Hello friends. Today we have the return of what has become a true list darling. Strong even in questionable value vintages like 2010 and 2011, it is exceptional in down-the-middle vintages like 2012:
When this bottling is on, it is for my money some of the best value juice in Washington. And in 2012 it is most certainly on. Our list members went crazy for the 2011 vintage, which disappeared fairly quickly after Paul Gregutt’s 90pt Enthusiast review called it “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD].”
The OS Red Wine is made from declassified barrels from the higher-end OS Bordeaux blends (e.g. R3, BSH, Ulysses), and in 2012 it’s 44% Cabernet Franc, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 25% Merlot. The winery doesn’t release specific vineyard sources for the Red, but it doesn’t take much sleuthing to figure the likely suspects from the roster of OS vineyards. Potential candidates include such luminaries as Sheridan, Klipsun, Champoux, Ciel de Cheval, Dineen, Two Blondes, Elephant Mountain.
What we do know: average vine age is 19 years (unusual; wines at this tariff usually come from considerably younger vines), and the wine spent about two years in French oak, one-third new. Listed alc is 13.9%. The nose is an alluring mix of kirsch, Kahlua, and smoky peaty earth tones. In the mouth, the Cabernet Franc asserts itself first, with that mix of flowers and earth that only Franc can pull off. There’s red cherry fruit, a savory kick of mole poblano, and a finishing lick of cherry-pit bitters. We’re all used to seeing jammy fruit bombs in this price range, but as usual, the OS Red transcends the category. This is earthier, more elegant, and certainly more structured than we have any right to expect. Or, to put it more simply, this is underpriced.
First come first served up to 48 bottles, and 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.