Hello friends. The Eliminator is back after a long absence. Yes, we had our “hoarders” mini-eliminator in February, but the last true Eliminator? That was December 19.
Based on the name of the final American Gladiators challenge (see link for an excellent example of the original Eliminator, and also for an epic blond ‘80s mullet), this is where we eliminate extra bottles that have accumulated for one reason or another (some reasons purposeful; others accidental/stupid/I-don’t-wanna-talk-about-it).
A reminder: we handle this offering a little differently than most. These will be first-come first-served, and the upper order limits will be the number of extra bottles in the warehouse (with one exception). So, if we have 15 bottles left, and you want all 15, and you’re the first to jump in, they’re yours.
This gives slight advantage to longer-term list members. Our offerings are throttled, and it takes about three hours to send offers to the entire list. So the old-heads will get a bit of a head-start (much like the Gladiators Eliminator, but with fewer tassels), but list newbies will be nipping at their heels!
All of these bottles are in the warehouse and available for immediate pickup.
After a small, erm, nuclear accident at the Tricastin Nuclear Power Center in 2008, Coteaux du Tricastin renamed itself Grignan-les-Adhemar, and the wines have never been better values. A 60/35/5 blend of Grenache/Syrah/Cinsault grown on an alluvial former river-bed now filled with large rounded cobbles and raised entirely in concrete. We grabbed the last parcel of the final vintage that our Seattle import partner is bringing in, and we wound up with a bunch of extra bottles. They’ve been depleting steadily via reorder requests since then, leaving us with 95 bottles available of this funky, briny beauty.
From the Tuscan coast comes this hearty, seductive Sangiovese-driven beauty. Originally a $25 wine, we secured a sweet price drop if we took the entire parcel; hence some extra bottles. It’s earthy and savory, full of spicy tomato paste and raspberry, angostura bitters and brewed coffee. In a 90pt review, Antonio Galloni put the drinking window at 2013-2019 (so we’re entering the peak of the peak), saying “A Quo is fabulous. I expected to find a rich, powerful wine given the year, instead the 2011 A Quo is fresh, vibrant and beautifully delineated.” 97 bottles available.
We offered this in early February, kind of a terrible time for white wines, and we still only ended up with 26 extra bottles from a sizeable starting parcel. Considering we’re now entering peak white wine drinking season, considering that this is a 12.5%-alc, mineral- and salt-soaked beauty, with terrific layers of fruit (creamy peach, lemon curd) and earth and biscuity lees, considering all that, I should probably just shut up now.
The last RiverAerie wine we ever offered (Ron Bunnell discontinued the label) so we bought out the entirety of the remaining stock. Now we have 82 bottles remaining. Extra compelling for 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, with a woodsy, maturing nose, all 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, and the extra polish from bottle age has turned this silky indeed. Wine Spectator (Harvey Steiman): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 91pts.”
We went long on this lovely Gigondas back in March, taking the entire remaining parcel of 2010 in Seattle. At this point, we may well be the only folks in the country with the lovely 2010 in stock (96 bottles remaining). MdlG is a traditional, old-school producer, with all fermentation in concrete, and maturation done in a combo of concrete and old foudres. The blend is very true to this part of the world: dominated by Grenache (80%), with equal tenths of Mourvedre and Cinsault. The nose presents a wonderful combination of fruit (brambly raspberry, dried cherry) and flower, hot-rock minerality and spice. It’s a hearty, red-blooded, honest Gigondas, and it also comes with a fine review from the point-reticent Tanzer/Vinous family: Vinous/IWC (Josh Raynolds): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 91pts.”
A 50/50 blend of Angela’s Vineyard Syrah (Red Mountain) and Alder Ridge Grenache (Horse Heaven Hills) that has continued to blossom wonderfully in bottle, just as our supply continues to dwindle (we’re down to our final 71 bottles). Washington Wine Report (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD] Rating: ****/***** (Excellent/Exceptional).”
Review of Washington Wines (Rand Sealey): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 19/20pts.”
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 shows a glorious mix of primary fruit and tertiary dusty savories. Almost all Cabernet Sauvignon (94%), with just a dollop of Cab Franc. Beautiful, and still improving. A measly 9 bottles available.
All these wines are in the warehouse and available for immediate pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.