Hello friends. We have fantastic pricing today on a pair of wines from the outstanding Baer Winery, wines that are normally offered at a $43 release price. It took a combination of several factors – our willingness to commit to a significant quantity, my wanting to push our TPU discount a little deeper than normal – to hit our TPU tag today, and I think our list members will be enormously pleased. These are wines that deliver great pleasure and over-deliver even at their normal tariff in the $40s. At our pricing today, it’s back-up-the-truck time. Anyone looking for holiday gifts that look (and drink) like $60 bottles should pay careful attention today.
For a good primer on this winery, whose story is one of tragedy and renewal, I recommend Andy Perdue’s article from August 2015 in Great Northwest Wine. Another important note is that all Baer wines are 100% from Stillwater Creek Vineyard. Now, onto the wines:
2013 Baer Ursa
This wine has really become a phenomenon, landing on Wine Spectator’s 2011 Top 100 list (spot #6) for the 2008 vintage, and then again on last year’s Top 100 (spot #28) for the 2012 vintage (a wine we offered, I might add, at 39.99/36.99 TPU).
It is a right-bank Bordeaux blend, predominantly Cab Franc and Merlot (42% each), rounded out with Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, and aged for about two years in 100% French oak (about half new). It begins with an attractive nose of red fruit, dusty earth, and cedar, with lovely leafy autumnal nuance. The palate is a charming blend of Merlot generosity and Cab Franc structure and perfume. This is elegant, polished, offering complexity and robust structure, especially in the form of fine-grained finishing tannins, redolent of chamomile. Just a baby, this got better and better with each passing hour open.
International Wine Report (Owen Bargreen): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]93pts.”
2013 Baer Arctos
Arctos is Baer’s left-bank Bordeaux blend, always predominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, but in 2013 seeing a huge proportion of Cab (84%), the remainder equal parts Cab Franc and Petit Verdot. This too spent just shy of two years in French oak (80% new) before going into bottle in July 2015, where it has now had another two-plus years to evolve and unwind. It’s drinking beautifully, offering the prototypical Washington four-corners Cabernet: fruit (cassis, black plum), earth (good clean soil), savory/herbal (golden beet, poblano pepper), barrel (smoky high-cacao chocolate). This has real palate impact. If Ursa’s watchword is elegance, Arctos’ is power. It’s a total palate-stainer, from front to back. The back-end is all toothsome finishing chew, with length to spare and a lovely last impression of green tea.
International Wine Report (Owen Bargreen): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD] 93pts.”