Smockshop Band Lunasa 2016
Only 45 cases of this wine were made. That means only a couple hundred bottles. Crunchy Red Fruit acquired roughly a quarter of the entire production of this wine. So that means this wine doesn’t really exist anymore. When you open your box and see that little blue Columbia River watercolor staring back at you, that’s one of the only bottles of this wine in existence.
Nate Ready is creating some of the most important wine in Washington/Oregon right now. Under the Hiyu Wine Farm and Smockshop Band labels, Nate is producing wine in close collaboration with nature up and down the Columbia Gorge. It takes sensitivity, humility and vision to produce the kinds of things that Hiyu is making. This individual bottle of Grenache/Syrah should cost as much as an entire Crunchy Red Fruit box, if you were buying it at a restaurant. So you can imagine how excited I was when I found out we would be able to support this wine and put it in our March release. I’m going to let Nate give you this wine’s rundown, much better than I could do it myself:
“This vineyard is located east of Lyle, across from the Dalles, facing south, right on the north shore of the Columbia. Even though it lies outside the Columbia Gorge AVA it could not be more representative of the place. The vines are planted in pools of sand surrounded by Columnar Basalt and buffeted by the powerful winds that rush through the Gorge. The site is equal parts rainforest and dessert and on some days one can even smell the salt from the pacific lingering in the wind.
The wine sat placidly in the fermenter, formless, without texture and aroma. It indicated nothing to reveal its identity; to allude to the view of the Columbia and the memory of the sound of the falls surrounding fisherman on the rocks, the basalt cliffs that rise from the train tracks to reveal sand dunes and a spring fed pond where trout take shelter from the dessert heat in the cool depths, the braying of donkeys keeping the coyotes at bay and the feeling that this place is both the beginning and the end.
We waited. Finally, after about 70 days, quietly bubbling away in the vat, the aromas emerged. Quietly at first the scents of the northwest dessert emerged; sage honey and a haunting, smoky, botanical essence framed by roses. These aromas came with a wall of tannin and so we waited. 22 months later they have melted and can just be felt at the periphery of the swell of aroma and sweetness.”
- BlendGrenache / Syrah
- AppellationColumbia Valley