Efeste Upright Merlot 2011
Efestç, pronounced F-S-T is an acronym for Daniel & Helen Ferrelli – Patrick Smith – and Kevin & Angela Taylor. Daniel, a second generation Italian had been making wine in his garage forever,passing on the tradition of his family to his son-in-law Kevin Taylor. Daniel and Patrick met through business and their friendship blossomed through sharing their passion for wine. One evening Daniel was making dinner for his family at the Taylor house and invited Patrick too. A discussion of Kevin and Daniel’s wine making hobby came up. Patrick knew of some people in the wine industry and, why not start a project together!
They met with Chris Upchurch and Jay Soloff of DeLille Cellars and both decided to come on as consultants and Efestç was born. With a love for all wines but strong interest in Australian wines they took a trip there to discover what made the wine so unique. The Spirit of Australia was discovered and returned were three friends and the idea, not to take yourself too seriously, enjoy your family, friends and anyone else that would like to join you in a glass of wine, breaking of bread and a good laugh
A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington state’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA even extends into northern Oregon!
Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.
Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.
With generous fruit and supple tannins, Merlot is made in a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol, where it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to spectacular result. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly in California’s Napa Valley. Somm Secret—As much as Miles derided the variety in the 2004 film, Sideways, his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.