Washington Wine Club – March 2022

2019 XOBC Cellars, Elijah Grenache, $49

Winery Info: In 2008 Grammy-Award-winning artist Brandi Carlile and her bandmates founded Looking Out Foundation to support numerous non-profits working in human and civil rights, health, education, the environment, women’s causes, and the arts.     

A decade later, Brandi and her wife Catherine along with another couple created XOBC Cellars as a way to give something back to the many people who help support the important work of the foundation. Of course, the wine had to be good! So for that, they brought on Sean Boyd of Rôtie Cellars. XOBC recently reached out to us to be their first retail partner, which we are thrilled about. All profits from XOBC wines are allocated to Looking Out Foundation.

Winemaker: Sean Boyd

Grapes: 100% Grenache

Vineyard:­ Rôtie’s estate vineyard in The Rocks District AVA.

Flavor Profile: This medium-bodied Grenache is smooth, aromatic, and juicy, with inviting notes of the savory meatiness characteristic of the best wines from The Rocks AVA. The bright raspberry aromas and flavors are perfectly balanced by notes of black olive, herbs, crushed pepper and forest floor. With its great minerality, balanced acidity, and long finish, it is definitely a food lover’s wine.

Availability: This wine is only available through the XOBC wine club, and now through this special offering.

Drinking Window: Delicious now, or you could let it develop for another two or three years.

Food Pairing: Thai curry meatballs, Szechuan mushrooms. They recommend rich or spicy fare such as Peking duck. Or for a vegetarian option, grilled balsamic marinated Portobello mushrooms.

2018 Orenda Winery, Cabernet Franc, $35

Winery Info: Orenda was founded by Xander and Samantha Kent who originally moved to Washington from Colorado because of Xander’s job with Amazon. But they soon began to dream of opening their own winery and event space. They found a perfect location in a historic winery property in Carnation and brought on their longtime friend Mark Bosso as winemaker. Mark had been cellarmaster at Baer Winery where he trained with Erica Orr, and also worked as assistant winemaker at Pomum. Thanks to his connections, they were able to partner with excellent vineyards. They opened in June, 2019.

Winemaker: Samantha Kent. (Mark Bosso through February, 2020.)

Grapes: 100% Cabernet Franc, aged 24 months in French oak.

Vineyards: Dineen, a cool site in the Rattlesnake Hills in the Yakima Valley AVA, where the fruit ripens slowly developing added complexity; and Stillwater Creek, on the Royal Slope of the Frenchman Hills.

Flavor Profile: A smooth, savory expression of Cab Franc, with inviting aromas of baking spice, bright red fruit flavors, balanced, food friendly acidity, and lots of character. The oak aging adds lovely texture and a subtle hint of vanilla.

Availability: They made about 200 cases of this wine. There is still a bit left.

Drinking Window: Enjoy now or over the next couple of years.

Food Pairing: Turkey, roast pork, or hearty vegetable dishes. At a recent winemaker dinner it proved divine paired with mushroom consommé and thyme Parmesan crisp.