Hello friends. Peter Devison is quietly killing it as Efeste’s winemaker. Hired in 2012 after founding winemaker Brennon Leighton was recruited to Team Charles Smith, he has managed to continue the house style Brennon inaugurated while still managing to put his own stamp on things.
Today we have a pair of wines – one white, one red – that are always near the top of the Efeste lineup for me. They display what makes this winery so great: thoughtful fruit sourcing paired with winemaking dedicated to expression of place.
Evergeen Vineyard, part of the still-relatively-new Ancient Lakes AVA, sits on a giant bed of uplifted caliche in a corner formed by the Columbia River to the west and the Ancient Lakes to the north. It’s a site prized for the chalky mineral spine it seems to impart to all the white grapes grown there. Evergreen does great with Sauvignon Blanc, great with Chardonnay, great with Pinot Gris. But it has built its reputation on Riesling. As the main source of both Eroica and Charles Smith’s Kung Fu Girl, it has become an ambassador vineyard for Washington Riesling, and for the Ancient Lakes region specifically.
Peter’s version clocks in at 12.5% alc and just 0.8% RS, about as dry a version of Evergreen Riesling as you’ll see. Thrilling and nervy too, with peach and tangerine fruit complicated by loads of chalky minerality and clover honey. On the palate, the delicious citrus and stone fruits are cut through by a laser of intense, mouthwatering acidity. Some dissolved CO2 keeps things lightly spritzy and ultimately vibrant. This is a lovely example of Evergreen Riesling, and well-reviewed by two critics known as tough graders:
Wine Enthusiast (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 91pts.”
Vinous (Stephen Tanzer): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 90pts.”
It has been more than four years since we’ve gotten our hands on Jolie Bouche (the 2010 vintage, in Dec 2012), one of the most exciting renditions of Boushey Vineyard Syrah produced in Washington. For the 2013, Peter fermented with 30% stems, and then aged the Syrah in French puncheons, just 20% new. It clocks in at 15.0% listed alc and offers an alluring Boushey nose, with a core of boysenberry fruit overlain with savory subtleties galore: smoked sausages, black olives, earth. This has a real old-world/new-world tweener character aromatically, like Crozes-Hermitage meets Washington. Palate-wise, this could only be new world, with its generous fruit, its pillowy seamless texture. It’s such a soft, seductive easy drinker that you could almost be forgiven for missing all the smoky meaty subtleties. Almost.
Wine Spectator (Harvey Steiman): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 93pts.”
Please limit order requests to 24 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.