Hello friends. One of the most exciting additions to our little neighborhood for Team Full Pull—and all our list members who have tasted there—is Latta Wines. Andrew Latta is the real deal. From the care and attention that it takes to keep wines in barrel and bottle for four years before release in a new world that focuses on quick turnaround to the sheer knowledge that this man possesses about viticulture and hospitality, Andrew sets himself apart. His wines are elegant, refined, and thoughtful. And that proves to be his house style—the interwoven qualities that connect his honeysuckled Roussanne to his structured, deep-purple Malbec.
Latta is currently only open for tasting on Saturdays—so our list members who tend to visit on Thursdays and Fridays don’t always have a chance to see his wines. However, this will all be changing soon—with more open hours and more tasting days—and that means more people getting access to this killer juice. Latta is one of those wineries that may be hard to get your hands on in a few years. The points add up, his production is small and boutiquey, and to top it off, he’s the kind of guy you want to have a beer with—this is just the beginning for his winery.
So, before all of that happens, he’s givens us access to some of his best wines. The last little parcels of high scoring hitters that have been tucked away for an opportunity just like this. Today we’re offering the absolute last bottles of his 2013 Roussanne, his 2012 Grenache and 2013 GSM (which will be around for a bit longer), and as a special treat, the 2011 Malbec, which is the highest rated Malbec in Washington state history, and only exists in the four cases he has given us access to. These vintages of the Malbec and Roussanne are now exclusively available for Full Pull members until they sell out.
2013 Latta Wines Roussanne Lawrence Vineyard
Last week, Andrew and I met up to talk about these wines and taste through the lineup again. One of the major questions I had was about the intention behind keeping his wines for a few years before release—especially the white offerings. His answer was quite simple: he thinks people are drinking whites—especially those from the Rhône—too early. And he might just be right, because this Roussanne shows off the great things that can come from patience. The color presents golden and shining in the glass. On the nose, it’s honeysuckle, wet granite, and creamy lemon meringue. The palate is structured, polished, and rich with intense minerality.
Wine Enthusiast (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD] 92 pts”
A trend I’ve started to notice in Andrew’s wines is vineyard choice. The vineyards he uses are all special—you can sense the time and energy that was put into finding them and deciding to use that fruit specifically. Lawrence Vineyard, which gives Andrew his Roussanne, is a cool site in the Frenchman Hills of Columbia Valley. This is a site that Andrew used to make Viognier with when he worked for Charles Smith, however he has always been attached to the Roussanne grown there. He’s worked with Josh Lawrence, the vineyard manager and owner (who is a “particularly nice guy”), to create a distinctive growing technique for these grapes. Roussanne grapes need to be aggressively managed because of how easily they can brown. Andrew and Josh have a program in place that allows increased airflow for the block but offers protection for the grapes on the west side. The process they have in place allows for these grapes to get the long, cool growing season they prefer—and it shows through the wine.
Andrew has given us access to every last bottle that exists of this wine—which is not a huge amount. Unfortunately, there will probably be no reorder potential.
2012 Latta Wines Grenache Upland Vineyard
This is the wine that got me hooked on Andrew Latta. There are a couple notable things about this wine—beyond how ridiculously good it tastes. It’s all from Upland Vineyard on Snipes Mountain, which is a unique spot to Washington. Its geological formation has created one of the best growing sites in our state for Grenache.
Grenache loves growing in old riverbed soil. Think about Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a favorite home to most of the Rhône varietals that we know and love. The soil there is made up of mostly rocks (known as galets) that have been smoothed over by years of the Rhône river. Well over 70% of the grapes grown in Châteauneuf are Grenache—these grapes love the warm rocks. Here in Washington, many of our river bed soils are at lower elevations, making growing stubborn Grenache grapes a little harder because of cooler temperatures. Grenache can already be finicky to grow, even in the warm, rocky environments that it likes, and can be even more difficult in areas susceptible to freeze.
Upland Vineyard stands apart because it’s on the anticline formation of Snipes Mountain. In laymen’s terms, anticlines and synclines are folds in the grounds that go up and down (usually together) and are created by compressional stress. Synclines sink into the ground while Anticlines project upward, bringing soil that you would normally find at lower elevations up to higher ones. What that means for grape growing is that Upland Vineyard has perfectly-suited-for-Grenache riverbed soils at elevations that prevent freeze and let these grapes mature perfectly. The result is astounding, and can be seen in the first taste of Latta Grenache.
I could go on and on about this wine. I’ve gifted it to friends, told loved ones about it, and can be usually found trying to talk my way into the half empty bottles that are left after a Saturday tasting. So, I’ll let our friend Sean Sullivan take it away:
Wine Enthusiast (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD] 94pts.”
Note: Latta’s Grenache was also included in Wine Enthusiast’s Top Wines of 2015, the publication’s roundup of the best wines from across the world.
2013 Latta Wines “Latta Latta” GSM
Latta’s GSM blend boasts a blend of 58% Grenache, 23% Syrah, and 19% Mourvedre. The Grenache and Mourvedre all come from Upland Vineyard, the same place Andrew sources his single varietal Grenache and Mourvedre from. The Syrah comes from the rocks, directly from Freewater Rocks Vineyard—and you can tell. This GSM means serious business. The combination of the smooth, gemstone Grenache and the smoky, peppery funk of the rocks elevates this GSM beyond most in Washington—and it has the scores to prove it. We’ve mentioned in previous offers, Sean Sullivan for Wine Enthusiast has only given 10 wines Rhône reds a score of 93 or higher, with those prices ranging from $30 a bottle to $85. Latta’s GSM is the $30 bottle with 93 points.
Wine Enthusiast (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD] 93pts.”
2011 Latta Wines Malbec Northridge Vineyard
When Andrew and I met to talk about this offer last week, we stumbled upon less than 4 cases of his 2011 Malbec tucked away. This is the highest rated Malbec in Washington state history—so we jumped on the opportunity to offer it, even with such a tiny amount.
Wine Advocate (Jeb Dunnuck): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD] 95pts”
Let’s not add insult to injury on this one—I’ll just leave it with that review. We have access to every last bottle of this Malbec in existence.
First come first served up to 24 bottles total of the Grenache and GSM. Please limit order requests to 4 bottles of the Roussanne and the Malbec, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. These wine 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.