Washington Wine Club – November 2014

2007 Forsyth Brio, Kiona Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Once again we are happy to present a wine in the club from a relatively new Washington winemaker. The owner and winemaker is David Forsyth, who has over 30 years of experience in the wine trade, including over 20 years at Hogue and five years as the winemaker at Mercer Estates. In 2006 he founded Forsyth Family Vintners in Prosser with his wife Suzie, an artisanal bread baker, and they have been making just two or three barrels each of three or four wines each year. For this Kiona Vineyard Cab he made just 58 cases (about two barrels); it is 100% Cabernet, sourced completely from Kiona’s oldest block, the Pioneer Block. He still had about half of that available when he recently signed up with a distributor, and we immediately grabbed it for this club. While Kiona makes some solid wines, few wineries can afford to make a wine from just a single block of their vineyard. David’s careful craftsmanship shows through as soon as you open the bottle. There are beautiful aromas of chocolate, pepper, and dark fruit, followed up by tasty flavors of coffee and blue fruits. As a Cabernet from Red Mountain, it has ample tannins but they are very nicely integrated. It’s a great representation of the outstanding 2007 vintage here in Washington, and it’s ready for your holiday season. It is $49.75 and is extremely limited.

2010 Tranche Cellars, Blue Mountain Vineyard Syrah
Back in May we were quite pleased to be able to host Corliss at a special tasting, and the big hit was their 2010 Syrah, which compared quite favorably in quality with their famous Cabernet Sauvignon. While that Syrah was sourced from various top Washington vineyards, this one, released under their second label, Tranche Cellars, is 100% Syrah from their estate vineyard. Most club members are familiar with Corliss, as we have put their Red Wine in our club for the latest five years. Corliss Estates was founded in 2001 in an old bakery in downtown Walla Walla by a couple of Seattle real estate developers, Michael Corliss and Lauri Darneille, at the height of the wine boom there. With abundant financial resources available, their goal is to produce wines that can age at least 10 to 20 years and that can eventually compete with Quilceda Creek as the top Bordeaux-based blend in Washington. However, the Tranche Cellars wines are a new direction for Corliss. They are made at a different production facility right at their Blue Mountain Vineyard and three of them (the Syrah, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon) are meant to show off the fruit from that vineyard. For this wine, the grapes were carefully selected from the best blocks in their vineyard, hand-sorted, and put into French oak barriques for 28 months. The wine is fresh and focused on the palate and exhibits the intense dark fruit aromas of the cooler vintage. There are lots of classic Syrah textures, with flavors of ripe figs, olives, and toasted coffee. It’s drinking very well now and would go well with cured meats and aromatic cheeses. It is $35 and there is more available.