This week I got notified that I've made the Reynvaan mailing list; it's the first new mailing list I've applied for in years, and I'm currently on no others. From the looks of it, and presuming retail prices don't go berserk later, the list doesn't offer me wine at any discount to retail, it just ensures that I get wines I might otherwise have trouble securing. And such was 2013 for this producer--high up on the Speck's Top 100, and #1 and #3 on Seattle Magazines Top 100, plus over 95 pt scores on every wine they make from at least one power critic--that from 2014 on, especially if 2012 turns out to be as good a vintage as everything points to, regular retail as we knew it is going to dry up. The previously unaware are now aware: Reynvaan is the next Cayuse.
How do they compare? Same winemaker, but how close are the wines? I've only had mature Cayuses and young Reynvaans, so I'm not qualified to say. But oh these young Reynvaans. I've never had anything else quite like them. Since tasting the 2008 Unnamed, my head has been hopelessly turned. These wines have an Old Worldliness about them I didn't even know was possible outside of the Northern Rhone, but there's a voluptuous depth those wines rarely have that's heady in the nose and totally thrilling on the palate. The result is captivating, borderline naughty and yet refined--it's Nigella Lawson in a glass.
And the effect on me is most similar to what I remember about my first taste of a young Chave Hermitage. I later learned others felt it too, and that it had been given the name 'animale'.
So I who is completely nonplussed by new world syrah have actually amassed a little collection of Reynvaan syrahs. Picking up a bottle here and two there when I can, I now have around 30 bottles and am actually considering going on a mailing list so I can spend $60+ per bottle on more. To help make up my mind, and to get a yes or no from Bob who couldn't remember our last bottle or why I got so taken with these in the first place, we opened Reynvaan's 2009 In The Rocks last night. Suffice to say, all the things described above happened again in a big way, and this morning Bob is urging me to place the order that two days ago he wanted to avoid. Mostly black fruit but abetted by a little red fruit tang, espresso, fennel, bacon, road work and barnyard floor are all here in a concentrated, highly aromatic way that just made our heads spin. I chose the 09 to open because this vintage for all Washington wine is generally more open than the tannin-driven wines of 08 and 10. Am guessing the aging curve on this particular bottling will be shorter than long, but it's equally possible that there's more infrastructure here than I'm giving it credit for. With this wine, it's easy to be so dazzled by the cleavage that one fails to notice how well dressed it is. Either way, it's okay. I'll just keep trotting these 09's out and going "See? SEE?", and turn to the other vintages later.
In The Rocks is, btw, a co-ferment with viognier. The Contender co-ferments with marsanne and The Unnamed now coferments with Grenache blanc (some earlier bottlings were 100% syrah). There is also Stonessence (best barrels, and currently the most expensive offering at $85 per), In The Hills, and Foothills in the Sun Reserve. Not aware of what the program is on the last two, or why one is called Reserve, but one was introduced in 2011 and the other is new this year--I think.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov