Hello friends. 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 Southard has stubbornly kept his prices low and his quality high; a good recipe for generating and sustaining buzz.
Today we have new vintages of two of Scott’s most popular wines among our list members: his Columbia Valley Syrah, and his lovely Columbia Valley White, which is a Roussanne/Viognier blend.
Down one slope is the Wahluke, a more established area and already an AVA of its own. At the top of the Wahluke Slope we find Stonetree Vineyard, one of the hottest (in terms of temperature) sites in Washington. It’s a poorly-held secret that Stonetree was the source for most of the Columbia Crest Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon that was #1 on Wine Spectator’s 2009 Top 100 list. It’s a special vineyard, becoming more important with each passing vintage.
Grapes from both sites were whole-cluster fermented with no destemming and raised in French oak (50% new) for just shy of two years. At this price point, you’d expect massive production levels. Instead this clocks in at a mere 188 cases, so I expect it to move quickly (the 2012 certainly disappeared with alacrity; I see a lot of zeroed out orders for list members who tried to reorder that one weeks and months after we first offered it). It kicks off with a lovely nose of huckleberry, star anise, and tarry mineral streaks. The palate beautifully melds the two vineyard sites: rich, smoky purple and black fruit from Stonetree, paired to earthy/savory subtleties from Lawrence. The overall package is long, rich, and satisfying, offering serious complexity and stuffing for a $15 tag.
As is typical, this wine is a blend of Lawrence Vineyard Roussanne (54%) and Stonetree Vineyard Viognier (46%). It was raised entirely in neutral barrel, and half was put through malolactic conversion, half not. Despite Viognier’s reputation for taking over the aromatics of any wine it touches, this wine’s nose is driven very much by Roussane, with its lovely combination of peaches and smoked/salted almonds, mineral and hay. This has outstanding palate presence, offering real fruit intensity that is terrific for the price point involved. Roussanne’s savory nuttiness is here, paired to Viognier’s floral honeysuckle and ginger tones. Complex, perfumed, and heartily stuffed for a $15 white, this leaves a lingering impression of cereal grains on its long, satisfying finish.
First come first served up to 48 bottles total, and the wines should arrive in a week or two, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.