Full Pull Wingman

2014 Sodo Cellars Wingman  

The parcel that Ryan has placed on hold for us represents – gulp – 65.2% of the requests we had for the 2013 vintage when we offered it back in September. I’m setting upper order requests at 6 bottles, but please don’t be shocked if actual allocations are more like 2 or 3 bottles.

As a reminder, Sodo Cellars isn’t Ryan (whose main label is Kerloo Cellars) buying in bulk juice and putting it under an entry-level label. This is top-end, Kerloo-vinified juice, but under a new label and sold for a silly tag. I presume the goal of a project like this is twofold: 1) to reward Kerloo’s Calling Club members with a well-priced house wine (kind of like Sean Boyd’s VdP for Rotie); and 2) to give Ryan an outstanding option to present to restaurants as a $10 glass-pour option. One or both of those populations has obviously been active right from the beginning. Hence the fact that this was essentially sold out less than a month after its release.

The label is great, based on Smithsonian crane-skeleton drawings. And the juice inside is outstanding. While the 2013 was an oddball blend (60/40 Malbec/Syrah), this 2014 is a more traditional Rhone blend: 70% Grenache (Angiolina Vineyard), 20% Mourvedre (Stonetree), and 10% Syrah (Blue Mountain). It offers over-the-top expressive Grenache garden notes – lilac and lavender, fresh herbs and brambles – married to red raspberry fruit and dustings of white pepper. The Mourvedre and Syrah turn up as grace notes on the palate, adding savory/mineral subtleties and a little heft, but it’s the Grenache that steals the show, with good plump density, generous richness, and continuing inner-mouth perfume. The sense of stuffing and balance are outstanding at a $15 tag, and it is rare indeed to see Washington Rhone blends at this price point.

I’m going to stop there, because there’s just so little of this one, and I know Ryan’s fans are legion among our list members. Please limit order requests to 6 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive any day now from our close neighbor, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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