Being a founding member of a Seattle based wine group titled “Cork Dorks,” it should come as no surprise that I have fallen in love with a brand that talks nerdy to me.
Wines of Substance is a Washington winery stationed in the south sector of Walla Walla. With branding based off of the periodic table and packaging that is geek sheik, this is surely a brand that all nerds, geeks and dweebs can get behind.
Beyond the alluring packaging and savvy branding concept, Substance makes some killer juice with a not-so-wallet-killing pricing structure, (whites range between $15 and $18 while reds range between $18 and $20). With a dozen varietals to chose from, it would be easy for any wine lover to find something that they would surely enjoy.
Today’s pick is a two-for-one. With the beginning of autumn, I would like to have one last hurrah for a summer favorite of mine: Sauvignon Blanc. The Substance Sauvignon Blanc, (Sb) from years’ past have always been something that I have enjoyed, but I can honestly say that I was blown away with the 2010. In the past, the Sb was very New Zealand-esque, but with the 2010, the crew from Substance clearly ripped a page from the book of Sancerre. I love Sancerre style Sauvignon Blanc, so one can only imagine the excitement that came over me when I found something similar from my home state. With stunning aromas of lemon zest, lemon grass and fresh cut grass, I couldn’t believe that this wasn’t Sancerre. The flavors on the palate surely don’t disappoint either; fresh citrus, stone fruit, screaming acid and stoney minerality, the Substance Sb is definitely one of my favorite white wines from 2010.
Now, onto part two of our double feature.
Realizing that all good things must come to an end, I am embracing the autumn season with arms wide open. When I think of early autumn wines, I think of red wines with great acidity that aren’t too heavy or over extracted. Substance Counoise (Co), enter stage left. I will admit that I love obscurity in most aspects of my life, and the same definitely stands true with wine. Counoise is a grape that many may not be familiar with, so let’s have a quick little history lesson, (there may or may not be test at the end of this post, so be sure to pay close attention).
Counoise is a dark skinned grape grown primarily in the Rhône Valley region of France. Although it is primarily used in blending to add notes of pepper and to bolster acidity, it can definitely make for a fun wine by itself.
The 2009 Co is a great example of what Counoise can do on its own. Being harvested from the Forgotten Hills Vineyard within the Walla Walla AVA, one familiar with the site can expect some serious terroir funk. Aromatically, this wine is expressive, inviting and bright. Right away, you will smell bing cherry, peppercorn and wet cobblestone. On the palate, the Co dances around beautifully with great acidity and flavors of cherry cola, iodine and white pepper. This wine is definitely going to be different from much that you have had in the past, but it is well worth the exploration.
Fear not, there is no test. However, I employ all of you to head to your nearest wine shop and ask about Wines of Substance.
Live long and prosper!