Full Pull Angelas Cab Redux

Hello friends. Today’s redux offer will look very much like the Bacchus Cab redux offer from early October, because almost everything from that one applies today.

One year ago today, we offered what has become an extremely popular private-label wine: the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Angela’s Vineyard. We went longer on that particular wine than all the other wines in the lineup so far save the Bacchus Cab. Why? Well, first off, because I thought accessing Red Mountain Cabernet at our price point presented an extraordinary opportunity. And second, because the winemaker involved made it pretty clear that seeing Angelas Cab in future vintages was unlikely at best.

And you may have noticed: no 2013 Angelas Cab this year. And I can already tell you: no Angelas Cab from the 2014 vintage either. We’re going to look back on the 2012 as the exception, not the rule, I’m afraid.

Like with the Bacchus, the plan in my head is to continue to offer this on its anniversary each year until it’s sold out. Will it make it to its 2016 anniversary? Unclear. We’ve already sold through 67.4% of our initial stash, and every time we open a bottle and pour it on a Thursday or Saturday pickup day, boxes disappear. All that to say: this may be last call on this beauty. Time will tell.

2012 Full Pull & Friends Cabernet Sauvignon Angelas Vyd (FPF-9) 

Originally offered December 3, 2014. Excerpts from original offer:

So, let’s say you’re a winery with plans to grow your production levels significantly. You’re offered more outstanding Red Mountain Cabernet fruit than you need for the 2012 vintage. Do you: a) Only purchase the fruit you need in 2012, and hope that in future years you can grow into your needs?; b) Take all the fruit, vinify it, and sell what you don’t need on the bulk market?; or c) Call up your good friends at Full Pull Wines and see if they’re interested?

Option a) is a non-starter for a smart winery. Red Mountain Cab is a scarce resource (Red Mountain is a tiny AVA), and doubtless if you move out, another winery will move in, and you’ll never see it again. Option b) is marginally better, but you’re likely to lose money on every gallon of juice you sell. Option c) it is!

The reasons this is a win-win scenario: it’s a win for the winery because we pay a small premium above the bulk market, enough that the wineries can at least recoup their fruit costs. It’s a win for us because we get access to classy juice that we can sell for well under what the price would be if it had the winery label on it.

Because this is such an attractive scenario for wineries, we have been approached with A LOT of FP&F options over the past year. We’ve said no to most, and yes to only the most exceptional juice. Including this Angela’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Angela’s is a vineyard owned by Efeste Winery, and it was planted in 2008 by none other than Dick Boushey, who continues to manage it. When we began doing FP&F wines, I knew we’d do some Cabernet Sauvignons, and I hoped one of them could come from Red Mountain. It is an area that makes a singular style of Cab, and with Dick at the farming helm, we know we’re starting with pristine fruit.

This juice was aged in 67% new oak for 20 months, and it clocks in at 14.4% alc. It opens with a great Red Mountain nose: redcurrant fruit, iron minerality, and smoky/nutty (bourbon barrel, almond paste) notes that could come from barrel but I suspect come from the terroir, since I’ve seen them in so many Red Mountain wines over the years. In the mouth, this is a smoky/spicy mélange of deep red and black fruits and continuing earth notes. It is without question the most tightly wound of the 2012 FP&F wines, its fruit currently surrounded by city walls of earth and structure. That structure, as you’d expect from Red Mountain, comes mostly from tannins, which take over somewhere around the mid-palate and just won’t quit, coating the palate in a layer of toothsome chamomile goodness. If you’re planning to open one of these during this holiday season, I’d recommend pairing with a fatty piece of meat or a large decanter. From an outstanding grower-winemaker combo, an outstanding vintage, and an outstanding piece of Washington terroir, I’d expect a long and fascinating evolution ahead.

Washington Wine Report (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. Rating: **** (Excellent).”

Review of Washington Wines (Rand Sealey): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 19/20pts.”

My only update is that I opened a bottle just last week, because my dad is in town and he likes a good Cabernet Sauvignon, both before and with dinner. I can report that this is turning into quite the charmer, offering much more expressive aromatics and softening tannic structure than I remember from a year ago. I had made a big pot of chili that day, the foundation of which was a carefully cubed chuck and a mess of toasted-then-ground ancho chile peppers. That meal brought out some wonderful smoked chile notes in the wine, too, just lovely with all those Red Mountain black and red fruits.

Please limit order requests to 12 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine is in the warehouse and ready for immediate pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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