Full Pull Into The Tranches

Hello friends. Did you hear the news? As of the beginning of March, we’d only had three sunny, mild days in Seattle since October 11th, 2016. Count them—October 11th, November 8th, and February 13th were the only three days that had both moderate temperatures and less than 30% cloud coverage in over four months. That’s approximately 30 hours and 51 minutes of warm, daylight sunshine in a total of over 3,000 hours. Do you know what that means? It means that the sneaking depression you’ve been feeling—the one that encourages you to stay in bed, only eat carbs, and wash your sorrows away with big, beefy reds—it’s real. And you’re not alone.

Collectively, we are suffering from a significant lack of vitamin D. Thankfully, daylight savings has hit and things are on the up and up. (Hell, the “sunset” jumped all the way to after 7:00 pm this week!) Though the rain and gloom seem to be socked in for the moment, those perfect Pacific Northwest 75 degree days and 10:00 pm sunsets can’t be too far off. This type of good news can only mean one thing—it’s time to stock up on those perfect PNW rosés to match those pink evening skies.

2016 Tranche Rose Pink Pape

**In case you’ve missed the Tranche train in years past, here’s a quick recap for you. Originally intended as a sister winery to Corliss Estates that would focus on white wines, Tranche Cellars has since evolved into a compelling exploration of the Corliss estate vineyards (and some carefully chosen purchased fruit). Tranche also seems to act as a place where winemaker Andrew Trio is allowed to riff a little—to be a little more experimental. If Corliss is the straight-laced older sibling (three wines released each year, like clockwork), Tranche is the exuberant, artistic youngster, and a precocious kid at that.**

Cue the sounds of hearts breaking across the state of Washington. Tranche’s super succulent Pink Pape Rosé is a wine we have had to sharply allocate in several previous vintages. .

This single-vineyard provençal rosé blends three traditional grapes of Châteaunuef-du-Pape—Grenache, Counoise, and Cinsault. All of the grapes come from Blackrock Estate Vineyard in Yakima Valley, which is a stone’s throw from Red Mountain. Hand harvested and whole cluster pressed, a gentle and rapid press cycle leads to the alluring, nearly translucent salmon-pink color of this wine.

The nose is delicate with strawberry, wildflowers, and citrus—orange blossom, lemon peel, and pink grapefruit. The palate has wild acidity, the kind you want in a summer afternoon wine, that gets rounded out with white peach, red-blushed nectarines, and a hint of something tropical—Guava perhaps? Crushed river rock minerality and acid take this wine to the finish line and as you swallow your first taste, one word comes to mind: yum.

Now, even though summer is coming, that doesn’t mean it’s here yet. If you’re not in the mood to start on the pink juice quite this early, Tranche has plenty of excellent, well-reviewed reds to keep you warm until Seattle feels the sun once again. One of the most exciting things about the current lineup of reds from Tranche is that they are all from 2012, a stellar vintage for Washington wines. Smack-dab between a couple years of cold, cold vintages and a few burning hot ones, ‘12 wines are an homage to classic Evergreen state wine making. They are all incredibly balanced wines that are drinking well now and will continue to grow into their fruit, acidity, and tannins for decades.

The other highlight of both wines offered below is that they come from the estate Blue Mountain Vineyard. The core vineyard for the Tranche label, BMV sits next to Leonetti’s Loess Vineyard in the eastern Walla Walla Valley and is named for it’s location—along a bluff at the exact spot where the Blue Mountains run into the city. Many of you might remember that this planting ground used to be Neuffer Estate Vineyard when Nicholas Cole Cellars was still alive and kicking—and that it is known for making spectacular wines.

2012 Tranche Cabernet Franc Estate – $39.99 (TPU $31.99)

[Note: Tranche has some terrific spring pricing in place on their reds for those of us willing to go deep on volume. You’ll see that special pricing reflected in our TPU tags today.]

Tranche’s Cab Franc is a remarkable example of this variety being grown in Washington. The nose covers floral delicacy, red fruit, and savory herbs. It’s got that slight touch of old world funk which makes Cab Franc so enticing—my tasting notes literally read, this smells like a library where a fruit fight just happened. The palate moves further into the worlds of fruit and savor, showcasing raspberry, leather, and fresh roasting herbs. This wine is textured and strong, yet surprisingly crisp for 14.8% alcohol, with striking acidity and tannins that match equally hefty fruit.

Wine Advocate (Jeb Dunnuck): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD] 93pts.”

To order this wine, click here

2012 Tranche Syrah Estate

Washington Syrahs can be easily separated into two categories—the funk and the fruit. Tranche’s ‘12 Syrah is a beautiful example of the fruit. Though this wine is all about Eastern Walla Walla, the nose feels true to the grape as well—it is pure fresh ground pepper and enticing as all get-out. Leading with that sneezy tickle, the nose continues with bold, juicy notes of black raspberry and currant and dried herbs. The palate is centered around plush tannins with a bit of grip and pure fruit, with solid acidity and texture. It clocks in at 14.9% alcohol and was basically made to be drank during the dark, wet days of Seattle’s seemingly neverending winter.

Wine Advocate (Jeb Dunnuck): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD] 93pts.”

Please limit order requests to 36 bottles total (mix and match as you like) and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. All 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.

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