Washington Wine Club – September 2007

2004 Chester|Kidder Red Wine
This powerhouse wine is part of the Long Shadows Vintners project, an interesting collaborative effort between Chateau Ste-Michelle’s former CEO Allen Shoup, on-site winemaker Gilles Nicault, and world-renowned winemakers such as Randy Dunn, Michel Rolland, John Duval, Armin Diel, Philippe Melka, and Augustin Huneeus. This is Gilles’ personal wine – his own selection of fruit from the top vineyards in Washington. Named after Allen Shoup’s grandfather and grandmother, it’s a complex, hand-crafted blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from Red Mountain, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot from the Wahluke Slope, and Syrah from the Horse Heaven Hills. Deep and concentrated, with the rounder tannins characteristic of French oak barrels, it displays ripe blackberry and dark chocolate aromas and flavors. We expect it to age nicely for at least another five to ten years. A classic fit for roast beef and rich dishes, it costs $49.75, and there is only a tiny amount available.

2004 Baer, Ursa
Bear has loved the wines of Baer Winery since their first release. Soft and approachable, they have always been a delight to drink. When Lance Baer was asked when to drink his wines, he’d invariably say “NOW!”

Most of you probably know that Lance Baer died in April at the age of 39 of acute liver failure after a brief illness. It was a giant loss to his colleagues and friends, and a major loss to the Washington wine industry, particularly since Lance worked so hard to keep prices reasonable and to make bright, fun wines that would attract younger or newer drinkers.

This delightful blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec is a great tribute to Lance’s memory: beautiful and ready to drink, and yet only $29.75. We were extremely fortunate to get enough to put in the club, as the wine is completely sold out. Lance’s friend and fellow winemaker Darren DesVoignes has pledged to finish the wines that Lance had in barrel in his style, so we look forward to two more vintages of wine bearing his unique stamp.