Hello friends. We have a new vintage today of a wine that took on a life of its own during the 2014 holiday season:
The biggest difference between today’s wine and last year’s is that last year’s was a non-vintage (or, put more properly, multi-vintage) blend, and today’s comes entirely from the charming 2013 vintage. I have a source (very) close to the winery telling me that this 2013 is all declassified Reynvaan juice, 90% Syrah and a full 10% Viognier.
You don’t even have to taste the wine. The nose alone is a dead ringer for outstanding rocks Syrah. I always come away from tasting these RoaC wines thinking to myself: if this is the declass juice, how wildly good are the top-end bottles at this point? The only thing I can think is that Matt Reynvaan is growing more and more selective with what juice makes it into the top tier (hence the string of 95pt-98pt reviews in Wine Spectator), allowing higher and higher quality juice to make it into his sisters’ wines.
For those of us who love Rocks funk, this is a ridiculous value. The packaging is whimsical; the juice inside is dead serious. You can smell the rocks from several feet away from your glass. Go to Le Pichet, order their charcuterie plate, and give it a big whiff; that’s about what this one smells like. Smoky, meaty, and very briny (I guess we ordered a side of green olives with our charcuterie), this is a *very* expressive, appetizing nose, lifted I’m sure by that healthy whack of beautiful/floral Viognier. With time and air, even more umami notes emerge: seaweed, salt air, sanguine mineral. Yes, there’s some lovely cherry fruit hanging around, but it’s the savories that steal the show. In the mouth, this is a delicious, easy-drinking wine, supply textured and offering that continuing mix of rich fruits and savories, all on a moderate-alc (13% listed) frame. What a tremendous introduction to the naughty goodness of the rocks. What a holiday treat!
Here is a quick reminder about the winery from the Reynvaan family, in case we have some list newbies who haven’t taken the plunge on our previous RoaC offers: Since 2011, sisters Amanda Reynvaan and Angela Reynvaan Garratt have been producing approachable red blends and Rosés from elite vineyards throughout the Walla Walla Valley and Columbia Valley in conjunction with their brother and consulting winemaker, Matt Reynvaan. The family started out in the wine business in 2004, launching Reynvaan Family Vineyards in Walla Walla, which quickly developed into a Washington State cult winery. With the Result of a Crush project the family aims to produce wines that are distinctive, affordable, consistent in quality and showcase the owners’ sometimes whimsical attitude toward wine.
I remember last year joking about what the family would do if they ended up with leftover Christmas Cuvee wine in January. I don’t think that ended up being a problem, and I don’t think it will be a problem this year either. First come first served up to 60 bottles, and the wine should arrive in a week or two, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.