Friday, December 6, 2013

Spring Valley Vineyard Uriah Walla Walla Valley Red Wine

Spring Valley Vineyard Uriah Walla Walla Valley Red Wine 2004  

Whimsical label from series of fun yet serious wines named for ancestors of the producer. Uriah was Uriah Corkrum, grandfather of Shari Corkrum, the current vineyard owner. Uriah Corkrum began farming on his own during the 1880’s and acquired and began farming the property now known as Spring Valley in 1910.

In 1993, Shari and Dean Derby planted the first grapes at Spring Valley. The first vintage of Estate grown and bottled Spring Valley Vineyard wines were produced with the 1999 vintage.

We hold a ten year vertical of this wine dating back to the 2002 vintage.

After a long week, this was an enjoyable complement to 'pub stew' Linda produced with beef tenderloin, carrots onions and mushrooms for Friday night dinner. 

This Merlot based Bordeaux blend is dark garnet colored with brownish tones, medium-full bodied, it presents an essence of full forward bourbon taste with a bit of alcohol, turning to a complex medley of flavors of fresh sauteed mushroom and black licorice with layer of spicy black cherry fruits accented by smoke creosote on a tangy lingering tannin finish.

The 2004 Uriah is 60% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 4% Petit Verdot. 

RM 90 points.

Post note - After consuming this bottle, I went to purchase a current release bottle to replenish our cellar. Lo and behold it was suddenly sold out from all the merchants that I frequent. I've seen this phenomenon before and upon checking found Spring Valley Uriah 2010 was highly rated and listed in Wine Spectator's Top 100 for 2013. Like so many wines before it, one of my favorite cellar collectables had been 'discovered' or recognized. It will for the foreseeable future be harder to obtain, and will no longer be value priced. Indeed, its now offered at $10 above release price, $15 above normal retail. Once again, as often before, I rue the day one of my favorites gains notoriety. Still I found bottles to restock my cellar with the current release, but they were sourced from out of state.

I vividly remember Château Ducru-Beaucaillou St.-Julien 1995 when it was annointed Wine Spectator’s Wine of the Year 1998, Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cépages 1996 , Wine of the Year 1999, and before them, Flora Springs Trilogy and Leoville Las Cases 1982. All were wines I regularly purchased and enjoyed that received Top 100 or Wine of the Year notoriety. Thereafter, prices spiked and supply dwindled.  Onward to the next undiscovered gem to be enjoyed until it too gains notoriety. Watch this space!

I too am guilty of this ratings driven buying when it comes to my kid's birthyears. I've been quoted many times referring to my kids' birth year collections, most notably the 1990 vintage, son Alec's birthyear. Indeed, three times, 1990 vintage wines were annointed Wine of the Year, Chateau Latour 1994, Penfold's Grange Hermitage 1993, and Caymus Special Select in 1992. Alas, we reap what we sow.