Anne and I were jumping up and down with excitement over one of my most memorable birthday "presents". First, that I'd been able to get a cell signal at Arianses Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope. Second, seeing an email from Christopher Chan, Executive Director of the Seattle Wine Awards. Then seeing T2 Cellar was awarded 3 medals out of 3 wines submitted to the 2020 awards, held a few days before:
2018 Syrah (Arianses Vineyard and Konnowac Vineyard): Gold
2016 Malbec Reserve (Gamache Vineyard): Double Gold
2019 Viognier-Roussanne-Marsanne (Konnowac, Lonesome Spring Ranch): Double Gold
Not our first medals, we picked up two Silvers for our 2016 Malbec (earlier bottling of the Reserve) and 2016 Syrah-Grenache-Mourvedre. The Syrah is particularly exciting, because it was bottled just six weeks before the awards judging. This is a baby wine. Our customers have been fawning 0ver the Malbec Reserve ever since release a year ago, so it is gratifying to hear our customers are so right! 2020 will be the fifth vintage of the T2 Gamache Vineyard Malbec. These vines are 19 years old, and have been for the past 5 years under vineyard manager Miguel Rodriguez expert hand. Look for the '17 Malbec soon (once you buy us out of these stellar '16's!).
I always tell customers we put the most work into our white and rose. So, yesterday morning as I looked over the WWA Best of Class list I was really stunned to see T2 Cellar among all these stellar wineries. There was our 2019 Viognier-Roussanne-Marsanne!! Anne had told me a couple of days before my birthday, "this is your best white wine yet." Anne's palate is key to the blending process that goes into this wine and our GSM. Our Intern, Nicole Camp, was also a key to putting this wine together with her efforts in assessing fining and blending trials, not to mention all her work during crush. The bottling crew also has to get a high-five, helping me bottle this wine (and the '18 Syrah) during the COVID 19 pandemic. This was a small, but distantly dedicated crew: Tom Stangeland, Patrice Jackson, Payton Franzen, Mark Bader, and Anne. For the Malbec and Syrah, we had many friends helping process fruit, rack and bottle, including my brother Craig who was recovering from emergency brain surgery the day before bottling. He's looking forward to trying these wines soon.