Specialty Club – January 2008

2005 Owen Roe, DuBrul Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Regular West Seattle Cellars customers are very familiar with the wonderful wines from Owen Roe, a collaboration of winemakers David O’Reilly and Peter Rosback, especially since they are the only wines in the store that have a shelf all to themselves. This is what David and Peter describe every year as their “most precious and super-intense” wine, sourced from Hugh and Kathy Shiels’ DuBrul Vineyard on a small outcropping in the Rattlesnake Hills northwest of Yakima. This vineyard site is quite high, 1375 feet, and has a unique blend of exposed basalt rock mixed with sedimentary soils and volcanic ash. Unlike warmer areas, DuBrul Vineyard wines seem to retain marvelous acidity while producing intense, powerful wines. A classic wine for a big juicy steak, it will age for another ten years. We get the largest allocation in Seattle (3 cases) and we have about a case left at $60.00 per bottle.

2005 Domaine Georges Vernay, Viognier Le Pied de Samson, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes
It may be hard to believe now, but Viognier came very close to becoming an extinct varietal. When Georges Vernay took over the leadership of the growers association in the town of Condrieu in the northern Rhone valley in the 1960’s, there were only 8 hectares of Viognier vines left under cultivation. Now, as a result of M. Vernay’s long and tireless promotional campaign, the grape is popular and successful all over the world, with many fine examples here in Washington. This wine comes from a steep slope just outside Condrieu, declassified in 1986, so the price is only $35.00, and I’ll let you judge for yourself as to the quality! Fermented in stainless steel vats, the wine does undergo malolactic fermentation (rather typical for Condrieu), which provides a nice creaminess to the ripe peach and apricot flavors. A great accompaniment to zesty, spicy dishes, it’s best consumed in the next 2-3 years. No more is available, although we can get tiny amounts of the other award-winning Condrieu Viogniers from Vernay, all at much higher prices!