Hello friends. We have a new vintage of one of our most popular Full Pull & Friends wines to date: CVBDX. We’ve only offered it once before – the 2007 vintage, back in May 2014 – and it sold out soon thereafter.
This is also notable because – barring something very unexpected – it will be the only red wine we release under the FP&F banner this year.
2009 Full Pull & Friends CVBDX (FPF-21)
Since this is our only red FP&F wine of the year, it seems like as good a time as any to offer some reminders on what this program is all about:
Reminder #1: The Concept
This is far from an original concept in the great big world of wine. For generations, merchant-negociants in Europe, in addition to buying finished bottles, have purchased juice and/or grapes for their own labels. And every time I’m in northwest wine country, I’m tasting not just finished bottles but plenty of juice from barrel as well. In Full Pull’s early years, we simply didn’t meet the volume requirements necessary to bring wines like this to fruition. But starting in 2013, we surged past that level, and the FP&F program was born.
Reminder #2: The Name
Full Pull & Friends. Two clauses. The first (Full Pull) matters because this is juice that we believe in, that we *want* to put our name on, that we feel represents extraordinary value for our list members. The second (Friends) represents our wonderful list members, whose support of Full Pull has allowed us to reach the point where negociant wines were even possible, as well as our partner winemakers, who love seeing their carefully-tended juice get bottled on its own and offered to folks who they know to be enthusiastic about Washington wine. CVBDX? That’s just shorthand for a Columbia Valley Bordeaux blend. And FPF-21 means this is the 21st bottling under the Full Pull & Friends venture. Of the other 20, all but 3 are sold out (two Merlots and the recent disgorgement of sparkling wine; see this page for details).
Reminder #3: The Winery
In some cases with Full Pull & Friends, we’re able to include the name of the winery involved, and in others (like today’s offer) we’re not. I understand the wineries that don’t want their names revealed. They have brand equity to protect, and they don’t want to see their name splashed on a bottle that costs less than half of their own. What I can say is: this comes from a winery partner we’ve deemed “Winery Alpha.” They were the partner for our first ever FP&F wine (2007 Cabernet Sauvignon), and they were the partner for the 2007 vintage of CVBDX. This is a winery partner we’ve been working with since early 2010, and we’ve offered dozens of their wines over the years.
This particular wine spent a good long time in French oak, about 50% new. The fruit comes from outstanding vineyards (which by agreement must remain nameless), and it is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Malbec (no precise percentages, but the varieties are in order of their proportion in the blend).
I suspect that those of you who liked the 07 CVBDX are going to dig this bottle as well. The two are stylistically similar, with the main differences coming from the vintages involved. The 2007 was more structured at this stage. The 2009, from a warmer, more generous year, is – no surprise – more approachable and openly delicious. And of course what makes this CVBDX exciting is what made the original exciting: age. It is rare indeed to access well-made Washington wines at eight years past vintage, a special window into how wines from our region evolve and unfurl over time.
This one clocks in at 14.9% alc and begins with a nose combining black fruit, both fresh and dried (plums, blackberries, cassis), with espresso and cedar and deep loamy soil notes. The palate is pillowy-smooth: silky, supple, and seamless, any rough edges long ago sanded down by the power of bottle age. The remaining tannins, those that haven’t integrated yet, are fine-grained and lovely, providing a finish redolent of English breakfast tea and suggesting a wine in early peak drinking, with another five to ten happy peak years ahead.
One more point worth remembering: this is a special bottle, exclusive to our list members. Outside of the Full Pull list, there is no place else to source these. They are one-off treats for our list members, and in some ways, by our list members. Please limit order requests to 12 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine is in the warehouse and ready for immediate pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.