Wow, this wine will be amazing in 20 years! It has been open for over four days and I finally think it was ready to tell me who she is! In the nose you get blackberry almost currant. At first the tannins are quite quiet, but with air a very long and quite full complex tannin structure emerges. Upon smelling again, it reminds me of a truly classic Washington Cabernet Sauvignon and happiness.
Nose of grilled bread, warm spice and orange peel. There is a bright quality to the wine, but the dark flavors persist of burnt orange, dark fruit, rhubarb. There is a strong minerality in the finish. Although light in color the wine is strong and built well.
Vintage Notes: Although the wildfires have set up residency in the past few years, 2018 did not seem to have the sunscreen affect that 2017/2016 had. The summer was hot and dry extending into the beginning of picking time, but by August 30th temperatures started to drop in the evening and then it gave way to cooler temperatures and a little rain. It gave the grapes a good rinse and eased a bit of the water stress on the vines. The vines did see some disease pressure, but nothing that required intervention in the vineyard or in the cellar. All and all a wonderful vintage and happy the grapes reached their full potential.
Saturated bright, dark ruby. Almost porty yet fresh scents of blackberry, blueberry, cassis, menthol, licorice, bitter chocolate, espresso, and violet; conveys an urgent dark berry character. Sappy, densely packed, smooth, and classically dry, showing lovely ripeness to its dark berry and dark chocolate flavors lifted by violet. Suppler and more forthcoming than the 2017 Amparo Malbec, despite its youth. Still young and quite primary but even today the substantial tannins are supple and fine-grained. Finishes with a note of violet lift. Better balanced early than the 2017, not to mention nicely concentrated. There is a complicating touch of herbs here but not the peppery quality of the ’17. – Stephen Tanzer
Give lots of air to this wine upon opening, after a minute the wine reveals a strong black currant aroma and a hint of sage. The stem tannin is holding the fruit up well as we put almost 75% whole cluster in the ferment. There is massive mouth tannin and lovely acidity to cut through the fruit. This wine is all about structure and strength. The fermentation tank always smells of fresh-cut pumpkins and here we are tasting it in the finish. The finish is long and the tannin persists until the end. Will drink well for years to come.
Similarly purple-hued, the 2018 Syrah Estate Fred was not destemmed and was also brought up all in neutral barrels. A wonderfully complex, balanced wine, with notes of blackcurrants, blueberries, lavender, pepper, and hints of scrub brush, it hits the palate with medium to full body, a ripe, rounded, supple texture, beautiful purity, and a great finish. It’s a little gem of a Syrah to enjoy over the coming 10-12 years. -Jeb Dunnuck
Bright ruby-red. Musky blackcurrant, black raspberry, licorice, bitter chocolate, and menthol on the nose. A dense, silky, concentrated fruit bomb in the mouth, with dark berry and dark chocolate flavors accented and shaped by menthol and mineral notes. Wonderfully sweet and mouth filling with a savory umami silkiness and no rough edges. Finishes with sweet tannins and terrific lingering fruits, spices, and chocolate, along with a hint of woodsmoke. Balanced and delicious from the start but possesses the sheer material to evolve slowly and gracefully. My sample held up extremely well for 72 hours. – Stephen Tanzer
Dark ruby red. The nose arrives with currants, minerality and then is followed closely by notes of the forest floor. The flavors are dense and packed but need quite a bit of air to reveal themselves. Blackberries, Christmas spice, and cherry flood the palate and float to the finish. The tannins are concentrated in the middle, then smooth and long on the finish. This wine will evolve and last for many years to come. – winemaker Anna Schafer Cohen notes
Bright red-ruby. Brooding, lightly medicinal aromas of cassis, licorice, menthol, and bitter chocolate. Rich, sweet, pliant, and edge-free, showing serious concentration to its dark berry, spice, and dark chocolate flavors. Lovely depth of fruit here with the menthol element giving it energy and an element of reserve. Offers noteworthy pliancy and vinosity to go with its intensity. Ultimately a bit more ripe and less herbal than the 2017 edition and balanced from day one. Finishes with a touch of herbs and very ripe smooth tannins. Despite the difference in varietal makeup, this wine had much in common with the 2018 ReRe than the 2017 Owl and Crown, but here the tannins are firmer. – Stephen Tanzer
Malbec grape being a slip skin (the skin is not attached to the pulp) generally loves a hot dry environment. 2017 allowed our Gamache Malbec to shine with classic blue expression, chewy tannins and bright happy plum notes. Picking extra early allowed us to maintain freshness to retain the subtle secondary baking spice notes of nutmeg, cinnamon and clove. – Anna Schafer Cohen
Dark, deep red. Baking spices, cloves, pepper, grilled bread. Medium acidity and density for a Malbec. Tannin hits the roof of the mouth, while plum juice, cinnamon, exotic star anise, and clove fill the palate. Beautiful savory and secondary notes. Long pleasant finish that will open up with more oxygen. This Malbec holds a significant amount of tannin and would be happy in your cellar for a year, or with a lengthy decant before drinking.
Fermenting on the stems adds such an incredible backbone to the already firm tannin that Boushey grows. One cannot use enough stems and honestly if someone was willing to give me their old Boushey stems…we’d throw them in there. The stem tannin is so incredibly delicate and brings a savory note that just cannot be found in the skins alone. Sage, lavender oil, and rosemary are all, in my opinion, extracted from the stems. They are found in volumes from Boushey. It is just a happy wine grown by two of the most conscientious growers in the state, Dick and Luanne Boushey.