Full Pull For A Song

Hello friends. The first time we offered today’s wine (2009 vintage), it became our biggest-selling item of all-time (only recently surpassed by the 2012 Secret Squirrel Cab) and essentially forced us to move warehouses. That was back in 2012. The next time we offered it (2012 vintage), it became the biggest mover of 2014 (it’s still in our top five of all time) and made me feel very wise about moving to a large warehouse.

Both of those previous vintages went out at [PRICE WITHHELD]. Today we’re able to do even better:

2014 For A Song Syrah

The years when this wine is really excellent tend to be the warmer, higher-yielding vintages, so it should be no surprise that the 2014 is outstanding. Known as a high-quality/high-yield vintage across the northwest, it has led to all sorts of wonderful buying opportunities at sub-$20 prices, as juice usually intended for higher-price bottlings gets cascaded down into value labels like For A Song.

Since it was all the way back in November 2013 that we last offered a new vintage of this wine, allow me to re-introduce the concept: For A Song grew like a sapling out of the ashes of the dearly-departed Olsen Estates winery. The Olsen family had been growing grapes in the Yakima Valley for 40 years when, in 2006, they decided to launch a winery to feature their fruit and build the brand of the vineyard. That winery, which crushed grapes only through the 2009 harvest, was terrific, and the wines produced never lacked for positive reviews. The problem was never with grapegrowing or winemaking; it was always with selling. Entering a competitive market, in a recession, without a distributor, proved too great a challenge to overcome.

When Olsen Estates went out of business, all their juice, in bottle and barrel, was purchased by their distributor (Vinum), who created the For A Song label as a house brand to find happy homes for all that quality juice. Since then, the project has been such a runaway success that Vinum has kept the band together. It is still Kyle Johnson, the former winemaker at Olsen Estates, making the wines, and he seems to have a real knack for Syrah.

This is indeed 100% Syrah, and it comes from three sites under the Sagemoor family of vineyards: Weinbau, Sagemoor, and Wooded Island. It spent sixteen months in barrel, of which 20% were fourth- and fifth-fill (the remainder completely neutral). Aromatically, this has plenty in common with the ’09 and the ’12: lovely white-flower topnotes and espresso bass notes surrounding a core of good Yakima Valley blueberry and boysenberry fruit and silty minerals. The texture (14.4% listed alc) is impressively dense and unctuous for a wine at this price point. There’s a real sense of presence here, of weight and character, and the overall package brings an enormous amount of aesthetic pleasure. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if this vintage keeps the streak alive, and this winds up as our biggest seller of 2017.

Wedding planners, party planners, folks needing a Tuesday night house wine: this is a fine candidate. First come first served up to 60 bottles, and the wine should arrive in a week or two, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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