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- 93 pts Sean Sullivan, Seattle Met 100 Best WA Wines 2010 (12th place)
- 92 pts Stephen Tanzer, IWC
- 93+ pts Jeb Dunnuck, The Rhone Report
- 19/20 pts Rand Sealey, Review of WA Wines
- 92 pts Jay Miller, Wine Advocate
The 2008 vintage was cooler than 2007. While 2007 will go down as one of the best vintages in Washington, the 2008 was a bit more uneven. Stylistically, 2008 was our vintage. We like a little more acid and a little less alcohol in our wines than what a warm year like 2007 gives. The trick is to manage the vineyards properly and get the ripeness required. In order to achieve that, we dropped a lot more fruit in the vineyards, reducing our yields but maximizing ripeness.
Our initial target for the 2008 QED was 850 cases but the best blend only yielded 650 cases. So that’s the blend we chose (we couldn’t let potential revenue loss get in the way – there was more at stake).
By the time we bottled the 2008 QED in March 2010, the 2007 QED was already in bottle for a year. And it was noticeably a better wine than when it was released. So, we decided to age the 2008 in bottle for another year before releasing it. It has already garnered some great ratings. Strict selection and an uncompromising attitude are the keys to this blend.
The seductive, complex bouquet contains notes of grilled meats, blackberries, earth, herbes de provence, violet, and vanilla. On the palate one encounters an exquisitely balanced wine with flavors of blackberry, kirsch, white pepper, black truffle, earth, mineral, and smoked meats. The voluptuous mouthfeel and cashmere-textured tannins lead the palate to an elegantly resonating finish. The lingering aftertaste contains notes of earth, dark chocolate, and kirsch.
The composition is 83% Syrah (Les Collines, Double River), 10% Grenache (Minick Vineyard), 5% Mourvèdre (Minick Vineyard), 2% Viognier (Les Collines).
The wine had a pre-fermentation maceration of 94 hours and a post-fermentation maceration of 76 hours. Native fermentation was used on 80% of the lots. 15% whole clusters were used to give added structure. The wine was punched down by hand 3 times each day during macerations and fermentation. All individual wine components, including free run and press fractions, were kept separate until final blending. The oak profile is 22% new French oak (predominantly from Troncais and Alliers) and 78% neutral French oak. The wine was racked twice and not fined. The wine was very lightly filtered to capture any remaining lees. The alcohol is 14.4%, pH is 3.79, and the titratable acidity is 6.3 g/L.
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate - 92 pts
The 2008 QED was made with 80% native fermentation with the wine then aged for 19 months in 22% new French oak. This year’s blend is 83% Syrah, 10% Grenache, 5% Mourvedre, and 2% Viognier. The Naravane brothers describe 2008 as a cooler year resulting in better acid structure. In this vintage they added a small percentage of stems. The wine is a glass-coating opaque with a splendid bouquet of Asian spices, incense, garrigue notes, black cherry, and blueberry. More high-toned than the 2007 and with a racy personality, on the palate it has plenty of spicy red and black fruits, lots of spice, excellent volume, and enough structure to evolve for 4-5 years. With additional bottle age it should gain considerable complexity, Drink it from 2014 to 2028.
Stephen Tanzer, IWC - 92 pts
Good deep red. Fascinating nose combines kirsch, pepper, sandalwood, tree bark, licorice and a whiff of white fruits. Densely packed, dry and quite suave, with compelling inner-mouth aromatic character. Manages to be penetrating and structured on the one hand and light on its feet too. The pH here is a fairly high 3.8 but this boasts terrific lift. Billo Naravane notes that vinifying with 15% whole clusters brought added complexity from the stems. Finishes ripe, dry and complex, with a distinct wildness. (I retasted the 2007 version and gave it the same 91-point rating as last year, but the 2008 is higher-pitched and more vibrant.)
4122 Powerline Road, Walla Walla, WA 99362 509.252.0900
Tasting by appointment