Hello friends. One year ago today, we offered our first private-label Syrah: the 2013 from Angela’s Vineyard, a Boushey-managed estate site for Efeste. We went long on that wine, in large part because it seemed pretty clear that the opportunity would be a one-off, with future access to Angela’s Syrah unlikely.
And that has been borne out. We will not have any Angela’s Syrah this year, nor will we have any next year. Good thing we have a decent chunk of the 2013 to hold us over until another strong Syrah opportunity presents itself.
That brings me to another point. At our June open Saturday (hen we poured a few FP&F wines) several folks asked if the pace of Full Pull & Friends wines has slowed down a bit. Astute observation. After releasing eight FP&Fs in 2014 and another seven in 2015, we’ve only had two so far this year (NV Blanc de Blancs, which is sold out; and 2010 RMBDX, which is down to just 5% of original stock remaining), and we only have plans for one more before the end of 2016. We just haven’t seen as many compelling opportunities this year, and I’m not going to put our label on something just to hit some magical number of releases. In years where we see ten great opportunities, we’ll have ten FP&F wines. And in years like this, we’ll have three.
All that to say: I think we have room to reoffer some of our still-available FP&F wines on their offer anniversaries, as we’re doing today. The plan, for now, is to continue to offer this on its anniversary each year until it’s sold out. Will it make it to its 2017 anniversary? We’ve already sold through 61% of our initial stash, and every time we open a bottle and pour it on a Thursday or Saturday pickup day, boxes disappear. Time will tell.
Review of Washington Wines (Rand Sealey): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD].18.5+/20pts.”
This bottling comes from a partner winery whose main-label wines we’ve offered sixteen times, representing almost every wine they’ve produced in their existence. This is an outstanding winery, with a wonderful, skilled winemaker at the helm.
On the vineyard front, Angela’s is a site on Red Mountain owned by Efeste Winery, and it was planted in 2008 by none other than Dick Boushey, who continues to manage it. With Dick at the farming helm, we know we’re starting with pristine Syrah fruit. And this is 100% Syrah, all clone 383, which according to our winemaker “is a great clone on red mountain, emphasizing the meatier side of the grape.” To keep the focus on that meaty fruit, this is done entirely with native yeasts and aged entirely in neutral French oak for 18 months.
As you’d expect from a warm region (Red Mountain) in a warmish vintage, this is a powerhouse, perhaps the richest/most openly delicious wine we’ve put under the FP&F label. Without question it’s the darkest wine we’ve put under this label, pouring into the glass somewhere on the color spectrum between purple and black. It’s inky juice, from core to rim.
The nose begins with a core of deep, brambly berry fruit – marionberry and blackberry especially – complicated by notes of cracked black pepper and smoky/earthy peat moss. With time and air, a lovely kelpy umami note emerges. This was a note more prevalent in tasting the wine out of barrel, and it makes me think it will reappear in a more prominent role as this continues to evolve in bottle. [Ed note: this was definitely showing more savory/umami character when we poured it in June than it did a year ago; I expect that trend to continue.] The mouthfeel is already in a wonderful spot, offering richness (14.7% alc) and a real sense of seamlessness, an easy glide path across the entire palate. The winemaker involved here is known for non-fruit subtleties in his/her wines. Even in a warm year and warm site, these earthy grace notes shine through, here in the form of a wonderful sanguine/iron minerality that lingers on the finish.
Drink it young for its wonderful ripe Red Mountain fruit, or age it for four or five years and watch those earth tones move from supporting players to lead roles. Either way, this wine will be a great pleasure bringer. I’m proud of it (in case you couldn’t tell), as I think it compares quite favorably to some of the Red Mountain Syrahs we’ve offered at $45 and up.
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.