Hello friends. This is our final offer of 2018. We’ll plan to stay out of your inboxes until January 6, when you can expect our first offer of 2019. In the meantime, after our open hours today (Saturday; 11am-7pm) we are CLOSED for pickups for the next few weeks, and our first TPU pickup day in 2019 will be Thursday January 10.
Today’s offer will include reorder links for a handful of our well-loved in-house wines – three from the Block Wines line, four from Full Pull & Friends, and one from Starside – but first, we’ll do what we’ve done every year since 2009: excerpt Tennyson’s In Memoriam.
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
I have always loved quoting those stanzas, the way they speak to the cleansing grace of the end of a year. But this year is complicated. My father died, suddenly and unexpectedly, on December 3 (here is a remembrance I wrote soon after). And while I would normally be inclined to keep family matters like this private, that doesn’t seem appropriate for my dad, who had become interwoven with Full Pull over the past few years. He loved working the tasting bar on Thursdays and telling stories. (Some of them were even true.) He loved Full Pull, loved our team, and really loved our list members. So in addition to the thanks I would normally give to you all, for all the support you’ve given to Full Pull in 2018, I also want to say thank you for enlivening and enriching the last years of my dad’s life. We’ll be doing a small ceremony at Full Pull in late January to celebrate my father’s life. If any of you are interested in attending, please just reply to this email and let me know, and I’ll send along details when we have them.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind for those that here we see no more. I’m trying.
Moving to happier topics, this was a wonderful year for Full Pull, a year of surprising growth. Way back on April 23, I christened 2018 “the year of the deal” and my goodness was that borne out by the subsequent eight months. It felt like kismet: Full Pull growing to a point where we have substantial buying power on behalf of y’all, right at the same time that many wineries needed help moving significant volumes of juice, with a willingness to do so via significant discounts. All signs point to more of the same in 2019.
But of course we’re not all about the discount deals; in fact they remain a small minority of our offers. The vast majority still focus on the finest wines from the compelling boutique producers of the Pacific Northwest. Our goal remains connecting the finest farmers and winemakers of this corner of the world with a vibrant community of wine lovers who can’t seem to get enough of all this good juice. Speaking of good juice…
NV Block Wines Extra Brut Rose Marchant Vineyard D.2018
Finally! We finally produced enough Block bubbly to make it to the end of the year. All it took was nearly doubling our production from the 2017 disgorgement. Dry, bright, and balanced, this disgorgement offers plenty of rich red fruit paired to subtleties of earth and flower, bread and mineral. The ultimate goal is to have this wine stay in available stock long enough to make it to our spring disgorgement of the FP&F Blanc de Blancs, but at the rate this is moving, I’m not sure that’s going to happen.
2016 Block Wines Semillon Tauro Block Boushey Vineyard
Our first Semillon fermented and aged in concrete egg, this has been a hit since its release: a frequent buy at the tasting table and a frequent reorder target too. We’ve now sold through about 85% of our production, so this is moving into last-call territory.
2016 Starside Cabernet Sauvignon
Here is our attempt to make the finest possible Washington Cabernet that can hit the magic $20 price point. We originally offered this sequel to the 2015 Puget Purveyors Cab in April, and it too has been a steady reorder target since. We’re 70% sold-through, right on pace to sell out around the time we’re due for the release of the ’17 in April. Declassified barrel-fermented Discovery Vineyard Cab, blended with fruit from Sagemoor, Red Willow, Klipsun, and [REDACTED].
2016 Block Wines Grenache Golden Block Boushey Vineyard
The only red wine in the Block lineup not sold out, but it’s getting there: 83% sold, with 17% remaining. This beauty was fermented and aged in a single concrete egg, and right from release, I have adored this wine’s propulsive energy.
2011 Full Pull & Friends CVSIP (FPF-26)
Here’s what our (fantastic, redacted) winery partner is willing to share about our private-label Rhone blend: it’s 57% Syrah, 31% Grenache, 8% Mourvedre, and 4% Cinsault, from Red Mountain, Wahluke Slope and the Walla Walla Valley. Probably goes without saying that it spent a decent amount of time in barrel (two years; French oak; not much new; barriques and puncheons) and even more time in bottle. I suspect – based on the 14.7% alc in a cold year like 2011 – that there’s a solid component from (very warm) Red Mountain here. Red Mountain also reveals itself in the nose, with that AVA’s signature iron-tinged minerality, paired to brambly black fruit and dark roast coffee beans. With time and air, Syrah savories of bacon fat and black olive emerge. This is drinking in its peak window for sure, with a fine mix of primary fresh fruit, maturing dried fruit, and tertiary complexities galore (dust, leather, mushroom). We’re halfway sold through our parcel.
2012 Full Pull & Friends Grenache Olsen Vineyard (FPF-23)
Our first FP&F wine of 2018 is also our most scarce, with just 28% remaining after selling through 72% of our stash. When we had the opportunity to go long on Grenache from an A+ vintage and an A+ vineyard, we didn’t hesitate. This was raised in large puncheons, mostly neutral (20% new) for 18 months, and clocks in at 14.6% listed alc. The nose contains fruit layers both primary (fresh strawberry) and maturing (fig, dried raspberry), alongside complexities of hot-stone minerality and green savories of garrigue and Castelvetrano olive. The extra bottle age shows itself texturally on the palate, where all rough edges have been sanded down by the power of time, leaving a supple beauty that saturates the palate with its rich mix of fruit and earth notes.
2011 Full Pull & Friends CVBDX (FPF-25)
This one has sold briskly since release in June, and is now 71% sold through, with 29% remaining. This comes from “Winery Alpha,” the partner for our first ever FP&F wine (2007 Cabernet Sauvignon), and for the 2007 and 2009 vintages of CVBDX. This is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot (no precise percentages, but the varieties are in order of their proportion in the blend). The vineyards involved here ([cough] lots of Red Mountain fruit [cough cough]) are pretty damned warm, even in cooler years. Some evidence: our alcohol for the 2007 was 14.5%. The 2009 was 14.9%. The 2011? Wait for it… 14.4%. So yeah, still plenty of generosity and richness here. The nose offers red plum and black cherry, good clean soil and lovely green notes (hello Cab Franc) of bay leaf. I love how the palate contains such densely packed layers of fruit, unfurling over hours of oxygen exposure. This is evolving beautifully, not only in the complexity of its palate, but also in its structure, the finishing lick of tannins combed to a fine sheen by the power of extra bottle age.
2016 Full Pull & Friends Syrah Boushey Vineyard (FPF-27) – $49.99 (TPU $29.99)
Our most recent entry in the FP&F roster, offered in October and already two-thirds sold through. A wine originally intended for Block Wines and a $50 price point, this landed in the FP&F lineup after a forklift accident saw the entirety of the 2015 vintage disappear in a blink and after I made the (maybe not so smart in hindsight) decision to discontinue the wine after 2016. So a one-off, yes, but what a one-off it is! Fermented with 50% whole clusters and aged for 18 months in neutral puncheon, this clocks in at 14.8% listed alc and pours inky black-purple. The nose is an ever-evolving pastiche, but the core is marionberry fruit and savory notes of black olive tapenade and smoky ham hock. Boushey Syrah always seems to carry a heavier tannin profile than is typical for the grape, and that’s true here. Not that this drinks like Cab – it doesn’t – but the finish does offer a pleasing toothsome character, an attractive leafy farewell.