Hello friends. When we offered this wine last year, we set max order requests to 12 bottles, and our max allocations ended a good bit under that. I see dozens of late orders and reorder requests that were zeroed out due to lack of supply. And that doesn’t even count the number of in-person requests we received for more of this wine.
Sounds like a big, rich, high-scoring Washington red, doesn’t it? But no, it was something else entirely; one of the most gratifying wines we’ve ever sold:
Yep, I’m talking about our first ever private label sparkling wine, which is now back in stock after a new disgorgement. And let me begin there. Because with NV (non-vintage) wines (and many sparkling wines are NV), I think it’s important to note the disgorgement date someplace on the bottle. Otherwise you don’t know if you’re dealing with juice disgorged five years ago or five minutes ago. If you look closely at the bottom right-hand corner of the label, you’ll see “D. 2016,” which stands for “disgorged in 2016.” We’ll make this a practice going forward, so that everyone knows exactly what they’re getting at all times.
The next thing I should say is that this is really good juice. Because we wanted to keep the quality just as high as last year’s disgorgement, that meant keeping the quantity exactly the same as last year. Other factors working against robust allocations: general FP list growth, bottles set aside for FP team members (our team includes several sparkling wine freaks), sunny sparkling-wine-drinking weather in Seattle lately, and finally, this overall sense I have that sparkling wine is in the early stages of having a moment (sort of like where northwest rosé was five years ago). All that to say: this year, we’re going to set max order requests at 6 bottles instead of 12, and please don’t be too surprised if actual allocations are more like 3 or 4 bottles. Or maybe 2. Hopefully not 2. But maybe.
Okay, so, some background on this project. Well, I’ll begin with something I’ve said before and will say again: sparkling wine is emotional currency in my house. When Full Pull started back in 2009, my wife and I developed a simple agreement. Her responsibility: supply several years of steady income and health insurance. My responsibility: keep at least one case of sparkling wine on hand at all times. It seemed like a reasonable bargain at the time, and it has served us well since.
I first got the bug in my brain about a Full Pull & Friends sparkling wine when I visited Treveri Cellars in May 2014 on a research trip for this eventual Seattle Magazine article. That was my first chance to see Treveri’s production facility and to meet Christian Grieb. The facility seemed plenty big enough to support custom bottling, and Christian and I hit it off right away, in no small part due to our shared obsession with one Seattle Sounders Football Club.
Later that year, Chip McLaughlin (long time list members will remember his well-loved Vinyl Wines project) was pouring at an event for Treveri, and he and I discussed the concept further. From that point on, things only picked up momentum quickly. If there’s one category of wine that unites the entire FP team, it’s sparkling wine. So this project had to happen.
Christian and his team at Treveri have been terrific to work with. We knew we wanted a 100% Chardonnay blanc de blancs project, and they let us work with specific lots of juice. A majority of our wine comes from a single vineyard: Harold Pleasant’s Pleasant Vineyard in a cool pocket of the Yakima Valley that, according to Christian, “grows absolutely brilliant sparkling cuvee fruit.” There are also 20%-ish chunks from Ramos Vineyard on Snipes Mountain (“great soils and great cool climate for Chard”) and from Hilltop Vineyard, “a site near Zillah that was planted by the great Walter Clore. He recommended that site be planted in Chardonnay, and the vines are 30+ years old. They sing beautifully for bubbles!” We also knew we wanted a very dry style of bubbly. Like last year, we settled on dosage of three grams per liter, right at the upper end of the Brut Nature category, and drier, I believe, than anything Treveri has released previously. I think we all continue to love the alpine fruit and mineral characters that are most prominent at the lowest sugar levels.
Our bubbly also saw extended time on the lees, a full 24 months before disgorgement and bottling a few weeks ago. This wine shipped over to Seattle soon thereafter, and we’ve since given it time to get over any disgorgement shock. I’m thrilled that it is ready just in time for spring and summer. It clocks in at 12% alc and kicks off with a nose combining lemon fruit, salt-air minerality, and a lightly leesy biscuit note. In the mouth, it’s the texture you notice first: dry and lean, with racy acidity contributing to an overall sense of energy and nerviness that is just wonderful. The austere alpine fruit and insistent minerality are in fine balance, and the finish is long and seriously mouthwatering. You could certainly put a hard chill on this and drink it as a cocktail, but a sparkling wine like this is also a gonzo-versatile food pairing wine, just as good with scrambled eggs in the morning as it as with seared scallops in the evening. Better yet: sneak a bottle into the next movie you see in theaters. It pairs perfectly with good buttered popcorn and poorly written dialogue.
Please limit order requests to 6 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine is in the warehouse and ready for immediate pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.