Wine Maker Notes
Maison Bleue’s 2009 Syrah Boushey Vineyard Liberte manages to layer lard, bacon, and roasted red meats for one impressive array of this variety’s carnal potential, all allied to cassis and fresh cherry (surprisingly tart-edged for this vintage) and seasoned with pungent sage, piquant orange rind, black tea and biting black pepper. The entire effect is not just aromatically pungent and correspondingly zesty yet polished on the palate, but also finishes with invigorating, exuberant length, a hint of tar adding to the aforementioned elements in its back end savor. This ought, I suspect, to be worth following for 6-8 more years.
Over the last few years Washington state has become something of a hotbed for talented artisan producers. One of our favorites is Jon Martinez and his Maison Bleue label. His wines have both the presence and stuffing to get noticed in a crowd, but also the polish and balance to perform impressively one-on-one. They combine a ‘Euro’ sensibility with a controlled New World opulence. Maison Bleue wines are rich and engaging, but never come off as overwrought or overblown. The 2009 Liberte Syrah is 100% Syrah from the Boushey Vineyard, aged in oak (20% new) for 10 months. The nose shows fragrant wood, smoke, meat, purple flowers, and some mineraltiy. Classic blueberry Syrah fruit that is sweet and plush but completely under control. Deceptively rich, concentrated and lively, this Syrah accentuates balance and purity of fruit. An Advocate 92 and a rather unique effort.