Laurelhurst Cellars: Gettin’ It Done
September 7, 2010 by Doug Haugen
Making wine is a lot of work. Some of it has that tinge of romance, out in the vineyards with clusters of berries in your hands. Some of it is geeky, testing alcohol, acidity, and other chemical components in the juice. And, some of it is just laborious and mundane, like bottling. But, the Laurelhurst Boys know how to turn any job into a good time.
In May, we headed down to Laurelhurst Cellars at their new location in Georgetown. That night, they were bottling their new Cab Franc, and Gabe, Greg and Dave invited us down to lend a hand. We were happy to oblige.
The Laurelhurst triad is a genial bunch, and time spent with them is filled with stories and laughs. Helping out with the bottling meant eating a dozen kinds of grilled sausage, drinking beer and wine, and shooting the breeze. Not one to miss a party, Clive Pursehouse from the Oregon Wine Blog arrived, and a night of labor felt more like a backyard barbecue than a work session. However, we did finally get down to the business of bottling, and had a great time on the assembly line. Washing, filling, corking, boxing, we all had a go at it, and I could just imagine how the vino we were drinking out of a giant beaker was going to taste after some time in the bottle. We’ll get to that soon enough.
While the new vintage wasn’t ready, we did go home with three bottles from ’06, and a few weeks later, spent a rewarding evening tasting through them. Look for these in restaurants around Seattle, at your local wine shop, and at the winery.
2006 Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Roiling dark fruit on the attack sends you into a defensive parry. The mid-palate, with a structured body driving you backwards with a intense ferocity, forces the acceptance of a fate to which you succumb. In the end, a stark and resolute finish washes over you, like the final moments of a fallen steward in a land with no king.
2006 Boushey Vineyard Syrah
Round, lush and juicy, this wine brings the rustic Old World appeal with some winter-garden points of interest. Kafkaesque in its maze of structured flavors, it brings the fresh dirt on the wheels of a farm wagon with the new leather of a late model Mazerati. Texture of raw silk, it’s both amiable and refined, like stepping from your limo to the bunkhouse, never stopping to wipe off your Gucci’s.
2006 Laurus Nobilis
A nearly nursery rhyme nose of nutmeg, spice and everything nice, this wine hits the realities and complexities of adulthood on the palate with a proletariat approach to the bourgeoisie. The name is evocative of its character and place, a lofty and privileged effort from Laurelhurst–a right-bank styled meritage that veritably shouts Washington.