4-way action with Bartholomew Winery

By Duane Pemberton

Bart Fawbush is a man on a mission who’s armed with a little bit of know-how, some good industry contacts and a ton of passion. His Freshman release of wines is made with the help of an industry colleague but it’s to the style and preferences of Bart. In fact, the way he figures things are going – the wine should be 100% made by him over the next couple of vintages. Like most small wineries (he’s under 800 cases total), he works a full-time day-job and works on his true love at night and on the weekends.

His first four wines include a Sauvignon Blanc, Carmenere/Cab blend (Reciprosity), Cab/Merlot blend (Jaxon) and a Rhone-style blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre called Orsa.

2008 Sauvignon Blanc – W.E.P. Rating: 100%

Technical Data:

  • Fruit: 100% Sauvignon Blanck
  • Alc: 13.5
  • Columbia Valley AVA
  • Stainless Steel Fermentation
  • Price: $14

Nose: Fresh lemon, slight petrol, grapefruit, kiwi and starfruit.

Taste: Refreshing ASSAULT of citrus fruits on the palate – a refreshing take on Sauvignon Blanc without the typical grassiness so often associated with the varietal. Crisp finish that presents a decent amount of acids and hangs out nicely. A solid effort for $14 and one I’d easily recommend with raw oysters.

2007  Orsa – W.E.P. Rating: 90%

Technical Data:

  • Blend: 69% Syrah, 13% Grenache, 18% Mourvedre
  • Alcohol:
  • Alc: 13.9%
  • Columbia Valley AVA
  • Syrah – Coyote Canyon Vineyard, Grenach & Mourvedre – Den Hoed Vineyard
  • 20% new French Oak – 80% neutral French
  • Price: $22

Nose: Plums, peppercorns, rhubarb, charred bell peppers, big league chew, cherry cola and tar.

Taste: Peppered raspberries, rhubarb and twizzlers come flooding in no the front-end. The mid palate picks up some good flavors of asphalt, black and pink peppercorns. The finish ends nice and peppery with good amounts of rhubarba and roasted beats. I like this wine, however, it does little to showcase the regions in which the grapes came from.

2006 Reciprocity – W.E.P. Rating: 100%

Technical Data:

  • 50% Cab, 50% Carmenere
  • $28
  • Alc: 13.9%
  • Horse Heaven Hills AVA
  • Cab – Coyote Canyon Vineyard, Carmenere – Phinney Hill Vineyard
  • 33% new french oak, 66% neutral french oak
  • Price: $26

Nose: A rousing dose of black peppercorns, white pepper, raspberries. star anise, black licorice, plumsauce, leather and clove.

Taste: Coca-cola, root-beer, peppercorns and chewing tobacco are here in full effect. Good fruit on the initial attack with the dark-fruits I love – black raspberries, black cherries, black plums. Across the mid palate kick-in some more pepper notes, shoe leather, and some very nice spice-action. Good finish that lingers on with the kick-ass pepper notes make this a no-brainer wine for PembertonBBQ Sauce, ribs, grilled-anything or even fajitas.

2007 Jaxon – W.E.P. Rating: 75%

Technical Data:

  • 50% cab, 50% Merlot
  • Alc: 13.9%
  • Walla Walla Valley – Pepperbridge Vineyard
  • 50% new french oak, 50% neutral french oak
  • Price: $32

Nose: Plums, vanilla, toasted oak, black cherries, cola, star anise and a hint of black licorice.

Taste: Dark chocolate, blackberries, cranberries, rhubarb, shoe polish are some of the flavors that come to mind with this wine. The mid palate gets awkward for me as the oak comes in and silences the fruit that’s trying to come out. It’s not a total oak-bomb per se, however, it does have way more oak coming through than it should. The finish – for me – is too hot and a bit too bitter.

On the web: www.bartholomewwinery.com