Washington Wine Club – March 2008

2005 Waters, Forgotten Hills, Syrah
We’ve been impressed with Jamie Brown’s wines since his days with James Leigh Cellars; we featured two of his wines in the August 2003 Club when it was a “new outfit” in Walla Walla. Jamie joined Waters Winery in 2005 where he continues to demonstrate his extraordinary winemaking talent. Jamie seeks to emulate an old world style of wine, expressive of the fruit and the land. He produced three single-vineyard Syrahs in 2005, each of which is an expression of its unique vineyard site in Walla Walla. The Forgotten Hills Vineyard, which Jamie likens to those of the northern Rhône, produces big, chewy, classic Syrahs with lush flavors of blueberries and dark plums. It’s an excellent match for grilled meats, lamb chops, roasted wild mushrooms, or similarly hearty food. Jamie made only 180 cases and there is little left. It’s $42.50, and if you can give it some time, it should really develop over the next four or five years.

2003 Colvin Vineyards, L’Etoile d’Hiver
Our customers have long been fans of Mark Colvin’s wines—just as we are. Colvin has been supplying us with spicy Cabernet Franc, lush Syrah, and earthy Carmenère since they launched their winery in 1999. And once before, in 2001, they made a stunning special cuvée, the 2001 L’Etoile d’Hiver (“Star of Winter”), which we featured in our March 2004 Washington Club. The good news is, this is another gorgeous, silky, complex, and very limited blend (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc) under the same name. The bad news? Colvin Vineyards will soon be closing its doors; when the current inventory is gone, so too will be Colvin. They will be greatly missed. In addition to providing us all with a wonderful array of wines over the years, Mark made important contributions to the world of Washington wines. Perhaps most notably, he was the first to bring cuttings of Carmenère vines into the state, introducing us to the possibilities of this grape in our state.

They made only one barrel (25 cases) of the 2003 L’Etoile d’Hiver and it is $39.75. We opened a bottle at our Thursday Collector’s Club tasting and it was a huge hit. It is drinking well now, or could hold for a year or two. When you do open it, be sure to make a toast to Colvin Vineyards!