Hello friends. I received a welcome phone call from Jon Meuret of Maison Bleue last week. He had discovered an unexpected stash of his otherwise sold-out 2011 Grenaches kicking around a western Washington warehouse, and he offered the remainder to our list, a last call before these beauties are completely gone.
When we originally offered this pair of wines back in June 2014, I had said we would only get one shot at them. At the time, that was what I believed to be true. Now? I’m happy to be wrong. I’m sure many of you who have sampled these will also be pleased with my misstatement, thrilled to have one more chance to access them. So, without further adieu:
Like the previous two vintages, this comes entirely from Upland Vineyard on Snipes Mountain. Alfred Newhouse bought the vineyard in 1972 (there were vinifera vineyards on Snipes Mountain as early as 1917), and now his grandson, Todd Newhouse, farms the site. It is planted to numerous varietals, but perhaps none has garnered more acclaim than the Grenache.
Jon makes one of the classiest versions from this site, and in 2011, it was raised entirely in five-year-old French oak for just shy of a year. It clocks in at 14.3% listed alc, and total production was a mere 265 cases. It’s such an honest Grenache, a ringing bell of purity. The trinity of brambly berry fruit and brushy garrigue and rocky minerality are all here and are well-balanced. This is very pretty and lifted in the mouth, offering silky texture and plenty of power with no excess weight. The plushness of the fruit pairs beautifully with the brightness of the cool-vintage 2011 acidity.
Wine Enthusiast (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.”
[Note: if you’re comparing Enthusiast reviews, please note that the reviewers are different: Sean Sullivan for Montagnette and Paul Gregutt for Midi.]
And Midi, of course, comes entirely from Boushey Vineyard. The combination of Dick Boushey’s growing prowess and Jon Meuret’s winemaking prowess is seductive indeed. This saw a little more than a year in barrel, this time a combo of four- and five-year-old French oak. Listed alc is 14.5%. 320 cases produced.
This has a completely different savory character than Montagnette. I daresay there’s some Boushey funk here (seen more commonly in Syrah from this site), in the form of truffle and ham hock aromatics to go with the red raspberry fruit and dustings of white pepper. In the mouth, the insistent savory earthiness continues. I like the wildness here, the suggestion of the sauvage (likely thanks to 50% whole cluster fermentation, with stems and all). It’s more high-strung, more nervy, less immediately-accessible than suppler La Montagnette. Both styles are successful, and there are plenty of occasions for both. It just depends on your mood that evening (or perhaps morning).
Wine Enthusiast (Paul Gregutt): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 95pts.”
Please limit order requests to 24 bottles total (mix and match as you like), and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wines should arrive in the next week or two, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.