Hello friends. Our offers of Maison Bleue’s wines have slowed down considerably over the past few years. An offer in June 2013; another a year later in June 2014; and one more in (you guessed it) June 2015. There just haven’t been wines to offer, a reflection of a) Jon Meuret holding his wines back longer before release, which is almost always a good thing; and b) the growing buzziness and popularity of these wines.
Furthermore, the Maison Bleue reds that we have offered over the past two-plus years have all been at prices $40 and up. Not since we offered the 2011 Jaja back in June 2013 have we seen a tag on a Maison Bleue red beginning with a ‘2’. I believe today’s wine was originally intended to be a $40 retail wine as well. Several reviews quote that price, and the only entry on wine-searcher shows a $42 tag. Fortunately we have it for considerably less today.
If you’re considering wine for a holiday gift (for someone else, or even for yourself), and you usually set a hard ceiling of $20/bottle, this would be a perfect place to splurge. The packaging on the outside of the bottle and the juice on the inside way over-deliver today’s price point.
This is Jon Meuret’s GSM blend (heavy on the ‘S’, at a full 70% Syrah; the remainder 25% Grenache and 5% Mourvedre). With Jaja going away, this becomes the gateway drug into the outstanding Maison Bleue lineup. The vineyards involved are head-turning to be sure: Boushey, Boushey-McPherson (astute list members might recall Ron Bunnell’s outstanding $45 single-vineyard Syrah from Boushey-McPherson), Upland, and Ciel du Cheval.
And of course there’s the vintage. The flow of new-release 2012s has slowed to a trickle in recent months, and we’re running out of opportunities to access this (arguably) best-of-the-millennium vintage in Washington, especially at a price point in the $20s. This one was saw a four day cold-soak, and after fermentation was raised for a year in French oak (20% new for the Syrah; neutral for everything else). It has now had nearly two years in bottle to continue evolving and maturing.
Metis kicks off with an expressive, attractive nose of plum, star anise, and a plate full of smoked meats and sausages (thank you Boushey fruit!). With time and air, earth and mineral tones begin to emerge with force. This is a wine that seems to evolve aromatically minute by minute in the glass. It’s a contemplative tasting experience to be sure. In the mouth, the first thing you notice is the texture, which is positively brimming with verve and energy, especially impressive considering the rich (14.5% listed alc) fruit involved here. The purity and intensity of fruit is wonderful, and it is complemented by continuing notes of meat and mineral. Among the crop of late-release 2012s, this is a real standout: balanced, seamless, deeply charming.
Wine Enthusiast (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 92pts.” [Sullivan context note: Sean has only bestowed higher scores on five Washington GSMs, all five 93pt reviews, with prices ranging from $40 to $75.]
That Enthusiast review was just released in their November issue, so we should be getting in early enough that allocations won’t be a problem. For now anyway. First come first served up to 60 bottles, and the wine is in the warehouse and ready for immediate pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.