2008 Bergevin Lane Vineyards, Intuition Reserve Red, Stone Tree Vineyard
We’ve always loved the wines of Walla Walla’s Bergevin Lane, owned by Gary Bergevin, a founding partner at Canoe Ridge, his daughter Annette Bergevin and partner Amber Lane. When they started the winery in 2002, they chose to wait three years before even attempting to make a reserve wine, and their patience has been rewarded. This is the first time their flagship Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot has been sourced from a single vineyard, since, in their words, “the quality of the grapes from the Stone Tree Vineyard out shined all other vintages and lots in the aging cellar.” As Stone Tree is a particularly warm site on the Wahluke Slope, it’s not surprising that the wine is extremely rich and luscious, loaded with blackberries, black currant, spice, minerals, earth, and smoke. However, the wine is also quite elegant, with fine grained tannins, a full mouth feel, and a long finish. While the label points out the Intuition Red is designed for “earlier drinkability,” there’s no doubt it will develop increasing complexity over the next three to five years. As for food pairings, the partners enjoy this wine with filet mignon with blue cheese crumbles, blue cheese and bacon burgers, and Gary’s steak chili, if you’re lucky enough to get invited to the Bergevin family New Year’s Day feast. It’s $55 and still in pretty decent supply.
2010 JB Neufeld, Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley
This year we have enjoyed showcasing more of the newer wineries in Washington in this club, and this month we are happy to present Justin Neufeld’s Cabernet Sauvignon. Justin has been the fulltime winemaker at Gilbert Cellars since August, 2007, and he took over management of their extensive vineyards in 2009. As he is extremely busy, he has time to make only a few of his own wines each year; this is his only release from the 2010 vintage. As he explains on the label, here he blends the structured fruit of Artz Vineyard from Red Mountain (77%) with somewhat riper and minerally fruit from the high altitude DeBrul Vineyard in the Yakima Valley. It was aged for 21 months in French oak (71% new) and is very well balanced, with crisp tannins and well delineated flavors. Delightful now, it can develop in your cellar for another five to seven years. It’s a good match for any kind of red meat, from hamburgers to steak. It’s $34 and in good supply.