Hello friends. New vintage today of a Washington Cabernet that is about as buzzy as buzzy gets around this sleepy corner of the country, and it is being offered via pre-sell. I talked about this a few times last year, but it seems like we’re entering a second age of the pre-sell. I missed the first age. By the time Full Pull launched in 2009, the economy was so lousy that most pre-sells had gone the way of the wooly mammoths. But there was a time in the early 2000s where a wine selling its entire production run via presell was not uncommon. And offers like today’s make me wonder if we’re seeing the beginnings of a return.
Here is an excerpt of the e-mail I just received from Upchurch Vineyard’s Seattle representatives:
We have to submit our order on Monday (Feb 22). That is a quick deadline for allocation requests, and that explains why we’re turning around this offer as quickly as possible. We’ll need to have all our requests in by the beginning of the day on Monday, so please place your order requests by Sunday night if at all possible.
Now then, some reminders on this project: Chris Upchurch is a giant in the Washington wine scene. As an original partner in DeLille Cellars, and as the founding and current winemaker for that fine winery, he has produced some of Washington’s most breathtaking bottles. For his own label, he has built everything from the ground up. One vineyard parcel on Red Mountain, planted in 2007 in consultation with Jim Holmes of Ciel du Cheval and managed by Dick Boushey. One wine made from that plot each vintage.
His first two vintages were the cool years of 2010 and 2011, and yet the wines were still instantly successful and nearly impossible to source (Jeb’s 95pt review of the inaugural 2010 certainly didn’t hurt). The vast majority of production is sold direct through the winery doors, and what’s left is mostly allocated to restaurants. The amounts available for the 2010 and 2011 just didn’t make sense for us (I was envisioning torches and pitchforks), and the amount available for the 2012 (which we offered last year) only barely made sense. I have high hopes that we can score a full allocation since we’re getting in so early, but Jeb’s barrel review below is already generating plenty of sales pressure nationally for this wine.
Wine Advocate (Jeb Dunnuck): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94-97pts.”
A quick note on that review. For the 2012 vintage, Jeb ranged the barrel sample out at 93-95pts, and then ended up scoring the wine in bottle at 96pts. Can you imagine if the same thing happens with the 2013? Hopefully by the time that review comes out, we’re long gone, with bottles safely in hand.
Please limit order requests to 12 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive in the next week or two, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.