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Rotie Cellars, Northern Blend 2012
97% Shiraz, 3% Viognier
Sourced from The Rocks District in Walla Walla Valley, the Northern Blend expresses the savory and earthy terroir of its region. It exhibits aromas of violet and bacon fat. On the palate, soft black fruits with velvety tannins and dark chocolate deliver a voluptuous and complex texture.
Not messing up the 10% we, as winemakers, control. For example, I like Grenache that tastes like Grenache. Which by nature is light in color, lean, bright, and spicy. So, I am not going to disrespect it by co-fermenting it with Syrah to extract color and mess up its beauty. 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. Finally, temperature of fermentations, lees management, and stems need to be utilized in most cases for added viscosity and mouth feel.
Rotie Cellars was born out of a desire to pay homage to the wines of the Rhone Valley. From the deep and complex Syrah-Viognier blends of the Northern Rhone, to the sultry GSM's of the South, the renowned region offers a wealth of inspiration. Since 2007, winemaker and owner Sean Boyd's goal has been to make traditional Rhone blends in Washington State. Boyd's winemaking philosophy is simple- combine old world winemaking techniques with the highest quality Rhone varietals that Washington has to offer. Boyd sources from some of the best and oldest vineyards in the state in an effort to showcase the most elegant blend possible, while ensuring the typicity of the fruit is expressed. Each year a new vintage of the Northern and Southern red and white blends is released, bringing different attributes of the growing season to the table. The Northern Blend is a savory companion to the Southern Blend, a rounded trifecta of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. Rotie's whites are crisp, bright, and the perfect pairing to fresh seafood. On truly exceptional years, a vintage of varietal wines may be released, such as Grenache and Mourvedre. Rotie's program is small and focused, and production limited. Each lot is individually attended to, allowing for an uncompromising approach to quality.
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