The 2019 Syrah Gaspard looks to be brilliant, and certainly in the same realm of the 2018. Lots of blackberry and cassis fruits as well as violets and a liquid rock-like minerality emerge from the glass, and it's medium to full-bodied, with incredible purity of fruit, ripe yet polished tannins, and a great finish. It's going to be a gem of a wine.
“Doc” McAndrew was a highly educated and respected surgeon in Seattle. He was also “a dreamer and a doer” who brought to life the first planting of Chardonnay in the Columbia Gorge region of southwest Washington in 1972. Doc’s pioneering foresight gave birth to vineyards that are the perfect pairing of site and varietal — few will deny his was among the best fruit in the country. This Chardonnay comes from cuttings from Doc’s original plants and is made in a crisp, fresh style using the finest concrete tanks we imported from Burgundy.
A “wonderful nightmare,” how Hemingway described Spain’s Running of the Bulls, is the ultimate oxymoron: Tempranillo, grown in The Rocks District, is just that. It’s a challenge to grow here as frost can quickly cause this heat-loving grape to shut down. But when it works, it’s beautiful. Leather, yes! Tobacco, absolutely! All in harmony with the inherent Rocks District character: blood, earth, salinity and red fruit. A Tempranillo unlike any other in Washington State.
We were able to get a little extra Chardonnay from French Creek vineyard in 2019. We wanted to do something different than we had done in the past, and we refer to this wine as a “black” Chardonnay, because at the time of pressing the grapes, the must is allowed to oxidize, turning it a dark-brown color, almost black, hence the description. And, instead of a gentle press cycle like we have done with our other Chardonnays, we pressed these grapes hard.
Lots of juicy red and black fruits, tobacco, peppery herb, and graphite notes emerge from the 2019 Stanley Groovy, and this deep purple-hued barrel sample is medium to full-bodied, with terrific purity, ripe yet integrated tannins, and a great finish. It holds things relatively close to its vest and has a tight, closed mouthfeel, but the balance is there, as is the mid-palate, and this should come together nicely once in bottle.
The Southern Rhône-style blend from this estate, the 2019 The Ramparts sports a ruby/plum hue to go with an incredibly spicy, cedary style offering plenty of savory red fruits, medium to full body, ripe yet building tannins, and complex notes of sandalwood, white pepper, and dried flowers. I love its complexity, balance, and texture.