New Highly Rated Washington Reds: Rotie

We're stoked to have Rotie Cellars' fantastic Rhone-style wines back in our offerings! Fresh off outstanding reviews from The Wine Advocate, we tasted and quickly chose not one but two wines for our wine clubs -- easy choices at that! We highly recommend both their Syrah and white blend. 

Rotie Northern Blend 2015

$43.15 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order
($47.95 regular) 
95 points Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Northern Blend is a Syrah cuvée that's co-fermented with 6% Viognier, and it's a superb wine, wafting from the glass with notions of grilled meat, dark fruits, tapenade, bay leaf and pungent black pepper. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, rich and layered, with low acidity but a saline stoniness that lends it a freshness all of its own, concluding with a mouthwateringly sapid finish. It's a complex, savory Syrah that's elegantly textural and full of flavor."
Great Walla Walla character and richness with balance and freshness -- this wine represents the Rotie style, which aims for "lower alcohol, less ripe, less oak, balanced, finesse driven, mouth coating wines." Bingo! - Marcus

Rotie Southern White 2016
$28.75 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($31.95 regular) 
93 points Wine Advocate: "A keenly priced blend of 50% Viognier, 35% Roussanne and 15% Marsanne, the 2016 Southern White is definitely marked by its Viognier component, offering up aromas of citrus blossom, peaches and apricot. On the medium-bodied palate, the Roussanne and Marsanne make their presence felt more obviously, contributing (I suspect) chew and structure to this textural but bright white blend."

One of our favorite Pacific Northwest Rhone-style whites in years! Textural and flavor richness, a beautiful mix of tropical and stone fruits, honeyed and floral notes, but what really makes this sing is its freshness and overall balance. Fun on its own, with plenty of body for year-round enjoyment, while being a great match for grilled chicken with peach panzanella. - Marcus
More about Rotie Cellars' winemaking philosophy from winemaker Sean Boyd:
"The whole point of Rotie Cellars is to make traditional Rhone Blends with Washington State fruit. So what do traditional Rhone blends mean to me? To start with, they mean lower alcohol, less ripe, less oak, balanced, finesse driven, mouth coating wines.

So how is this done? As with most vague questions there are complex, lengthy answers but without writing a book, here are the basics:

The best sites: Sourcing from our Rotie Rocks Estate vineyard and finding vineyard sites that mature as late as possible for that variety.

Smart people: Understanding that 90% of making wine occurs within the vineyard. For me this means finding smart vineyard managers that listen to my goals and do everything in their power to achieve my vision. For me, tasting grapes on the vine, while plotting data points of brix, pH, and TA every week plays a crucial role. Then as pick times near, I continue to plot the same points every other day, making it easy to see patterns.

Don't get in the way: Not messing up the 10% we, as winemakers, control. All of Rotie's vineyard sources possess a unique beauty. I believe that it's not my place to alter this beauty. The finesse of winemaking is creating complimentary blends from contrasting sites. Subsequently, the addition of wood also needs to enhance the profile rather than overpower it. Personally, I like 15-20% new oak on dark Syrahs and only second fills or less on lighter Grenache or Cinsault. 

Let the grapes teach you: Understanding that winemaking is a constant learning process, where no vintage is the same. Each year the weather patterns dramatically affect the outcome of the vintage. My knowledge and skills as a winemaker are ever-evolving, and I love the challenge each vintage brings. These wines are not meant for grocery store shelves, but rather they need to be cellared as they are still evolving in bottle. I will never sterile filter these wines."
We're looking forward to helping you with an order. Thanks for your support!

Marcus and Andy