2005 Chateau Rollat, Rollat
A year or so ago, at an industry tasting of Washington wines, there was a buzz in the room. Other winemakers, there to pour their own wines, kept asking us, “Have you tried the Rollat?” Much intrigued, we headed over to check out this new Walla Walla wine — and were blown away. It was in a class by itself; elegant, polished, refined. It was a classic Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, like many wines from our state, but it didn’t taste like anything we’d had from Washington before. And we wanted it for the club. Thus began a year-long effort to try and get it. With no distribution in Washington, and too over-stretched to take it around to the market themselves, this was not easy. But just recently one of our favorite distributors (owned by West Seattle Cellars founder Matt Mabus) added this wine to their portfolio, and we gleefully grabbed three cases. Wish fulfilled. Still the same gorgeous vintage, it has developed even further and is drinking beautifully now although it is certainly built to age and develop. So, who is Chateau Rollat? Bowin Lindgren is the owner and winemaker, guided by Christian LeSommer, former wine master at Chateau Latour and, at one time, assistant manager at the legendary Sauternes house, Chateau d’Yquem. At $38, this wine was worth waiting for and we’re excited to share it with our club members.
2007 Va Piano Vineyards, Syrah
We continue to be wowed by all of Justin Wylie’s wines, his elite Cabernet and Syrah, as well as the tasty non-vintage Bruno’s Blend. This 2007 is a monster Syrah, possibly his biggest wine ever! Not only was it a warm vintage but, as you can read on the label, Justin had access to the fruit of older vines in some of the top vineyards in Washington, especially Lewis (the source for Eric Dunham’s top Syrah) and Minnick (home vineyard for the Dumas Station wines). With lots of plum, black cherry and other dark fruits, plenty of ripeness and a long, rich finish, this wine would stand up well with any hearty meal. We recommend holding it for a couple of years, and you could certainly cellar it for at least five years. It has just been released at $39.75, and so it will be in good supply, at least until the end of the year.