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Rotie Cellars Northern Red Blend 2010

Rhone Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP94
0% ABV
  • RP95
  • WE92
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Winemaker Notes

Modeled after a Cote Rotie (hence the winery name) this is a co-fermented blend of 95% Syrah (45% SJR Vineyard in the "Rocks" and the balance from Dwelley and Patina) and 5% Viognier. It displays a deep ruby color and a nose of raspberry, cherry, cassis and a bit of plum, with scents of lavender, sandalwood, orange peel, oriental incense and a hint of violets. The palate comprises of thick dark fruits wrapped around a deep bore core, underlain with licorice, Swiss chocolate and French roast. The back reveals a grainy texture that is intermixed with earthy minerals, dried cherry and orange peel, and touches of crème brulée, and roasted nuts, followed by chewy sweet-dry tannins on the finish.

Blend: 95% Syrah, 5% Viognier

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Stepping things up a notch in concentration and richness, yet still holding onto the polish and elegance shown by all of Sean’s wines, the 2010 Northern Blend is a co-fermented blend of 95% Syrah and 5% Viognier that was aged mostly in neutral barrel before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Deep ruby/purple, it is deep and dense aromatically, with smoky black fruits, bacon fat, dark chocolate, wild herbs and crushed rock-like minerality all emerging from the glass. Medium to full-bodied on the palate and simply impeccably put together, with a concentrated, rich palate weight that’s carried by a seamless texture and a lively, energetic feel, this thrilling, age-worthy Syrah should be given 3-4 years in the cellar and then consumed over the following 10-12 years. Drink 2016-2025.
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Rotie Cellars

Rotie Cellars

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Rotie Cellars, Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
When starting Rotie Cellars, Sean Boyd wanted to pay respect to the wines he truly loves to drink, those of France's Rhone Valley. From the dense Syrah-Viognier blends of the north, to the sultry GSM blends of the south, he has always felt there is plenty to love and learn. So he set a goal to start a winery based entirely on making traditional Rhone-style blends in Washington State. The idea is to combine old world winemaking techniques with the best Rhone varietal fruit in the area. Rotie will never be a large winery with a huge production, but rather, a small winery dedicated to creating old world wines from new world grapes.

Walla Walla Valley

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Responsible for some of Washington’s most highly acclaimed wines, the Walla Walla Valley has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years and is home to both historic wineries and younger, up-and-coming producers.

The Walla Walla Valley, a Native American name meaning “many waters,” is located in southeastern Washington; part of the appellation actually extends into Oregon. Soils here are well-drained, sandy loess over Missoula Flood deposits and fractured basalt.

It is a region perfectly suited to Rhône-inspired Syrahs, distinguished by savory notes of red berry, black olive, smoke and fresh earth. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot create a range of styles from smooth and supple to robust and well-structured. White varieties are rare but some producers blend Sauvignon Blanc with Sémillon, resulting in a rich and round style, and plantings of Viognier, while minimal, are often quite successful.

Of note within Walla Walla, is one new and very peculiar appellation, called the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater. This is the only AVA in the U.S. whose boundaries are totally defined by the soil type. Soils here look a bit like those in the acclaimed Rhône region of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but are large, ancient, basalt cobblestones. These stones work in the same way as they do in Chateauneuf, absorbing and then radiating the sun's heat up to enhance the ripening of grape clusters. The Rocks District is within the part of Walla Walla that spills over into Oregon and naturally excels in the production of Rhône varieties like Syrah, as well as the Bordeaux varieties.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

EWLROTIENORTH_2010 Item# 120965