Washington Wine Club – February 2023

2020 Kevin White Winery, Heritage DuBrul Vineyard, $45

Winery info: Kevin White and his wife Stefanie founded their winery in 2010 with a goal of producing limited, complex, hand crafted wines that pair well with food.        

With a particular love for wines from the Rhône region of France, their focus is on Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre, but they also produce this Bordeaux-style blend from the fabulous DuBrul Vineyard. Kevin has received various honors over the years including “Winemaker to Watch” (2015) and “Best Emerging Winery” (2018) by Seattle Magazine

Winemaker: Kevin White

Grapes: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot, aged 22 months in French oak, 40% new.

Vineyard: DuBrul Vineyard is one of the premier vineyards in Washington, towering 1,375 feet over the Yakima Valley along the northern Rattlesnake Hills. Being a relatively cool site with a blend of exposed basalt rock mixed with sedimentary soils and volcanic ash, wines sourced from DuBrul tend to retain excellent acidity while producing powerful, yet refined and balanced wines. The vineyard is owned by Côte Bonneville Winery, who sell some of their coveted fruit to a limited number of wineries.

Flavor profile: This is a very polished Cab that really expresses the essence of DuBrul Vineyard. It has red fruit flavors of cherry and cassis, silky texture, and great balance and structure, with fine tannins and excellent acidity. We were really wowed by this wine.

Availability: 159 cases produced. There is very little left of this vintage.

Drinking Window: Enjoyable now, it will continue to evolve over the next three to five years.

Food pairing: Slow-cooked lamb or beef. Or a rich, home-made mac and cheese with sharp cheddar.

2016 Five Star Cellars, Quinque Astrum, Sangiovese Blend, $43

Winery info: Walla Walla’s Five Star Cellars was founded in 2000 by the Huse family. Winemaking passed from father (Dave) to son (Matt), and in 2010 they brought on Cameron Rushton as assistant winemaker. It had been a while since we’d tasted their wines but when Cameron came in last year to pour their current releases for us, we were impressed by the nuance and finesse of the whole line up. We were glad to reconnect with this winery and are happy to share another one with our club members.

Winemaker: Matt Huse and Cameron Rushton

Grapes: 56% Sangiovese and 22% each Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, aged 18 months in European and American oak, 30% new.

Vineyards: 53% Pepper Bridge, 23% Summit View, 17% Blue Mountain, and 7% Seven Hills vineyards, all in the Walla Walla Valley AVA.

Flavor profile: They call this their New World approach to a Super Tuscan-style wine. Since Five Star had been working with Sangiovese since 2003 and Bordeaux varietals even longer, it was a no brainer to combine the two. This wine really expresses the character of Sangiovese. It is smooth, spicy, and full-bodied, with complex notes of red plum, raspberry and cloves.

Availability: 450 cases produced. This is a new vintage so it should be in decent supply for a while.

Drinking Window: If drinking soon, decant or give it some time to open up. Otherwise give it a few more years to mature, then enjoy up to 2030.

Food Pairing: Perfect for classic Italian pasta dishes with meat or mushrooms.