“The Deuce” Walla Walla
In 2013, we believe this wine takes another step forward. In a story that will continue to unfold, in 2013 we again gained access to the famed Forgotten Hills Vineyard. Planted by Jeff Hill in the early 1990s, the vineyard was one of the first to put Washington Syrah on the map. Sitting almost at the base of Les Collines, this vineyard greatly benefits from the cool air draining off the slope. It’s almost entirely basalt, with little soil. The vineyard stands alone, as will be seen next release. But it’s also an amazing complement for Les Collines, adding acid, stone and red fruit to the blend.
Tasting Note: Earth, mineral, red/blue fruit (not strawberry, raspberry, more red cherry), rich, acid+, firm tannin, savory, pepper, smoke. Very reminiscent of the Rhone. Maybe my favorite version of this wine to date?
“Formerly called the Walla Walla Syrah, the 2013 Syrah The Deuce comes mostly from the Les Collines vineyard, yet also incorporates smaller amounts from Forgotten Hills and The Rocks vineyards. Aged 18 months in 10% new Puncheons, this sees slightly more whole clusters than the Columbia Valley Syrah, with almost 60% of the grapes fermented with no destemming. It has a lot of Rocks character in its meaty, pepper, lavender, olive and black and blue fruit-driven bouquet. This is followed by a full-bodied, concentrated and balanced Syrah that has solid tannic grip and good acidity.” Jeb Dunnuck (92-94)
Varietal: 100% Syrah
Whole Cluster: 60%
Vineyards: 74% Les Collines, 14% Forgotten Hills, 12% Old Stones
Cases Made: 775
DRINKING WINDOW 2017 – 2030
“The Third Man” Columbia Valley
Blending the Third Man is always a fantastic experience. In past years, we have made Syrah heavy blends, wines with and without Mourvedre, blends that are almost equal parts of the three varieties, etc. It’s a never ending experiment. This year, we went in with a firm assumption that we wanted to make a wine that could be labeled as Grenache. We believe in Washington Grenache and want to showcase it in the Third Man. As with the 2012, we have again found that elusive red- black fruit balance with this year showing more black fruit than red fruit. While other blends have been Olsen Vineyard dominate, in 2013 we felt Alder Ridge in the Horse Heaven Hills was the best base for this wine, as the warm days provide plenty of ripeness, leading to black fruit flavors. The Syrah, from Olsen Vineyard, brings freshness and acid. Mourvedre aka the best grape in Washington, finishes the wine with smoked meat and adds mid palate intensity. As the years go on, we continue to leave more stems in the blend.
Tasting Note: Similar to the Olsen MTA, but more sauvage and garrigue. Green herb, stone/slate/mineral, more blue/black than red fruit, deep intensity, rich.
Varietal: 76% Grenache, 19% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre
Vineyards: 66% Alder Ridge, 34% Olsen
Whole Cluster: 50%
Cases Made: 521
DRINKING WINDOW 2016-2025
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
This is a wine that we have been dying to release. This may be a surprise, but we almost stopped making Cabernet to be a Rhone only winery. Greg didn’t feel that we understood Cabernet or that it had the same potential as Syrah in Washington. Instead of giving up, we doubled down and got to work. We re-assessed every vineyard, dropping a few and adding a couple, including one legendary vineyard that is over 40 years old. We spoke with great producers all over the world. We realized two things with this wine. First, we love the combination of Phinny Hill blended with Sagemoor Vineyard. Phinny gives structure, finesse and earth while Sagemoor contributes fruit, depth and power. Secondly, we love extended maceration on Cabernet, sometime leaving the wine in tank for 40 days or more.
This comment by Jeb Dunnuck is our payoff – “While more widely known for their Syrah releases, don’t miss the Bordeaux blends here”
Tasting Note: A combination of finesse and power. Red and black fruit. Cedar, gravel, smoke, vanilla and baking spices. Firm acidity and tannin, but elegant.
“The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is most likely the greatest vintage of this cuvee to date. Full-bodied, ripe, layered and yet still elegant and beautifully balanced, it offers classic currants, black raspberry, graphite, lead pencil and cedar aromas and flavors. A blend of 92% Cabernet and 8% Merlot that saw 23 months in 40% new French oak, it has high-quality tannin, ample texture and a rock-star finish. This beauty will have two decades of longevity.” Jeb Dunnuck 94 pts
Varietal: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot
Vineyards: Phinny Hill, Sagemoor, Pepper Bridge, Loess
New Oak: 35%
Cases Made: 1308
DRINKING WINDOW 2015 – 2035
WINE CLUB ONLY WINES
2013 CABERNET FRANC (Wine Club Only)
This wine was never supposed to be a public release. After visiting the Loire Valley last year, we have been on a sort of Cabernet Franc deep dive, sampling the best of the best from the area. During blending, Greg decided that he wanted to make a few cases of Cabernet Franc for personal consumption. In 2013, we had two Cabernet Franc sources – 60% from the Old Stones Vineyard in the Rocks and 40% from our estate vineyards. The Rocks may be a better area for Cabernet Franc than Syrah. Yes, I said that. After finalizing the blend, we decided this wine was too good not to release. For those that remember the 2011 Two Blondes Cabernet Franc, this wine is a bit different. The 2011 Two Blondes was primal and brash, while this wine is feminine and pretty. The 2013 is less green, but still 100% identifying as Cabernet Franc. But while the 2011 was more Bordeaux, this wine is more Burgundy like – aromatic and sexy. Greg is taking 10 cases of this wine home.
Tasting Note: Acid for days, bright red fruits with some blue black. 100% varietal Cabernet Franc with green herb, not green pepper. Gravel, smoke, tobacco. Very floral on the nose, almost Pinot Noir like. Exactly what we want from Cabernet Franc.
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Franc
Vineyards: 60% Old Stones, 40% Estate
Cases Made: 123
DRINKING WINDOW 2015-2025
2013 GRENACHE (Wine Club Only)
“Olsen Vineyard” Columbia Valley
100 is a pretty cool number. It’s the sum of the first 9 prime numbers. 100 is the sum of the cubes of the first four integers (100 = 13 + 23 + 33 + 43). Ready for a drink yet? Most importantly, 100 is the number of yards Marshawn Lynch will run each and every game this year. This wine is all about 100. 100% Grenache. 100% from Olsen Vineyard. And 100% whole cluster. Olsen Vineyard continues to blow us away with Southern Rhone varietals. It’s a superstar vineyard under superstar management.
Tasting Note: This wine is all about elegance. It’s not about power or weight, but is absolutely amazing. Red fruit, strawberry, raspberry, cranberry liquor, intense depth and complexity that grows with time. No green from stems at all. Pam’s take on the wine, as she consumed most of the bottle with our friend Lance – Wow, there’s some black fruit? That’s surprising as usually just red fruit” Its super fresh, roasted meat, white pepper. Wow, I love this wine.
Varietal: 100% Grenache
Whole Cluster: 100%
Vineyards: 100% Olsen
Cases Made: 123
DRINKING WINDOW 2015 – 2025