewed in Wine Enthusiast so far in 2014, and a whopping 14 (2.4%) have received stronger reviews than Gun Metal. And those 14 have an average price of $61.71.

So I’m thinking this one isn’t going to be around for long, hence the urgency in getting the offer out today. We’ll be placing our order on Monday, so please do try to get order requests in by the end of the weekend.

We’ve offered several vintages of Gun Metal in the past, and this one provides a good chance to tell the Guardian story again, since it’s kind of legendary in Woodinville circles. In his day job as a police officer in the late ’90s, Jerry happened to pass by Matthews Estate and was transfixed by all the winemaking equipment (especially the forklift, which reminded him of his midwest childhood on his uncle’s wheat farm). He began volunteering with Matt Loso (Matthews’ winemaker at the time) and later moved on to an assistant winemaker role at Mark Ryan Winery.

Jerry was able to launch Guardian Cellars in 2004 with help from Mark Ryan McNeilly, who gave Jerry his Connor Lee Vineyard contract (used to make the Gun Metal Red Blend, which started out as a Mark Ryan wine and is now under the Guardian label). In 2011 Gun Metal is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, with dollops of Franc and PV to round it out. It spent just shy of two years in French oak, about two-thirds new. This is totally honest to the cool 2011 vintage, with wonderful subtleties of leaf and cedar and dust complementing a core of bright blackcurrant fruit. The oak adds a kiss of woodsmoke and espresso, and the overall package is very Cabernet, with the Merlot’s role seemingly to add a bit of flesh and generosity, which it does beautifully. This is a very successful vintage of Guardian’s flagship wine.

Please limit order requests to 12 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive in about a week, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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