Hello friends. We have an offer today to show the breadth of Ross Mickel’s talents. The main thrust of the offer will be his new vintage of Glaze Cabernet Sauvignon, about as popular a Cab label as we’ve featured over the years. And then at the end, we’ll include a quick blurb about a fantastic high-end Syrah (offered to us at a discount).
2012 Ross Andrew Glaze Cabernet Sauvignon
As has been his demonstrated pattern, Ross has skipped a vintage for Glaze and moved directly from 2010 into 2012. We offered that 2010 back in February of this year, so the story may be fresh in everyone’s minds, but in case not…
… I tasted the first vintage of Glaze (2006) in the very early days of Full Pull and was all ready to offer it, only to have a restaurant swoop in and grab the entire remaining parcel.
The 2008 vintage we jumped on nice and early. That one we offered in 2011, and it became a hit, a low-weight/high-intensity Cabernet perfect for mid-week drinking, one made from Ross’ own grapes that, for percentage reasons, don’t make it into his other wines.
Then Glaze returned for the cool 2010 vintage, and much to my surprise (I didn’t realize Ross even submitted Glaze for review), Harvey Steiman of Wine Spectator released a positive (90pt) review towards the end of 2013, such that we offered that 2010 once and once only, and then it was gone.
And now the wine is back with yet another even-year vintage, but this is no ordinary vintage. This is the acclaimed 2012, which has impressed me again and again over the course of this year as more and more wines have been released. I can’t even imagine how fabulous some of the high-end 2012s are going to be when the value wines are this good.
This comes from vineyards in Red Mountain, the Horse Heaven Hills, and the central Columbia Valley, and that’s all I know. Purposely vague, I suspect (usually because the vineyards are either really nice or really unremarkable; let’s hope for the former). That’s okay anyway. For a midweek glugger like Glaze, I try not to get too wound up in research knots and instead enjoy the wine for its simple pleasures (but for what it’s worth, this saw 18 months in 15% new French oak).
I’m not sure who is writing Ross’ tasting notes, but the notes for this wine contained a line I love: “Just enough structure to let you know this is Cabernet Sauvignon, but not so much that it needs time in the cellar.” Ain’t that the truth. What I’ve dug about every vintage of Glaze is that it has Cabernet varietal character, both in the form of cassis fruit and toothsome tannic structure, but not so much skeleton that it gets in the way of the flesh. This has a deep blackcurrant core, lifted by minty topnotes and complicated by savories of rhubarb and beetroot and tobacco leaf. The texture is brisk and supple, humming along on a reasonable 13.8%-listed-alc frame.
I mean, I know I called this a midweek glugger above, and it can certainly play that role, but sheesh, this offers real polish and complexity too. If you wanted to open this for a nice weekend dinner or a special occasion, I wouldn’t stand in your way. Rare is the $15 Cab that fills that role.
2009 Ross Andrew Syrah Boushey Vineyard Old Block
Now then. As you can see, the winery has moved onto the 2010 vintage of this, at a retail price of $80. That was the original release price of this 2009 as well, a wine that has a pair of strong reviews:
Wine Advocate (Jeb Dunnuck): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.”
Wine Enthusiast (Paul Gregutt): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.”
From Boushey’s oldest Syrah vines, planted in 1994 (which makes them some of the oldest Syrah vines in the state; amazing to think how nascent the Washington Syrah movement truly is), this is wine entering peak drinking in my opinion. I often think Washington Syrahs begin showing their best at 5-6 years past vintage, and that’s certainly true for a warm year like 2009. This begins with a deep, pure nose of blackberry, violet, and mineral. It takes time and air for Boushey’s savories (mushroom, earth, smoked ham) to begin emerging. The texture may be the real star here. This is an intense palate-stainer, coating every inch of the mouth with its savory-rich Syrah goodness. It has length, and insistent richness, but it doesn’t venture into the fruit bomb territory that plagued some 09s. At 14% listed alc, this is a balanced beauty from Boushey.
First come first served up to 60 bottles of Glaze and 12 bottles of Boushey Old Block, and both 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.