aMaurice Night Owl Red 2016
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So far, we’ve focused on aMaurice’s fantastic Artist Series red wines, which are made from purchased fruit as opposed to their Walla Walla estate vineyard. This time, we look back to 2016 and the brilliant Night Owl Red: 49% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 9% Petit Verdot. We recently tasted through several aMaurice-cellared beauties and this one is showing wonderfully–supple and velvety with black cherries and plums accented by tobacco and spice box.
We might normally think of the next part of the story as bittersweet; last year aMaurice sold their Walla Walla estate vineyard and stopped making wine altogether. But the winery went out on top, exiting the way they wanted to.
The “sweet” part continues: they sold the vineyard to none other than Drew Bledsoe and Josh McDaniels, the forces behind Doubleback winery and Bledsoe-McDaniels. The new name for the vineyard, Schafer, is an homage to the family that planted and farmed it. Its famous neighbors include Leonetti, Figgins, and Abeja, so that’s some hallowed ground!
The Schafer family planted the vineyard in 2006 and were immediately vocal proponents of a new Walla Walla alliance for sustainable winegrowing: a holistic system of recognized cultural production methodologies that employ environmentally-friendly and socially responsible viticultural practices that respect the land, conserve natural resources, support biodiversity, exercise responsible relationships with workers, neighbors and the community and provide continuing economic and biological vineyard viability.
Cheers to both the Schafers and Bledsoe-McDaniels–we are excited to follow the vineyard through new wines and may even have one final aMaurice estate wine for the club down the road!