Hello friends. Full Pull’s soon-to-be-next-door-neighbor Andrew Latta came by recently to pour the excellent debut vintages of his new project, Disruption Wine Company. I had to check my records to see when I first met Andrew. Turns out it was January 2011, still fairly early days at Full Pull. I met him on a Walla Walla research trip, where he was the behind-the-scenes assistant winemaker at K Vintners.
I remember coming away from that meeting thinking that Andrew was a thoughtful, talented, creative winemaker. And so pretty much every time I saw him in subsequent years, I asked him: when are you going to start your own label? Turns out the answer was 2015, a year where Andrew and Charles finally parted ways, and where Andrew began selling his higher-end Latta label (we’ve offered several of those wines), as well as developing Disruption for the value tier.
What was especially impressive tasting through the Disruption lineup was a clear point of view, a clear house style. That’s rare for a debutante, but Disruption is a debutante in name only. Andrew has been doing this – and doing it well – for a very long time.
Andrew developed a strong relationship with the Milbrandt brothers during his time with K Vintners, and that relationship serves him well here. This Chardonnay comes almost entirely (94%) from Milbrandt-farmed Evergreen Vineyard in the Ancient Lakes AVA (the remaining 6% is from another Ancient Lakes site: Two Mountain).
Evergreen is a truly special place to grow white wine in Washington. In my opinion, the Columbia Gorge AVA and Ancient Lakes AVA are the two pre-eminent spots to grow white varieties in the state, and Evergreen is without question the flagship vineyard of Ancient Lakes. You can see how the AVA – approved in 2012 – got its name pretty quickly by looking at Evergreen’s location on our flyover video. The site is wild and well worth a visit. Walk a few steps past the end of the vineyard rows and you’ll wind up dropping off a cliff and swimming in one of the Ancient Lakes. It is an extreme spot to grow wine grapes, with its cliffside location and its soil dotted with massive chunks of caliche (calcium carbonate deposits).
And it seems to impart an insistent minerality in every white wine it touches. Including this one, which kicks off with a big aromatic hit of chalky mineral, melded with fresh tree fruits like apples and pears. Despite the warm vintage, this conveys a serious alpine character, with a wonderful citric-mineral spine and loads of nervy energy. It’s propulsive, refreshing Chardonnay, crisp and clean and just full of charm and character. So many sub-$15 Chardonnays are disappointing dullards; it’s really some kind of pleasure to taste this one.
The Cabernet here (82% of the blend, the remainder Merlot and Malbec and PV) comes again from two Milbrandt-farmed sites: Katherine Leone and Purple Sage, both on the Wahluke Slope. It clocks in at 13.5% listed alc, which is fairly low in a warm vintage. It’s clear to me that Andrew is dialing in his picking decisions to encourage wines with fresh fruit character and natural acidity, as opposed to a riper style.
“Cab is not Cab without pyrazine,” Andrew said during our tasting. That also jibes with harvesting earlier, because as Cabernet gets riper, the pyrazine character (the compound in certain grape varieties that results in “green” notes) tends to disappear. Many winemakers run screaming from pyrazines; Andrew embraces them. The result is a wine with terrific green complexities: lovely threads of tobacco leaf and mint running through a core of pure blackcurrant Cabernet fruit. This is lifted, juicy, and (again) downright charming. Tannins are present but sneakily fine-grained and supple. The overall package conveys a real sense of modernity. This feels very much like the direction towards which a lot of influential palates are moving, with an emphasis on purity and fresh fruit character, as opposed to overt ripeness and oak. These wines really are a great pleasure to drink.
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.