One of the coolest things about blogging is that you never know what a post or even a “tweet” might lead to. Last month, I did a three-part series of posts regarding my tasting trip to Walla Walla, Washington. Sean Sullivan, who writes the Washington Wine Report (an excellent blog focusing on, you guessed it, Washington Wine), does a weekly post titled the “Washington Wine Round-up” featuring various stories about the Washington wine industry and was gracious enough to link to a couple of my Walla Walla posts.
In early July, I received an email from Shawn Luke, a Washington wine aficionado, who had stumbled across my blog from the aforementioned links on Washington Wine Report. Shawn, who described himself as “absolutely enamored with Washington wine”, had some great recommendations for producers in Walla Walla and in other wine regions throughout the state. He also led me to a couple of invaluable resources that out-of-staters can use to snare some of these low production, high demand wines.
One resource in particular that I would like to mention is Full Pull Wines. Full Pull Wines is an online retailer specializing in the sale of boutique wines from the Pacific Northwest. The concept is pretty simple. First, you sign up for their e-mailing list. After you’re on the list, you’ll receive offers (around twice a week) via email for whichever wine they’re featuring at that time. Second, if you see a wine that you’d like to order (trust me, you will), you put in a request for however many bottles that you need. These are mostly low production wines, so typically there will be a cap on the amount of bottles available to each person. Full Pull will then do there best to fulfill all requests. Once Full Pull has received the wines from the producer, they will charge your credit card. Wines are only shipped during a fall and spring window to avoid any temperature-related shipping disasters. Also of note, buyers can receive special discounted pricing if they agree to purchase twelve bottles or agree to pick up their orders at the Full Pull warehouse. More details regarding how Full Pull works can be found here.
One of the producers that Shawn recommended that caught my eye was Maison Bleue Winery, located in Prosser, Washington. About two weeks after receiving Shawn’s email, I popped open the latest issue of Wine Enthusiast. Ironically, the highest scoring Washington wine in the issue was a Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre blend by, you guessed it, Maison Bleue (the 2010 Graviere Upland Vineyard, which received a 96). My immediate thought was “it would have been nice to try that one, but I’ve got about a snowball’s chance with this score and the fact that it’s $45.00.”
Further irony ensued. A week or so later, I received an email from Full Pull offering Maison Bleue’s 2010 Graviere. Besides getting a 96 from Wine Enthusiast, Sean Sullivan rated it as Excpetional, stating that “on the high (high) side of the scale, this is as fine a Southern Rhone blend as the state has produced to date…”, and the Rhone Report gave it a 95+. I’m proud to say that I did manage to score some Graviere and look forward to sampling a bottle either this fall or early next year. Also, I checked Maison Bleue’s website a few days ago, and the Graviere is already sold out!
Thanks to Shawn and well, Sean, I now have a great resource to obtain some of the outstanding, small production wines that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. I would be remiss not to pass this on to others.