Hello friends. This time of year, our focus is mostly on wines in the $20 and up price range. In general, I save the lower price point wines for January, when we all come back from the holidays, look at our checking accounts online, and have a brief Munchian scream.
In general. But not always. Some wines cut through the clutter, rise to the top, and need to be offered. Because even in December, there are still Tuesday and Wednesday nights (as far as I know), where we want a nice house red that rises above the workaday. And something tells me many of you won’t be surprised to see the winery in question:
Thank goodness for Scott Southard. Our first Southard offer was sent in autumn 2012, and the winery has been steadily building momentum since, not just among our list members, but among the market generally. And why not: Scott has stubbornly kept his prices low and his quality high; a good recipe for generating and sustaining buzz.
I was first introduced to Southard in Spring 2012 via the generosity of one of our long-time list members, and then things got really buzzy later that summer, when Paul Gregutt wrote about the winery in his great old blog. It was this quote from that piece that piqued the interest of many of us, and the Southard train hasn’t slowed since: [TEXT WITHHELD]
Since autumn 2012, we’ve offered a full fourteen different Southard wines. Today’s will be number fifteen. Is that a lot of wines from one winery? Yes it is. Do I intend to slow things down any time soon? No I do not. Our team loves the wines. Our list members love the wines. The wines remain underpriced gems, including today’s.
The Columbia Valley Red might be the most popular of all the Southard wines we offer. The 2010 (offered in Feb ’13) was 55/45 Syrah/Mourvedre; the 2011 (offered in March ’14) was 72/28 Syrah/Zinfandel; the 2012 (offered in March ’15) was 42/41/13/4 Grenache/Syrah/Zin/Mourvedre.
And that brings us to this 2013, which is a proper four-variety Rhone blend: 38% Syrah, 26% Mourvedre, 23% Grenache, and 13% Cinsault. It offers a terrific, complex nose melding zesty/brambly raspberry fruit with terrific brackish notes of seaweed and black olive. There are subtleties both floral (violet) and smoky (bacon) to round things out: a plenty-complex nose for the tag. Balance is the watchword of the palate: balance of fruits and savories; balance of richness (14.5% listed alc) and acidity. The juicy, vaguely salty, insistently mouthwatering finish is the bow on this gift, which easily over-delivers its price point. It’s a wonderful option as a winter house wine, a go-to on those December Tuesday evenings.
First come first served up to 24 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.