Full Pull Morgan Is Having A Moment

Hello friends. I think many of you know that – in addition to my writing duties for Full Pull – I’m also the lead wine writer for Seattle Magazine. The just-released August issue continues the Mag’s annual set of wine awards, always one of my favorite write-ups.

This year’s article was especially fun to write, in no small part because one of my best buddies in the wine trade – Morgan Lee of Two Vintners – popped up all over the article. He was named Winemaker to Watch, and then his Syrahs won two of the three Syrah categories (amazing in a blind, competitive, multi-judge format). Combine that with Morgan’s recent eye-popping 95pt Wine Spectator review for his Stoney Vine Syrah (we offered that one back in January; I’m sure you’ll all be shocked to hear that it’s sold out), and I think we can safely say that Morgan is having a moment.

To celebrate that moment, we’re reoffering one of his award-winning wines from Seattle Mag, as well as offering three quick-hitters on a trio of fantastic new releases.

[Quick note for anyone concerned with conflict of interest. Seattle Mag uses a small nominating panel (I’m a member) and then a larger panel for voting on the “people and places” awards and for judging the nominated wines in each category. All that to say: while I have a large role in writing about the winners, I have a very small role in helping to select them.]

2013 Two Vintners Syrah Columbia Valley
Originally offered on June 15, 2015, and since then, it was named as Sean Sullivan’s Weekly Wine Pick in Seattle Met ([TEXT WITHHELD].) It then went onto win Seattle Magazine’s award for Best Syrah, $21-$40, besting several bottlings nearly twice as expensive.

Here’s what we originally said about it: …a real pan-Washington Syrah, coming from five vineyards in five separate AVAs: Olsen (Yakima Valley), Discovery (Horse Heaven), Klipsun (Red Mountain), Stonetree (Wahluke Slope), and Stoney Vine (Walla Walla Valley). It also sees a 2% Roussanne coferment, which always adds one more layer of complexity to an already-complex wine. It was raised in large French puncheons (almost all used or neutral), and it clocks in at 14.4% listed alc.

Sniffed blind, I think I would have pegged this as Owen Roe’s Ex Umbris. It has that same insistent smoky quality; just lovely. Those wafts of smoke surround a core of blackberry and blueberry fruits, dark loamy earth, and smoldering charcoal. That nose practically cries out to fire up the barbeque and grill something. In the mouth, this is intense, deep, openly delicious, another fine example of the easy charm of the 2013 vintage. There’s great presence and palate-weight here, complemented by bright acidity, and it finishes with an earthy kick of soft dusty tannins. Pass the smoked brisket. Pass the pulled pork.

2015 Two Vintners Grenache Blanc
There are a few producers (Syncline, Kerloo, Two Vintners) doing exciting work with Grenache Blanc, which is still a real rarity in Washington. This version comes entirely from the inimitable Boushey Vineyard, and was raised in two-thirds neutral oak, one-third stainless steel. It clocks in at 13.9% listed alc and offers a lovely nose of honeydew melon, lemon, and salt air. A round, soft, easy drinker, this balances its fruit and salty-mineral tones beautifully; so too its fleshy fruit and juicy acidity.

2014 Two Vintners Zinfandel Stonetree Vineyard
This is such an honest, audacious Zinfandel, and it comes from one of the few sites in Washington suitable for thermophilic Zin. Stonetree Vineyard occupies a perfect south-facing spot right at the top of the Wahluke Slope, where it soaks up growing degree days like a sponge during the entire growing season. A site that’s warm, a vintage that’s warm, a variety that loves photosynthesizing sunshine into sugar: add it all up, and you get 16.9% listed alc. But fear not: this never ventures into fire-breathing dragon territory. It holds its alcohol beautifully, drinking ripe and rich and openly delicious with big brambly raspberry, star anise, and tomato paste notes. I argued in another Seattle Mag piece (this one from July) that Zinfandel is an appropriate – nay, patriotic – summer red, to be paired with fatty cheeseburgers during any and all summer cookouts.

2013 Two Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon Legit
This is like the Cabernet version of the Columbia Valley Syrah; it’s Morgan’s well-priced, pan-Washington Cab. Check out the all-star list of Cabernet vineyards: Discovery (Horse Heaven Hills), Dineen (Yakima Valley), Kiona and Klipsun (Red Mountain), Pepper Bridge (Walla Walla Valley), Stonetree (Wahluke Slope). Aged in approximately 70% new French oak (that’s luxury treatment for a $30 wine), this clocks in at 14.7% listed alc and offers a nose of blackcurrant and black tea, violet and cocoa powder. Basically, it smells like expensive Cabernet. The palate features a high-toned mix of black fruit and dark soil/mineral elements. There are threads of smoke throughout, and dustings of exotic spice (clove, cardamom). The tannin structure screams Cabernet, all medium-grained toothsome chew, a finishing touch of espressoey bite. This offers depth and intensity to spare at its price point.

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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