Hello friends. This time of year is crazy in the wine trade. Wineries trying to make hay while the sun shines know that the sun shines particularly bright during the holiday season, and then is basically extinguished for much of the months of January and February. So the deals fly fast and thick this time of year, and our offer calendar becomes fluid. Offers scheduled for December get bumped to January. Wines not even on my radar a week ago jump the line.
Today’s offer is a great example. We were planning on working with these wines in early 2017, but Chris Gorman offered special December pricing on a pair of wines, both of which are set to receive strong reviews in the Dec 31 issue of Wine Spectator; a compelling enough holiday deal to move into a coveted December slot:
Wine Spectator (Harvey Steiman): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 91pts.”
Chris launched his Chardonnay-only Ashan Cellars label with the 2012 vintage. The philosophy of this project: to use historical and well-managed vineyards, press very lightly, allow native yeast fermentation, wild ML, extensive battonage, long ferments and extended barrel and bottle aging. Along with his single-vineyard Chardonnays, Chris releases one that is a blend of several of his vineyards. While the single vineyard bottlings are $50, the blend comes out a year earlier and is usually sold for $25 (we have considerably lower holiday pricing today).
This vintage contains fruit from Boushey, Conner Lee, and Lonesome Springs Vineyards. It is barrel fermented (guess that’s obvious from the name) in 100% new French oak, then aged on the lees for seven months in once-used French oak. It offers densely packed layers of fruit: stone (peach, nectarine) and tropical (pineapple, mango) mostly, but with pert veins of citrus acidity as well. All of that delicious fruit is creamy–textured thanks to the barrel fermentation, which also contributes complicating threads of vanilla bean and woodsmoke. This is full-throttle, pleasurable Chardonnay; an outstanding winter white.
Wine Spectator (Harvey Steiman): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 92pts.”
At its normal $30 release price, this has always been the lowest-priced red in Gorman’s main lineup, and it is often like a baby Evil Twin, predominantly Syrah and Cab (here it’s 79% Syrah, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, the remainder Petit Verdot). Zachary is 100% Red Mountain fruit (Klispun, Kiona, Ciel Du Cheval, Quintessance, Shaw, Obelisco), and it is rare indeed to see high-quality Red Mountain blends at this price point.
All that good Red Mountain fruit was aged for 20 months in once-used French oak. Listed alc is 14.5%, and this begins with a dark nose combining berry fruits from Syrah (blueberry) and Cab (blackberry) with notes of espresso and dusty earth. Rich, supple, and generous, this is a powerful expression of Red Mountain fruit at a very accessible price point. Tannins are polished and fine-grained; this feels like the hand of a confident winemaker at work.
First come first served up to 24 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.