Hello friends. We have the very limited set of autumn releases for Corliss today, with allocations barely big enough to warrant an offer. This is the first vintage since the 2008s where we’re able to offer both wines. In 2009, we could only offer the Cabernet Sauvignon in magnum, and in 2010, we couldn’t offer it at all.
We’ve written about Corliss at length in the past. For today, let’s offer the condensed version: Corliss only releases three wines outside the winery: a Syrah each spring, and a Cabernet and BDX Blend in the autumn. They’re noteworthy because they hold their wines about as long as anyone in the state before release. So while most Cabernets on the market right now are 2013 (along with plenty of 2014s, and – eek! – I even tasted my first 2015 Cab recently), Corliss is just getting ready to release their 2011s, a cool vintage subsequently followed by five warmer-than-average vintages. With five years ageing in barrel and bottle, Corliss wines are usually much further along the path towards integration and complexity than their peer releases.
As it seems to go every vintage, the Cab is the slight favorite for the professional reviewers (recall also, when reading the Tanzer reviews, that he is notoriously reticent with points, so these are impressive reviews indeed). I always tend towards more of a split decision. The blend is always compelling for its earlier-drinking character; the Cab for its dark, brooding soul. The good news, of course, is that there’s no need to choose one or the other; we can try both.
In 2011, this was nearly an even one-third split of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. It is dominated (90%) by Red Mountain fruit, and it spent 28 months in 65% new French oak.
Vinous (Stephen Tanzer): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94+?pts.”
[Tanzer context note: after 93pt reviews for five out of six vintages from 2005-2010 – and a 92pt review for the 2006 – this 2011 finally broke through and earned a 94+?, which is a truly excellent review from Tanzer.]
This Cabernet, which mixes fruit from Corliss’ Red Mountain properties with glorious old-vine material from other parts of the state, saw a slightly higher proportion of new oak than the blend – 70% vs 65% – and the same amount of time in barrel (28 months). This is consistently among the most compelling Cabernets produced in Washington.
Vinous (Stephen Tanzer): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 95+?pts.”
[Tanzer context notes: this 95pt review ties for Corliss Cab’s strongest ever (with the 2007, 2009, and 2010 vintages). I should also note that, in Tanzer’s annual set of Washington reviews published in 2014, only one wine earned a stronger review. That was 2011 Cayuse Bionic Frog at 96+?pts. The only other wines earning 95s were 2011 Quilceda Creek Cab, 2011 Leonetti Cab, and 2011 Cayuse Syrah En Chamberlin; heady company to be sure].
Please limit order requests to 12 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.