Full Pull Idilico

Hello friends. Three new wines today (and one reoffer) from one of the most consistently-thrilling lineups in Washington right now: the wonderful Spanish varieties from Javier Alfonso’s Idilico. We have new-release Rosado and Garnacha and Monastrell, as well as a bonus reorder on his delicious 2014 Albarino.

As a reminder, Javier developed Idilico as a sister label (his main label is Pomum Cellars) to highlight Spanish varieties grown in Washington. These wines are rarely reviewed, but even without the critics weighing in, the label has developed serious buzz, spurred on by the sommelier set and other insider types who know value when they see it. The sales focus for Idilico is mostly restaurant wine lists, and the wines are priced accordingly. That makes them terrific values at retail.

2015 Idilico Rosado
I won’t say much here, as total production is a measly 70 cases, we have access to far less than that, and the price is right. It’s equal parts Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Monastrell, blended with a 4% Albarino kicker. Clocking in at 13% listed alc, it offers a nose combining strawberry and melon fruits with nice mineral and spice notes that I’m going to go ahead and attribute to the Monastrell (aka Mourvedre, aka Washington’s secret rosé weapon). Soft and full in the mouth, this has phenolic texture almost approaching a red wine in nature. Much more like a Tavel rosé, say, than a Provencal rosé, but still with totally moderate alcohol. Beautiful as a late-summer-into-autumn pink, this would be glorious with darker white meats (braised chicken thighs, roasted pork shoulders, etc).

2013 Idilico Garnacha
This is the fifth vintage of Garnacha (aka Grenache) for Idilico, and we’ve offered all of them. At this price point, the wine tends to get snapped up by restaurants looking for exciting glass-pour options. It’s a blend of two vineyards: Elerding in the Yakima Valley and Upland on Snipes Mountain (evidence continues to mount that Upland is the finest site in the state for Grenache).

Aged entirely in neutral puncheon, it clocks in at 14.7% listed alc. The nose has a deep, expressive core of brambly blackberry and raspberry fruit, with complexities both meaty (beef broth) and herbal (herbes de provence). The palate offers a lovely, supple, polished mouthfeel, carrying fresh berry notes and crushed-rock minerality on a fresh, vibrant frame. This is such a characterful rendition of Washington Grenache, and it always offers so much charm for such a reasonable tag.

2013 Idilico Monastrell
Always a rarity, both because of its tiny production (usually less than 100 cases) and the overall rarity of single-vineyard Washington Mourvedre (the French synonym for Spanish Monastrell) at a sub-$20 tag. This may be restaurant-only outside of Full Pull. I think Javier is doing us a favor because of our list’s long support of Idilico. Like the first two vintages, this comes entirely from Upland Vineyard, and it comes blasting up out of the glass with a super-expressive nose: spicy plums, leather, pepper-dusted game. This is positively electric in the mouth, humming along with beautiful nervous energy. Bright, spicy, and chockful of character, this dazzles with its mix of rich (14.3% listed alc) plummy fruit and continuing smoky/meaty notes. Javier is really bullish on Monastrell/Mourvedre’s prospects in Washington, and I can see why.

2014 Idilico Albarino

Originally offered November 11, 2014. Excerpts from original offer: This is the fifth vintage of Albarino (we’ve offered all of the previous four) under the Idilico label. To the best of my knowledge, there are no more than a handful of Albarino vineyards in Washington. Javier’s comes from Dutchman Vineyard, a DenHoed-planted site in the cooler part of the Yakima Valley, north of Prosser. The wine moves from those vines to bottle with little intervention: stainless steel fermentation and aging; moderate lees contact; no malolactic fermentation. It’s pure Albarino, 12.5% alc and awash in mineral-soaked lemon-lime and peach-fuzz fruit. Eminently refreshing, this is all bright acid on the attack, then transitions into a mid-palate with surprising plumpness before gliding onto a finish with lingering citrus/rock notes. I’m not sure there is another Washington white more evocative of our long northern-latitude summer days, with those blue twilights that last for hours.

First come first served up to 48 bottles total (mix and match as you like), 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.

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