Hello friends. The flow of releases from the exceptional 2012 vintage in Washington has slowed to a trickle, and today, we have one of the finest late-release ‘12s I have tasted this year, from a winery well-loved by Full Pull list members:
2012 Tulpen Cellars Coalesence
Tulpen Cellars is one of the most fervently-loved wineries we work with. Our first Tulpen offer was in May 2010, and we’ve offered just about every Tulpen bottle produced since. It’s one of Full Pull’s relationships I’m most proud of: a great winery with some of the best dollar-for-dollar wines in the Walla Walla Valley and genuine, generous folks at the helm. I’m pretty sure we’re the only source for these wines west of the mountains. Hell, we might be the only source for these wines outside of Kenny Hart’s back door.
Kenny Hart is one of the premier growers in the Walla Walla Valley (you may recall that he began Tulpen as a way to make his growing – which is his main gig – even better), and so it should come as no surprise that he’s among the vanguard of “dryland” (non-irrigated) farming. His focus is on the Mill Creek drainage, the area in the eastern part of the Walla Walla Valley where Mill Creek Road passes Abeja and continues climbing up into the foothills of the Blue Mountains. There are two exciting frontiers currently in Wallyworld: the Sevein area down south, and the Mill Creek drainage up in the northeast. As the drainage gains elevation, the Blues start to wring moisture out of the atmosphere, so you also gain annual precipitation: just enough to support viticulture without added water. The progress of these dryland-farmed sites is fascinating, and there’s no better place to witness their development than through Tulpen.
Coalesence is Kenny’s Bordeaux blend, and over the years, it has become a huge hit among Full Pullers. We’ve offered five previous vintages, and I’m not sure any have been as successful as this one. It is a 60/40 Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend, entirely from a pair of Mill Creek sites: Yellow Bird (all the Merlot, and two-thirds of the Cab) and Tokar (the remainder of the Cab). It was aged entirely in French oak, 35% new. Listed alc is 14.5%, and this begins with a nose of deep cherry and red plum fruit, complemented by cocoa, star anise, and this wonderful dusty earthiness that is rapidly becoming a signature of this part of the valley. Rich, intense, and concentrated, this is so openly delicious that you could be forgiven for missing its inherent complexity and ribald earthy charm. The finish (long, satisfying) returns to the dusty notes of the nose via robust, toothsome tannins. This is a balanced, characterful delight; an exciting expression of a pocket of Washington still in its early days of exploration.
Please limit requests to 12 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive in a few weeks, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.