Isenhower Cellars Red Rhone Blend Columbia Valley Rara Avis 2006

Winemaker's Notes:

2006 Columbia Valley Rara Avis 69% Grenache 22% Mourvedre 9% Syrah All from the two Elerding Vineyards I started enjoying wine while a graduate student at the University of Colorado. The first wines to cross my path were sweet German Rieslings. I quickly moved on to red wines and those from the Southern Rhone sang to me. Washington State is not known for wines made from funny sounding grapes like Grenache or Mourvedre. These grapes require a very long growing season to ripen and both are very sensitive to winter cold injury. In the winter of 1996, Columbia Crest lost 62 acres of Grenache so a brave farmer is required to plant these grapes. Since beginning to make wine in 1999 I've dreamed about making a Southern Rhone style red wine. I was lucky to pick up the contract for 2.5 acres of Grenache, planted in 1996, at Elerding vineyard in Mabton (thank you McCrea Cellars for dropping that contract!). The Mourvedre was planted for me in 2003 at Elerding vineyard in Alderdale and the Syrah portion was planted in 2000 in Alderdale. The Mabton vineyard is a warmer site but the Alderdale vineyard has a longer growing season. Rara Avis: 1) A rare thing or person. 2) A rare bird. I named this wine Rara Avis to celebrate the scarcity of Grenache and Mourvedre in Washington. Together the Grenache and Mourvedre create a medium weight wine with flavors of cherry, raspberry, and strawberry. The aroma is the show- stopper; it is sultry and seductive like a 1940's Hollywood actress. To slightly increase the weight of the finish I blended in one barrel of Phelps clone Syrah. Recommended enjoyment period is now through 2012. Pair the Rara Avis with stews, chili, dry spice rubbed meats, grilled pork chops, and anything with copious olive oil. brett Isenhower Owner and winemaker

Region: USA » Columbia Valley

Vintages

  • 2006

+ Vintage
Color: Red
  • + My Wines

    My Wines

    Save in My Wines

    Add to Wishlist

    My Cellar

  • + List It
  • + Critic Score

    Submit a Critic Score

    Score:

    Name of Critic:

    Close
0 5 0.5
Average Rating Rate It Add
Isenhower Cellars:
Seeking a life that harnessed their combined backgrounds in chemistry and business, Denise and Brett Isenhower spent two years researching where to make wine in the Western United States. Washington was selected because it is the most entrepreneurial region to craft world-class wine. In 1999 the Isenhower’s founded Isenhower Cellars in Walla Walla because it is the most attractive town in Easte... Read more
Seeking a life that harnessed their combined backgrounds in chemistry and business, Denise and Brett Isenhower spent two years researching where to make wine in the Western United States. Washington was selected because it is the most entrepreneurial region to craft world-class wine. In 1999 the Isenhower’s founded Isenhower Cellars in Walla Walla because it is the most attractive town in Eastern Washington. Denise and Brett built their winery in 2002 on six acres of farmland south of Walla Walla. The initial planting of the Isenhower Estate Vineyard was two acres of Malbec (2008) with more acreage to follow. The Isenhower‘s long-term goal is to grow half of their own grapes and purchase the remainder from their outstanding vineyard partners. Isenhower Cellars has long-term “by the acre” contracts with seven excellent vineyards whose farmers are absolutely committed to growing outstanding grapes in an environmentally sustainable manner. Denise and Brett work closely with the farmers to make wines that reflect the essence of the vineyards. All the grapes are hand picked and hand sorted prior to fermentation. Isenhower Cellars does not use modern winemaking chemicals and enzymes to make wine. White wine and Rosé are aged exclusively in stainless steel tanks to retain vibrancy and avoid oaky flavors. Red wines are aged in tight grain French Oak barrels, predominately used and impart limited oak flavors. Denise and Brett minimally rack (transfer wine from barrel to barrel) allowing the wines to age very well. Denise and Brett Isenhower produce unique wines that reflect the essence of the vineyards of Eastern Washington. The individual wines are based on Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Merlot, Roussanne, and Syrah. Read less

2006 Columbia Valley Rara Avis 69% Grenache 22% Mourvedre 9% Syrah All from the two Elerding Vineyards I started enjoying wine while a graduate student at the University of Colorado. The first wines to cross my path were sweet German Rieslings. I quickly moved on to red wines and those from the Southern Rhone sang to me. Washington State is not known for wines made from funny sounding grapes like Grenache or Mourvedre. These grapes require a very long growing season to ripen and both are very sensitive to winter cold injury. In the winter of 1996, Columbia Crest lost 62 acres of Grenache so a brave farmer is required to plant these grapes. Since beginning to make wine in 1999 I've dreamed about making a Southern Rhone style red wine. I was lucky to pick up the contract for 2.5 acres of Grenache, planted in 1996, at Elerding vineyard in Mabton (thank you McCrea Cellars for dropping that contract!). The Mourvedre was planted for me in 2003 at Elerding vineyard in Alderdale and the Syrah portion was planted in 2000 in Alderdale. The Mabton vineyard is a warmer site but the Alderdale vineyard has a longer growing season. Rara Avis: 1) A rare thing or person. 2) A rare bird. I named this wine Rara Avis to celebrate the scarcity of Grenache and Mourvedre in Washington. Together the Grenache and Mourvedre create a medium weight wine with flavors of cherry, raspberry, and strawberry. The aroma is the show- stopper; it is sultry and seductive like a 1940's Hollywood actress. To slightly increase the weight of the finish I blended in one barrel of Phelps clone Syrah. Recommended enjoyment period is now through 2012. Pair the Rara Avis with stews, chili, dry spice rubbed meats, grilled pork chops, and anything with copious olive oil. brett Isenhower Owner and winemaker

Best Wine Deals

See More Deals »

Grenache Top Lists








Snooth Media Network