Full Pull Invasion of the Southern Marauders

Hello friends. A fun aspect of my wine writing gig for Seattle Magazine is being asked to identify trends at the beginning of each year. One of the trends I wrote about early in 2015 was the “invasion of the southern marauders.” Here’s what I said in that article:


Today, we have one such wine. And better yet, we’ve been offered special October-only pricing that takes this one well below its $45-$50 release price:

2012 Mullan Road Cellars Red Wine
Mullan Road is the new project from Dennis Cakebread, whose Cakebread Cellars is a Napa Valley institution: [TEXT WITHHELD]
2012 is the inaugural vintage for the project, and the winery is down to the last little bit of it. My understanding is that they’re ready to move onto the 2013 (which already has a 92-94pt barrel review from Jeb Dunnuck of Wine Advocate) and eager to clear out the remainder of the ’12. Which works for me, because – having tasted the ’12 multiple times over the past year or so – I can say with confidence that the wine is drinking better than it ever has right now, just in time for a serious price drop. Wine is a funny business that way.

The varietal breakdown is 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, and the vineyard sourcing is a combination of Seven Hills in Walla Walla, and several vineyards on the Royal Slope (which the winery seems confident will be an AVA someday; I would certainly support that). The wine was raised in barrel (44% new) for 17 months and clocks in at 14.1% listed alc. It presents a lovely mix of dusty red fruit and spicy, cocoa-powdery oak and shades of graphitic mineral. The elegance and suavely-texture tannins of Seven Hills are on fine display here. The finish is all espressoey goodness.

Vinous (Stephen Tanzer): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 91+?pts.”

That’s a damn fine review from Tanzer, who is never particularly easy when it comes to scoring, but whose tasting notes are as good as it gets.

First come first served up to 24 bottles, and the wine should arrive in the next week or two, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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