Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Efeste Winery Visit

Efeste Wines

Some friends and I visited Efeste Winery in Woodinville Washington's Warehouse Wine District last weekend. We were lucky to be able to meet, and chat with, co-founder/owner Daniel "Big Papa" Ferrelli, and winemaker Brennon Leighton, both pictured below with my girlfriend, Kristina, in the Efeste tasting room.
Big Papa, Kristina & Brennon at Efeste
We also got to taste some yet-to-be-released 2008 wines that had been opened for one of the big wine critics, who I'm not going to name. It was a total WIN for us, as the wines had been open a day or so, and all of the 2008's were showing beautifully.

  • 2009 Efeste Sauvignon Blanc Feral - USA, Washington
    Surprisingly smooth and fruity for a Sauv Blanc. Definitely one of the most drinkable (for my palate) SB's I've ever tasted. Bright fruit, zinging acidity, but not over the top like many others I've had. A touch of sweetness in there too. (86 pts.)

  • 2009 Efeste Riesling Evergreen - USA, Washington
    Very tasty Riesling, with just a hint of residual sugar, giving the finish a nice sweetness. This is like drinking a granny smith apple that has a small amount of honey drizzled on it. (87 pts.)

  • 2007 Efeste Syrah Ceidleigh - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
    I love Red Mountain Syrah and this is typically my favorite Efeste wine (I think the Red Willow Eleni Syrah beat it this time though!). 100% Red Mountain Syrah: 57% Klipsun Vineyard, 28% Ceil du Cheval, 10% Kiona Top of the Hill Ranch, 5% Stone Tree Vineyard. Just a great wine, with outstanding smokey black fruit and loads of pepper. I'm sitting on my last bottle of this, but may have to buy some more because I don't think I can wait much longer to enjoy it! (94 pts.)

  • 2008 Efeste Syrah Ceidleigh - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
    Wow, what a different wine, compared to the 2007! Much bigger fruit on the attack, and absolutely palate-coating. Fruit is swimming all over my mouth, and putting a silly grin on my face. I'll be standing in line to buy this when it is released in November. (94 pts.)

  • 2008 Efeste Syrah Jolie Bouche Boushey Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
    Dark, glass-coating inky purple, edging toward black, in color. Very spicy...VERY spicy. There is a ton of pepper and spice in this wine, but huge amounts of black fruit as well. Mouthcoating, this wine will stain your teeth just by looking at it. Very rich, with a sweet, peppery finish. (93 pts.)

  • 2008 Efeste Syrah Eleni Red Willow Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
    100% Red Willow Vineyard Syrah, from the oldest block of Syrah in the state. This is an amazing wine, with tons of black pepper and lots of structure. Nice fruit, slathered over peppercorns. This is an astounding wine, and one that, even at this young age, will knock your socks off. (96 pts.)

  • 2008 Efeste Emmy - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
    A blend of Mourvedre and Syrah. Also very spicy and inky. This wine was definitely different tasting than the other Syrahs, so I'm assuming there is a pretty large percentage of Mourvedre in there (I can't remember how much winemaker Brennon Leighton said was in the blend). Lots of structure too, but not as much as the Eleni Syrah. Quite spicy, but not as much black pepper as the others either. More like Asian spices, and maybe a bit of cinnamon. Finish is spicy chocolate. (92 pts.)

  • 2007 Efeste Final-Final - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
    56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Syrah, 2% Mouvedre, from a handful of vineyards in Columbia Valley. This is the epitome of an enjoyable quaffing wine. Everything comes together perfectly, and you just want to DRINK this wine. In fact, later in the evening, we hung out at Pearl in Bellevue, where I enjoyed several more glasses of Final-Final! Just a nice, fruit-forward quaffing wine, with decent structure, but with nothing over the top or out of place. Acidity good, tannins good, fruit good, finish's ALL good. (91 pts.)

  • 2007 Efeste Cabernet Sauvignon Big Papa - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
    The badboy 100% Cabernet from old vines: 31% Kiona Vineyard, 31% Weinbau Vineyard, 25% Klipsun Vineyard, 13% Sagemoor Vineyard. This one is a killer, big and bold. Named after Efeste co-founder/owner Daniel "Big Papa" Ferrelli, who I had the pleasure of chatting with during our visit, it is definitely the last wine you want to taste in the lineup. Huge cassis with a Bordeaux-like gravelly/lead pencil component. Great cab! (93 pts.)

After tasting through 9 wines, I have to say I was the most taken with their 2008 Eleni Syrah from Red Willow Vineyard. Efeste sourced the grapes for Eleni from a block of the oldest Syrah grape plantings in Washington! It is an amazing wine, and I must get some upon release! Only one get Eleni and Emmy (among other special wines), you have to be a member of The Inner Circle, Efeste's wine club. I think I must join...

As always, tasting notes posted from CellarTracker.