Open Saturday DATE CHANGE: To avoid a conflict with the June 20 Sounders day game, and all the additional traffic that entails, we’ve moved our next open Saturday to June 27, 10am-2pm. Our entire schedule of open Saturdays for 2015 can be found at the bottom of every offer, as well as on the mail Full Pull website.
Hello friends. This is the latest in our ongoing series of Jan/Feb Friday reoffers (hopefully you’ll excuse that it’s neither Jan/Feb nor Friday), featuring some of 2014’s most popular wines. Today’s group focuses on mature wines: immediate gratification plays that require no additional cellaring to experience their mature charms.
2005 Frontaura Toro Crianza (Tempranillo)
Originally offered November 17, 2014. This was one of the wines we brought with us to pour a few weeks ago at the Seattle Wine and Food Experience, and it was without question the most popular wine we poured. It is at absolute peak drinking right now, a killer mix of fresh and dried fruits along with loads of maturing tertiary dusty savories. Exquisite wine, and of course because it’s Spain, priced for a song.
Excerpts from the original: Spanish wines tend to be pretty strong values to begin with, and so when there are deals to be made in Spain, I pay very close attention. Last week, we were offered a terrific tariff on a Spanish Tempranillo that’s a decade past vintage, one that began its life at a $40 price point.
Luis Gutierrez had a terrific write-up of the region for Wine Advocate this summer, and his pictures were even better. This one shows perfectly how Toro is right in the middle of a change towards modernity, with old head-pruned bush vines on the left, and modern trellised vines on the right. And this one shows how remarkably rocky some of the soils of the region are. Frontaura’s vineyards sit on rocky alluvial soils, at more than 2000’ elevation, and they’re planted almost entirely to Tempranillo.
The nose shows off the bottle age, with a wonderful mix of primary and tertiary aromas. There is cedar and mushroom, smoky cherry and tobacco leaf, and subtle spice notes. On the palate, this is in a lovely drinking window right now, rich and savory, leafy and crepuscular. While the tannins are integrating nicely, this still possesses a certain rustic charm, a finishing chew that makes me think it still has years of life ahead of it.
2008 RiverAerie Syrah
Originally offered December 7, 2014, and this will be the last RiverAerie wine we offer, as Ron Bunnell has discontinued the label.
Excerpts from the original: Wine Spectator (Harvey Steiman): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 91pts.”
For me, what is especially compelling about this one is its age/quality/price combination. I’ve said on multiple occasions that Washington Syrahs hit their stride at 5-6 years past vintage, but sometimes it can be difficult to have the patience to cellar them for that long. No problem here. This is an immediate gratification play. Harvey put the drinking window at now (which was 2013) through 2018, and I’m inclined to agree. It’s listed at 14.5% alc, and it comes from the lovely 2008 vintage, oft-overshadowed by its showier 2007 neighbor but to my way of thinking an even stronger vintage for aging. It begins with a woodsy, maturing nose, with earth and mushrooms married to blackberry fruit. That fruit character is beginning to take on the exquisite dried-fruit notes that so many of us love in our aged wines. That note repeats on the palate, and if fruit can be both rich and dried, this is it (think fig newton). There are continuing earth tones, a beautifully polished texture (bottle age certainly helps there), and this finishes long and lovely, a lingering note of espresso-bean our last memory of the RiverAerie label.
2005 La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva
Originally offered December 18, 2014, this took home the #34 spot on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list last year. We only have a handful of cases remaining, so I’ll keep this excerpt short: It is a bright, lively riot of cherry and tobacco leaf, citrusy acids, and bloody/sanguine/smoky minerality, all on a terrifically energetic frame. It has enough bottle age to drink and enjoy now, but all the structure and stuffing to suggest a continuing, beautiful evolution ahead. Transparent, honest Rioja like this is just so easy to love.
And a quick note from the wonderful British wine writer Jancis Robinson: Financial Times (Jancis Robinson): “[TEXT WITHHELD]”
2007 Zephros Cabernet Sauvignon Champoux Vineyard
Originally offered July 2, 2014. Excerpts from the original: It’s one thing to access run of the mill 2007 fruit; it’s another to access Champoux Vineyard Cabernet, especially at this price point (note: this had a release price of $45, but I’ve lately seen it offered for $30 at a few other spots on our old friend the world wide web). Champoux, located in the Horse Heaven Hills, has as strong a reputation for Cabernet as any vineyard in the state. The wineries that own partnership stakes in the vineyard (along with grower Paul Champoux) are Quilceda Creek, Woodward Canyon, Andrew Will, and Powers.
Zephros’ owner is a fellow named Richard Freeman, and he is also a partner in a sushi restaurant in Tokyo. This label was mostly created to export and pour at his restaurant (to wit, all the Zephros tech notes appear in English and Japanese). What a treat to access this bottle at this stage in its evolution. It’s a stage that I like to call “the deep breath before the plunge” (borrowing from a certain wizard you may know), where a wine still contains a breath of primary character but is poised to move more into its tertiary notes. Dried cherry, leather spice, and Champoux’s signature of graphite (a note I’ve heard described from earthy to pencil lead) kick off the complex, alluring nose. The palate has all the richness of the killer 07 vintage (14.5% listed alc), with fruits both fresh (cassis) and dried (dried cherry, dried apricot), and more of that insistent graphitic minerality. It’s a palate-stainer of a Cab, with intensity to spare, and it rolls into a powerful, black tea-laden finish with honest Cabernet chew and serious length. “What the hell?!?” is the last line of my tasting note, an expression of my bafflement at tasting an 07 this good, at this time, for this price. Lucky us.
2006 Cadence “Camerata” Cara Mia Vineyard
Originally offered November 24, 2014, after Ben Smith poured it for our list members at one of our open Saturdays. We only have a handful of bottles remaining, so I’ll keep this one short: Historically significant as the first vintage release from Cadence’s estate vineyard on Red Mountain, it was showing a glorious mix of primary fruit and tertiary dusty savories during that open Saturday. It’s almost all Cabernet Sauvignon (94%), with just a dollop of Cab Franc. Beautiful, and still improving.
Please order what you like, without restriction, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wines that aren’t already in the warehouse should arrive in a week or two, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.