Full Pull My Lack of Self-Control

Hello friends. Two wines today with nothing in common excepting my lack of self-control. I’ll explain. So, the usual model for Full Pull is: we come to an agreement with the winery/importer/wholesaler on an amount of wine available, we offer the wine, and we only purchase what we’ve actually sold. Works out great.

On some occasions, though, we get offered take-it-or-leave-it stashes of wine. Nine times out of ten – no, scratch that – ninety-nine times out of a hundred, we leave it. But occasionally, the wine is too compelling, or the deal is too good, or both. And that’s what we’re dealing with today: a pair of wines I couldn’t pass up, where I bought the entire remaining stash available in Seattle. In each case, the parcel size is too limited to make sense as its own offer, which is why these two wines are getting jammed together as unlikely partners:

2013 Kevin White Winery Heritage DuBrul Vineyard
The Kevin White hype train continues to roll on, my friends. Last month, we sold every single bottle of Kevin’s fantastic value red allocated to us, and this month, while we continue to await the autumn release of his old standbys La Fraternite and En Hommage, we have another new release from Mr. White.

It’s an unusual wine for this Rhone specialist, as it is a squarely Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (57%) and Merlot (43%), raised in 40% new French oak for about two years. I suspect Kevin could not resist the siren call of DuBrul Vineyard, one of the finest sites in the state. After all, a bottle of wine from DuBrul and an eventual visit to the vineyard are parts of the winery’s origin story, as richly recounted by Sean Sullivan in an old posting on Washington Wine Report.

Mr. Sullivan also just wrote this particular wine up in Seattle Met Magazine: [TEXT WITHHELD]

I think Sean is right. As DuBrul’s reputation has grown, so too have prices, and it has become more and more difficult to source wines from this outstanding vineyard. I looked back, and in the past year and a half, we’ve offered exactly one wine from DuBrul: the 2012 Creative Impulse from Rasa. That one – whose 59/41 Cab/Merlot blend is very similar to today’s Heritage – we offered for [TEXT WITHHELD]. As you can imagine, DuBrul fruit plus buzzy winemaker plus moderate pricing plus small parcel equals, ahem, allocation challenges. So I’m going to stop right there and move onto our next limited wine.

2012 D. Des Hauts Chassis Crozes-Hermitage Esquisse
Crozes-Hermitage has to be the most uneven appellation in the Northern Rhone, right? I’m sure those of you who have paid $35 for crap Saint-Joseph are shaking your head in disagreement, but I’d still argue that Crozes takes the cake for hit-or-miss bottles. It’s one of those appellations where there is simply no substitute for tasting to separate the wheat from the chaff.

I tasted this and immediately asked to buy out the stock remaining in Seattle (which unfortunately turned out to be a borderline parcel). This is Crozes that could be confused aromatically with its pricier neighbors. Floral and meaty and fruity in turn, it’s positively perfumed, and so very northern Rhone. Textbook cool-climate Syrah (13% listed alc), with improbable depth and intensity on such a low-weight frame. At four years past vintage, it’s drinking beautifully right now, full of savory/meaty nuance on a core of blackberry fruit, full of complexity and earthiness and charm.

The last phrase in my tasting note says “buy and figure it out,” so that’s what I did. Turns out this comes from an area in the southern part of Crozes with soils that include big round stones of Alpine diluvium. The vineyard looks like this (admittedly mediocre picture, but still, you can see how crazy those soils are for growing anything), and the winery seems to turn up more often in Europe than in the US. We grabbed every last bottle in western Washington, and I wish it was more. I’m secretly hoping out sales come up a little short on this, so I can stash a few bottles away for myself.

Please limit order requests to 4 bottles of each wine, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wines are in the warehouse and ready for immediate pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: