Hello friends. We have the return today of the friendliest ghost in Washington:
We first offered a Ghost way back in December 2011. No accident, I suppose, that the vintage was 2009, the last legitimately warm vintage before 2012 and 2013 that made sense for a value Cabernet project.
That well-received 2009 Ghost Red was 90% Cab, but then these guys (that’s Mark McNeilly from Mark Ryan and Chris Gorman from Gorman, the partners in this project) decided to do a Syrah-heavy 2010 and skip 2011 altogether, best I can tell. Smart move. Those two cooler vintages were terrible for value Cabernet, which requires plenty of heat accumulation to shed its overly green nature. They returned with the 2012 Red (which was actually 100% Cabernet), and now this 2013 actually has “Cabernet Sauvignon” on the label.
The project was inaugurated in 2005, and Paul Gregutt wrote about the wine (and its name) in a 2007 Seattle Times article: [TEXT WITHHELD]
As it turned out, there was no need to don the invisibility cloak, as the wine was warmly received in the Seattle market as an exceptional value. It helped kick off the craze for these purchased juice projects (Renegade, Modern Wine Project, etc.), and that has been a very good thing for all of us. This is a wine that also tends to get glass-poured around town and deplete quickly. I remember the 2009 (5000 cases produced) was released in December 2011 and sold out by mid-spring 2012. Likewise the 2012 disappeared right as we started receiving reorder requests for it. I’m not sure what the production level is for the 2013 Cab, but I’m not taking any chances. Let’s jump in nice and early.
This begins with a nose of smoky crème de cassis fruit, complicated by notes of dried herb and soil. At its heart, it is a deep, black-fruit driven Cab, full of blackcurrants and blackberries and black plums. The 2013 vintage in Washington is proving adept at churning out charming, rich, early-drinking Cabernets, and this is a fine example of its kind. Openly generous, with a plump attack and mid-palate, this rolls into a finish with surprising polish to the tannins. Many Cabs at this price point are, shall we say, rustically structured; but this drinks classy indeed. There’s impressive stuffing and balance here, and plenty of Cabernet varietal character. The whole package offers an awful lot for the tag.
This would be a fine option for winter weddings or parties, or just as a winter house red. First come first served up to 60 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.