Hello friends. I was initially a little bummed to hear that Kevin White was delaying his normal May release until autumn. The reasoning was totally sound – basically, that the extra time in bottle only benefits the finished wines – but those wines had quickly become a mainstay in our spring lineup, and I was disappointed to have to wait until the fall to write about Kevin again.
Silver lining alert! Any disappointment I felt was quickly mitigated when Kevin informed me he would still have a spring release, it would come out a few months earlier than May, and it would be a wine at a sub-$20 price point.
This is commercial vintage number five for Kevin, and I’m pretty sure we’ve offered every single wine he has ever released to retail. His pricing is ridiculous, his bottles easily competing with wines at twice the tag. Kevin seems determined to offer exceptional value as he builds his brand, and I’m thrilled that our list members can continue to be the recipients of his efforts in that direction.
The reason we continue to get competitive allocations of these scarce wines is in part due to the fact that Kevin himself was a long-time Full Pull list member (we first talked about this potential winery project way back in 2010). As far as logistics go with this particular wine, the first thing I should say is that we’re likely to only get one shot. Unlike Kevin’s higher-end wines, which are carefully allocated and doled out, this red is being offered in open inventory. The good news: we can ask for whatever amount our list members want; the bad: so can every other account in town. And that includes restaurants, because this wine comes in at a price point that allows for glass-pours (always scary when it comes to depletion pressure).
Probably the most important thing to know about this wine is that it comes entirely from Kevin-vinified juice. He’s not purchasing any bulk juice to fluff this wine up. And while he’s not revealing the exact vineyards or breakdown involved (wisely, so as not to aggravate the excellent growers he’s working with, who might not be so crazy about seeing their grapes end up in a sub-$20 bottle), we can intuit the suspects: Upland and Olsen, Boushey and Elephant Mountain: fantastic sites for Rhone varieties in Washington.
The blend in 2014 is 54% Syrah, then 23% each Grenache and Mourvedre. It clocks in at 14.5% listed alc, which seems just right for the warm 2014 vintage, and it pours into the glass inky purple-black. The nose is a bowlful of ripe brambly berries complicated by dark/tarry mineral tones and briny streaks of black olive. It’s a dark, brooding, alluring nose. Very attractive indeed. The palate is plenty generous and pleasurable and still retains the classy, polished, supple texture we’ve come to expect from Kevin. The mix of fruit and savory and mineral tones is terrific, the overall wine a must-try for those curious about this rising star in Washington or interested in what Washington can do with sub-$20 Rhone blends (to date, a real rarity).
Since I suspect we’re only going to get one shot at this, so let’s open it up: first come first served up to 60 bottles, and the wine should arrive next week, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.