Hello friends. We have the new vintage today of a hugely popular wine from last year – Morgan Lee’s funkystunning Syrah from Stoney Vine Vineyard – and it comes with a new, John Denver-inspired name:
This was just released at the winery over the weekend, so we’re not wasting any time. Last year, the entire production run sold out in five weeks. We offered it once in February, and it was gone, with all reorder requests (sadly) zeroed out. Considering the small production level again (just 160 cases) and the excitement of the 2012 vintage, I expect a similar pattern this year.
There is also more excitement than ever about wines from “the rocks” area of the Walla Walla Valley, or as I should be writing from now on, “The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater,” which was approved as a new AVA on February 9. It’s a sub-AVA of the Walla Walla Valley, and its designers did a wonderful job of keeping the appellation as tightly defined as possible by the terroir of ancient river cobblestones. I wrote about The Rocks for the February issue of Seattle Magazine and was thrilled when the timing of the AVA approval dovetailed with the article. This is a special place in northwest wine, and it deserves to have its geographical name on the label.
Among Rocks Syrahs, is there a better value than Two Vintners? I’m hard pressed to think of one. It comes entirely from 2007-planted Stoney Vine Vineyard, an estate site for Dusted Valley that looks like this. Morgan fermented with all native yeasts and 35% whole cluster, and then this went into barrel (all French, 15% new 500L puncheon) for 18 months. It clocks in at 14.8% listed alc, and it offers a soaring, killer, honest-to-rocks funky nose: smoked sausages and olives, seaweed and savory stock; it’s just layer upon layer of umami. Is there rich mixed berry fruit there as well? Yes there is, but it’s a grace note to all that savory/earthy goodness. In the mouth, this is a total palate-stainer, outrageously rich and bloody, intense and delicious. There’s nothing quite like the funky complexity of a well-made rocks Syrah, and Morgan has done real justice to the area with this bottle. I suspect our days of any rocks Syrahs with price tags starting with a ‘3’ are numbered, but let’s enjoy them while they last!
I’m going to set the upper allocation limit high, since I suspect like last year we’ll only get one shot at this wine. Please limit order requests to 24 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive in a week or two, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.