2011 Figgins Estate Red Wine

Phenol55 REMINDER: Full Pull has partnered with Chris Abbott and Phenol55 for *optional* storage services for our list members. P55 is a full-service wine cellar less than ten minutes from our warehouse, in the subterranean basement of the Malt House in the heart of Georgetown. See here for more details, and then contact Chris if you’re interested in signing up.
Hello friends. We have a limited new release today of a wine that has achieved cult status in a very short period:

This is Chris Figgins’ own project, separate from the Leonetti family of wines. What distinguishes it, and makes it so intellectually interesting, is that it is very much a Bordelaise project. FIGGINS is a winery with one vineyard (planted mostly to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot) and one wine (anything that doesn’t make the cut gets sold off on the bulk market), which is a real rarity in Washington. Putting all your eggs in one vineyard basket is gutsy indeed, but Chris Figgins has the skill and experience to make it work.Unsurprisingly, Chris’ emphasis when he talks about the wine is the vineyard, not the winery. Located in the Mill Creek drainage of the Walla Walla Valley (see location here), this is as far-east a vineyard as I know of in the Walla Walla Valley, bumping right up against the Blue Mountains. The soils are deep, rich loess, and this area gets enough rainfall that dry-land farming (no irrigation) is possible in some years. It’s a haunting, high-elevation (1750 ft) site, where exactly 17 minutes past sunset each night, a load of cold air from the Blue Mountains comes roaring down Mill Creek canyon. You can feel the air change when you’re standing there, and the grapes feel it too: an instant diurnal shift that helps retain lovely acidity in the finished wines.

It’s going to be a real treat to watch this wine evolve as the vines dig deeper, and even the evolution from the inaugural 2008 vintage to now has been stunning. To see this kind of quality from seventh-leaf fruit augurs well for the future. Like with the 2010 vintage, the fruit in this 2011 is right now balanced by wonderful leafy/dusty/tannic structure and graphitic minerality. It’s going to take time for those densely packed layers of fruit to unfurl. If you just can’t wait, I’d suggest a multi-hour decant before drinking this any time in the next few years.

International Wine Cellar (Stephen Tanzer): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94(+?)pts.”

As a reminder, Tanzer is a notoriously exacting critic. When he released his annual set of Washington reviews last winter, only seven wines received stronger reviews: a 96pt review for Quilceda Creek’s Columbia Valley Cabernet, and then six 95pt scores for wines from Quilceda (1), Cayuse (3), Corliss (1), and Leonetti (1), the last of which was also made by Chris Figgins.

Please limit order requests to 3 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive in late October, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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