Hello friends. Originally intended as a sister winery to Corliss Estates that would focus on white wines, Tranche Cellars has since evolved into a compelling exploration of the Corliss family of estate vineyards (and some carefully chosen purchased fruit) through the prisms of a number of different varieties. It also seems like a place where winemaker Andrew Trio is allowed to riff a little, to be a little more experimental. If Corliss is the straight-laced older sibling (three wines released each year, like clockwork), Tranche is the exuberant youngster, and a precocious kid at that.
While there is overlap in the ownership of the two wineries, they are indeed separate entities, with separate winemaking facilities. One aspect the two wineries share is a determination to release their wines after a considerable amount of barrel and bottle age. To wit, both reds today come from the 2011 vintage (this would be a library release for some wineries!), and the white (a reoffer) comes from 2012.
Tranche also has some terrific holiday pricing in place for those of us willing to go deep on volume. You’ll see that special pricing reflected in our TPU tags:
Originally offered January 24, 2016. Excerpts from the original: One of the truly wonderful aspects of the Corliss/Tranche family of wineries is their willingness to hold their wines before release. I mean, who else is currently releasing 2012 whites? Chardonnay especially tends to benefit from a few years of bottle age. It’s why people get obsessed with collecting old white burgundies.
This one was raised in a combination of new and neutral French oak, as well as concrete, for 18 months, and it has now seen nearly another two years in bottle. It clocks in at 13.8% listed alc and begins with a nose of peach and mango fruit, lactic crème fraiche notes, and nutty/spicy maturing oak. In the mouth, the texture is outstanding, a wonderful balance of plush fruit and bright lemony acid. Intensity is the watchword here; you can practically hear the electricity buzzing as this hums across the palate. What a fantastic expression of Celilo! I think this vineyard has landed in very good hands.
Wine Advocate (Jeb Dunnuck): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 93pts.”
The estate Blue Mountain Vineyard has become the core vineyard for the Tranche label. BMV sits next to Leonetti’s Loess Vineyard, in the deep silt-loam of the eastern Walla Walla Valley. Those of you with long memories might recall that this used to be Neuffer Estate Vineyard when Nicholas Cole Cellars was still alive and kicking. The vineyard was subsequently sold to Tranche and renamed Blue Mountain Vineyard, an apt name. The site sits on a bluff at the exact spot where the Blue Mountains run into the city of Walla Walla. I’ve walked this vineyard, and the view is great, looking west across the greater part of WW. The wines coming off this site have also been spectacular. It was always a terrific source for Nicholas Cole’s Cabernet-heavy wines, and that has only continued at Tranche.
We’ve sold three previous vintages of this Franc, and that’s no mistake; the site is developing a terrific track record with this variety. It clocks in at 14.2% listed alc and offers a mix of peppery mole poblano and black fruit and wild green notes of cress. The 2011 vintage is on fine display here, with its energy and vitality; its lovely acidity and inner mouth perfume. Here’s what Tanzer had to say, and as usual with this points-reticent reviewer, I’d encourage focusing on the tasting note:
Vinous (Stephen Tanzer): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD. 91+?pts.”
Cabernets from the successive cool vintages in Washington (2010, 2011) are really beginning to unfurl into something beautiful these days, and I find them especially appealing because after those two cool years, we’ve then had five vintages in a row warmer than historical average.
Blue Mountain Vineyard produced outstanding Cabernet. It did back in the Nicholas Cole days; it does now. What I love about the site is that it allows for four-corners Cab: fruit (black plum, cassis), earth (good clean soil), savory/herbal (eucalyptus, beetroot), and oak (espresso). A vintage like this makes for a beautifully structured Cabernet, too. The cool year provides plenty of brisk acid; the site and the grape provide beautiful burly tannin, redolent of black tea and perfectly chewy. This drinks like a wine at the start of a lovely window; one with years of fascinating evolution left in the tank.
No reviews yet for this one, but previous vintages have done well with a number of reviewers, including 92+? From Tanzer and 94pts from Paul Gregutt.
Please limit order requests to 36 bottles total (mix and match as you like), and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. 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.