Hello friends. New vintage today of a Washington Cabernet that is about as buzzy as buzzy gets around these parts, and it is being offered via pre-sell. I talked about this a few times last year, but it seems like we’re entering a second age of the pre-sell. I missed the first age. By the time Full Pull launched in 2009, the economy was so lousy that most pre-sells had gone the way of the wooly mammoths. But there was a time in the early 2000s where a wine selling its entire production run via presell was not uncommon. And offers like today’s make me wonder if we’re seeing the beginnings of a return.
Here is an excerpt of the e-mail I just received from Upchurch Vineyard’s Seattle representatives:
Earlier this year we saw the release of the 2013 Upchurch Cabernet Sauvignon happen on February 1st and it was pretty much sold out by February 2nd. This wine has certainly developed a life of its own over the last few years, which shouldn’t be surprising since we’re talking about one of the state’s best winemakers making the state’s best varietal from what many argue is the best appellation in the state for Cabernet Sauvignon, the Red Mountain AVA. An early Christmas present for all of us! Does Chris Upchurch need an introduction? Probably not, but in case you don’t know, he’s the founding and current winemaker at DeLille Cellars, and one of the original partners. Chris was fortunate enough to obtain land and plant a 20 acre vineyard of his own on Red Mountain that is now producing incredible fruit, and the result is that hard work is one singular wine comprised of arguably Washington State’s best varietals…Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Chris spent time researching clones to see what was best suited to plant on Red Mountain, and when you have friends like Dick Boushey and Jim Holmes to assist in journey, it’s no surprise that the wine in very short time has garnered nothing the highest praise from consumers and critics alike. The 2014 Cabernet will be available to ship beginning Monday, December 5th. Requests will be taken through Friday, December 2nd.
Now you might be saying to yourself: wait, requests will be taken through Dec 2? Isn’t today Dec 11? Well, I asked for, and was fortunately granted, a small extension. But we need to submit our order tomorrow, so please do try to get all order requests in by Monday at noon Seattle time. And then we should have the wine in the warehouse later this week and available for pickup during our remaining open days.
Okay, now for some reminders on this project: Chris Upchurch is a giant in the Washington wine scene. As an original partner in DeLille Cellars, and as the founding and current winemaker for that fine winery, he has produced some of Washington’s most breathtaking bottles. For his own label, he has built everything from the ground up. One vineyard parcel on Red Mountain, planted in 2007 in consultation with Jim Holmes of Ciel du Cheval and managed by Dick Boushey. One wine made from that plot each vintage.
His first two vintages were the cool years of 2010 and 2011, and yet the wines were still instantly successful and nearly impossible to source (Jeb’s 95pt review of the inaugural 2010 certainly didn’t hurt). The vast majority of production is sold direct through the winery doors, and what’s left is mostly allocated to restaurants. The amounts available for the 2010 and 2011 just didn’t make sense for us (I was envisioning torches and pitchforks), and the amounts available for the 2012 and 2013 (which we offered) only barely made sense. I have high hopes that we can score a full allocation this time, but no promises.
Wine Advocate (Jeb Dunnuck): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 93-95+pts.”
Please limit order requests to 12 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive later this week, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.