Hello friends. If I had to peg one category of Washington wine that will be considerably more important in ten years than it is today, it would be Grenache-dominant Rhone blends. Growers and winemakers seem to keep putting out better and better versions, and prices seem to keep decreasing. That’s a fine convergence of factors, and it is displayed perfectly by today’s wine:
Expect to be dazzled. This comes screaming up out of the glass with savory goodies: bacon fat and olive brine, smoky earth and seaweed. Yes, there’s marionberry fruit, but you barely notice it amidst all the umami tones. A series of floral topnotes puts the finishing touch on a complex, deeply attractive nose. And the palate continues the theme, with loads of savory funky meaty tones and sanguine minerality balanced by the plump, delicious fruit of a warm vintage. It’s outrageously good for its price, one of my favorite bottlings of 2016 to date.
This is also one where I tasted first, loved it, and only afterwards learned the vineyard sourcing. Once I learned the sites involved, the quality started to make a lot of sense. This is 54% Upland Vineyard Grenache (arguably the best site in the state for Grenache), 38% Boushey Mourvedre, and 8% Blue Mountain Syrah; top-tier sites all. Ryan used 20% whole clusters, aged this entirely in neutral barrels, and the result is a deeply charming bottle of wine.
Production is not huge here (312 cases), but we’re getting in just after release. I didn’t want to waste any time, because this would be an outstanding wedding or party wine. Let’s open it up: first come first served up to 120 bottles, and the wine should arrive in a week or two, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.