New Local Winery Launches in Leschi
Leschi Market is proud to announce the launch of our very own winery. What? Yes! You read that correctly! Now I’m sure you have questions, and we have answers.
The idea of forming our own winery began years ago, but really took hold and became a reality in the last six months. Known for our extensive, meticulously put together collection of wine from around the world at the best prices in the city, it had been difficult to find wine at the quality we demanded at the price we felt confident enough to put our name on. Then one day, it simply happened.
After tasting and turning down dozens of wines over the years, it began with finally striking gold in finding a couple of single vineyard samples of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from McNary in the Horse Heaven Hills. The Leschi wine team conducted their own blending trials and came up with combos that we all were quite taken with. We would eventually use the expertise of the same winemaker to craft our excellently dry, single vineyard rosé.
Next came the Reserve- a tremendous Bordeaux-styled red from a Walla Walla winery that we are able to put on the shelf at $19.99. This is truly a serious wine that doesn’t come along very often, plus a great complementary ‘big brother’ to the Rouge.
With a Reserve, a Rouge and a Rosé under our belt- we searched for a white wine to complete the initial lineup. Sauvignon Blanc? Chardonnay? We even tried an Albariño! Then, a conversation between wine department phenom Ben and old friend Mike Hallock of Carabella Winery in Oregon resulted in the absolute best Pinot Gris being added to our stable.
We carefully selected our labels, using photos of the Leschi Market building circa 1890 (Reserve) and 1910 (Pinot Gris), as well as utilizing pictures of the owners, a young 30-something Leonard Shulman (1967) tending the counter on the Lakeside Rouge, and father and son combo Leonard and Steve (1990) on the Rosé. We gathered and bottled in Woodinville on a couple different occasions, and waited.
Nervously we waited. We revisited the reds every couple of weeks to see if they were ready after the initial shock that bottling does to a wine. We waited a couple more weeks, then a couple more. The official release was last month at the annual Spring Wine Tasting with the Lakewood Seward Park Neighborhood Association. The wines were more than ready, and simply sang, a real highlight of the event. The wines were met with wild fanfare at the tasting, and again later that week as customers slowly began to see them emerge on the shelves in the wine department.
This first release of wines is quite limited, less than 200 cases each of the red, barely 100 of the pink and half of that for the white. Do not delay if you want to try these amazing wines. This is a project that will hopefully continue to grow and make Leschi proud. We at the Market are beaming. Have a safe and happy summer everyone!
2014 Leschi Cellars Lakeside Reserve Red Blend Walla Walla ($19.99)
“We have been listening. This Bordeaux-style red blend hails from Walla Walla and possesses all of the traits you have been looking for—deep velvety fruit balanced by supple tannins and acidity. Enjoy daily or pair with Leschi Market’s famous prime rib. A very serious and age-worthy wine that is only just now coming into its prime, and is bound to develop nicely over the next 5-7 years.
2016 Leschi Cellars Lakeside Rouge McNary Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills ($12.99)
Started in 1948, little has changed at Seattle’s favorite neighborhood market. In the spirit of uncompromised quality, we have fashioned this balanced blend of 80% Cabernet and 20% Merlot. Meant to be enjoyed young, it has been (barely) aged in neutral French barrels to allow the deep dark incredibly inviting subtleties of this cooler-climate vineyard to beam forth. -Winery notes.
2016 Leschi Cellars Pinot Gris Oregon ($11.99)
Made by Mike Hallock of Carabella Vineyards, this is an utterly perfect Pinot Gris. Lush and juicy white peach and nectarine flavors, great mouthfeel and absolutely thirst quenching, mouth-watering acidity. This is an ultimate summertime wine that will easily pair with food and leave you wanting more.
2016 Leschi Cellars Rosé McNary Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills ($11.99)
Made in the style of the bone-dry beauties from Provence, the fruit for our Rosé comes from the relatively cool climate site McNary Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills. Tart strawberry and citrus rind notes with low alcohol, fresh demeanor and zippy acidity. Fermented to zero residual sugar, so yes, friends, it is absolutely dry!
Kenneth Benner, a Seattle area native, is a trained chef and has worked in such restaurants as Barbacoa, B.O.K.A. Kitchen + Bar, and Dahlia Lounge. Ken is the wine buyer at Leschi Market. He has a passion for learning, a meticulous palate, and a tenacity for searching out the best for his customers while offering some of the most highly coveted wines in the area. His wine column is intended to inspire and explore new choices in wine, learn about wine with his readers, and share his knowledge and experiences in the wine world. Check out the latest at www.LeschiMarket.com or request to be added to email updates or send questions, comments, or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow the wine department directly on twitter at twitter.com/leschimarket.