Greetings and good summer cheer to you all… It’s been a while since our last blog post, and I blame Edwardo for this. Okay, it’s my fault, but something’s gotta be his fault from time to time.
The last post for the blog was an announcement and celebration of our success at the 2011 NW Wine Summit- more heavy medal for our estate barbera, nebbiolo, and symphony. These varietals get most of the attention from our customers, and we’re just fine with that- they are, after all, incredibly unique varietals in the NW and receive a good part of our focus here at the winery.
But let’s not forget about the other guys: zinfandel, dolcetto, syrah, cabernet sauvignon and merlot are also varietals we grow and make wines from. And the last two mentioned (cab and merlot) now have their own club- The Bordeaux Club.
We call it the “Bordeaux Club” because this is where the world’s greatest examples of cabernet sauvignon and merlot hails from. That is, a small area in southwestern France, where you too can pay hundreds, even thousands of dollars for a single bottle of wine! Truth be told, there are great examples of these varietals all throughout the world, but Bordeaux remains the gold standard.
Cabernet sauvignon is widely regarded as the heavyweight champion of red varietals and red wines. Sturdy, complex, and built for aging, this is a serious wine that appeals to both novice and aficionado. Merlot, on the other hand, has taken a bit of a beating by the wine geeks of the world lately. Although still embraced by most casual wine drinkers, the so-called experts have turned their noses up to this grape, citing weak acidity, poor tannic structure, and an overall lack of depth. But this really isn’t the grape’s fault… Remember the movie Sideways? The main character, Miles (played by Paul Giamatti), had some not so nice things to say about merlot. And ironically, his “holy grail wine” was a 1961 Cheval Blanc- a blend of cabernet franc and, you guessed it, merlot. Miles’ gripe was really about over-cropped, mass-produced California (there, I said it) merlot of the 80’s and 90’s.
A varietals balance of sugar, acid, and tannin can be optimized by both natural and human factors; the terroir of Bordeaux’s Pomerol region, for example, allows for higher acid – and overall complexity – than some of the other wine regions where merlot is grown. A vineyard manager can affect this balance by reducing yield, picking sooner than later, and so on. So let’s all give merlot a break.
Back to the club… Here are the details:
- Once a year – December 1 – you get a mixed case of our estate cabernet sauvignon and merlot (6 and 6). Join before Oct. 1, and you get the 2007 vintage first, and then the 2008 vintage in December.
- Cost of this case is less than many single bottles of Bordeaux wine- $200. That’s $16 and change a bottle, nearly half off full retail, and an insane deal for estate wine.
- The first 30 people who join this club (there are now 15), receive a complimentary bottle of our library wine- 2004 Estate Cab anyone?
A big, big thank you to those who made the theme tasting last month at the winery, where we tasted through several vintages of cab sauv and merlot. And congratulations to those who joined this new club! An even bigger congratulations to Mary, Vern, Margaret, and Bob- you guys are the very first “trifecta” members, being members now of all three clubs. We will have to dedicate a brick/stone/vineyard post in your names. Vern, you get a bung!
If you haven’t had our estate cab and merlot, you’re missing out. The merlot vines were the very first planted in the vineyard back in 1986, and anything but a “flabby” wine. The cabernet is a classic example of Washington state cab sauv- robust, complex, and packed with dark, delicious fruit. The 2008 vintages of these wines are both being poured at our tasting rooms right now, so please come by and taste them for yourselves. If you’s like to join this club, or have any questions, please contact us so we can get you started.
With good, dark, rich cheer,