Hello friends. Quick turnaround offer today. This one was originally scheduled for closer to the holidays, but a strong review in Wine Spectator Insider has moved it up out of necessity:
Wine Spectator (Harvey Steiman): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 93pts.”
A few of you e-mailed to ask how this fits into our Spectator Top 100 analysis. I’d put the odds at about 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 that this makes the year-end list. Its closest northwest comparable is the 2006 Goose Ridge Vireo Columbia Valley, which landed the #41 spot on the 2010 list. That one was 93pts | $25 | 900 cases; today’s Scratch is 93pts | $28 | 650 cases. It has a puncher’s chance, and if production were a little higher, I’d feel really confident about it making the list.
Across the country, however, folks aren’t taking any chances. The main reason this offer moved up on the calendar is that Chris Gorman very kindly gave me a call to say that his Texas distributor wanted every last bottle available. He wanted to give our list members a crack at it before it all became Lone Star State-bound, but we needed to turn the offer around quickly. So here we are. I’ll be aiming to get numbers to Chris Tuesday morning, so please do try to place order requests by Monday night, and we’ll do our best to fulfill them.
We offered the inaugural 2013 vintage of this wine a little more than a year ago. As a reminder, it features Quintessence Vineyard, a site to file away in the corner of your brain that keeps track of up-and-coming Washington vineyards. Quintessence is a relatively new site on Red Mountain, and I have heard nothing but raves from the winemakers working with the fruit. Eric Degerman of Great Northwest Wine wrote a great article back in 2014 about Marshall Edwards, the gentleman who is managing this site. It was planted in 2010, so it’s still early days for usable fruit from Quintessence. And wow, if it’s this good young, the future is seriously bright for this site.
Quintessence Cabernet makes up the majority of Old Scratch. The young vines give a big crop, and Chris ends up with enough fruit that it makes sense to essentially bottle the vineyard on its own, raising it entirely in used wood. It’s noteworthy right away for its crazy color density: inky red-black. That theme of density/intensity continues when tasting the wine. It’s a polished palate-stainer, coating the mouth with an attractive mix of rich red fruit, minerals, and savory tones of olive and chile pepper. What a provocative expression of Red Mountain terroir this is!
As I mentioned, there’s huge demand out there for this one, so it’s a one-and-done offer. Consider this both first call and last call. Please limit order requests to 6 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. 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.