Hello friends. Our second Full Pull & Friends wine of the year (the first, our Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine, sold out hours after release) and our first red of the year is also the third in our “BDX series.” The first two, 2007 CVBDX and 2008 WWBDX (Columbia Valley and Walla Walla Valley Bordeaux blends, respectively) are among the most popular private-label wines we have offered. Both are long-since sold out, and yet both still come up with some regularity with folks making in-person reorder requests.
I’m sure our astute list members have noticed that most of our private label focus is on single varietal, single vineyard wine. To me, that’s usually the most compelling juice to work with. Usually. But sometimes, a blend is just too damned good to pass up. That was true with the ’07 CVBDX; true with the ’08 WWBDX, and true again with today’s wine, which adds Red Mountain to the stable of BDXers:
The short version: Full Pull & Friends is the negociant arm of Full Pull Wines. Working with our long time winery partners, we select juice in barrel or bottle that represents exceptional opportunities for our list members.
The long version: So, let’s say you’re a winery with plans to grow your production levels significantly. You’re offered more outstanding Red Mountain Cabernet fruit than you need for the 2012 vintage. Do you: a) Only purchase the fruit you need in 2012, and hope that in future years you can grow into your needs?; b) Take all the fruit, vinify it, and sell what you don’t need on the bulk market?; or c) Call up your good friends at Full Pull Wines and see if they’re interested?
Option a) is a non-starter for a smart winery. Red Mountain Cab is a scarce resource (Red Mountain is a tiny AVA), and doubtless if you move out, another winery will move in, and you’ll never see it again. Option b) is marginally better, but you’re likely to lose money on every gallon of juice you sell. Option c) it is!
The reasons this is a win-win scenario: it’s a win for the winery because we pay a small premium above the bulk market, enough that the wineries can at least recoup their fruit costs. It’s a win for us because we get access to classy juice that we can sell for well under what the price would be if it had the winery label on it. Because this is such an attractive scenario for wineries, we have been approached with A LOT of FPF options over the past year. We’ve said no to most, and yes to only the most exceptional juice.
For a history of the wines involved in this program (as well as current availability), see this page. You’ll notice that 11 of our first 17 wines are sold out. Of the 6 available wines, 3 are getting pretty low (all 3 Cabernet Sauvignons, oddly); like last-few-cases low. Like speak-now-or-forever-hold-your-peace low. If you do see any wines on that still-available list that pique your interest, please respond to this e-mail with the wine and the number of bottles you’re looking for, and we’ll enter those manually in the order they’re received.
Now then, some notes on this particular wine. It comes from a longtime winery partner for Full Pull (since early 2010), so longtime that we’ve offered more than 40 of their wines over the years. This is the same winery responsible for that ’07 CVBDX and the ’08 WWBDX (not to mention the 2007, 2008, and 2009 Cabernet Sauvignons, and the 2011 Chardonnay). The RMBDX is approximately one-third each Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, and it spent about two years in French oak. It comes entirely from a single vineyard on Red Mountain. I wish I could reveal which one, but that would offer too strong a hint to the winery involved, and there’s no way I’m risking access to future negociant bottles from these folks.
The nose is an evocative, complex pastiche of fresh fruit (red cherry, redcurrant), dried fruit (dried cherries especially), and loads of maturing complexities: earthy soil, mushroom, cedar, leather spice. All of it is dusted in cocoa-powder barrel notes. With time and air, some Cab Franc poblano notes emerge: one more layer of complexity for an already complex wine. The palate is in a beautiful place texturally, the tannins present but integrating and softening nicely. There is plenty of Red Mountain power (14.7% listed alc), but this is also polished, inviting, delicious. Above all else, it is balanced: richness to acid/tannin structure, fruit to earth, primary to maturing. The long finish, awash in earth tones and coffee grounds, invites the next sip or the next bite of steak frites. I’d say this is early in its peak drinking window, which will probably run until 2025 or so.
Please limit order requests to 12 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.