I just received my Fall Newsletter from àMaurice Cellars. In the newsletter they announced their new wine scores from Dr. Jay Miller of the Wine Advocate. àMaurice is a family-owned boutique winery located in the foothills of the Blue Mountains in Walla Walla, WA. It’s a young winery with, I think, two vintages behind them. Their current production at this point is 2,200 cases and they expect to at least build to 4,000. Some of their wines are estate as they own 15 acres of vineyards, however they also purchase some contract fruit.
Last year during their Fall Release I stopped by and sampled their new wines. They were all very "swoon" worthy, but I was especially captivated with their Malbec and so was everyone else as they sold out - - quickly.
You know how after a day of wine tasting, if you taste too many wines or even get caught up in the winery’s ambiance, where you think all of the wines are the best until you taste them again after the fact? Alas, there always seems to be one wine out of the batch you purchased that just isn’t quite what you remembered. So a few months after the fact, I got to thinking - - was that bottle of àMaurice Malbec really as good as I thought it was when I first tasted it at the winery. Well, there’s only one way to tell - - open the bottle - - and I did - -
In fact, it was so good I rationed it for three evenings and with every day, it became more interesting and just as tasty as the first night I opened it. A beautiful inky plum color with a nose of dark fruit. It reminded me of a huckleberry coffee cake from a favorite family recipe made with the berries we picked during our vacations in Montana. On the first evening I opened the bottle of àMaurice Malbec, the wine ended with a graham cracker finish. The next evening the wine seemed more intense with the same flavors, but with dark cocoa added. The third and final evening, the wine remained to be full bodied but with a pleasant bit of spice at the end. For me, I felt this wine, even on the third day, had all of the components that I enjoy in a red wine. Have you ever been sad to see a bottle of wine empty? And it wasn’t about the alcohol, it was all about the pleasure of the taste - - to the last drop.
The wine left such an impression on me, I called Anna at àMaurice and told her I needed to have that Malbec to sell in my shop - - NOW! I took a big chance hearing rumors they were on their last bottles, but was delighted when Anna and Tom "found" a few bottles for my shop! So to make a long story short, I was really excited to see what Dr. Jay Miller had to say about the àMaurice Cellars Malbec - 2005. He gave this beautiful bottle of wine - - drum roll - - 89 points!
One more time - what the hell?