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A Visit to Rasa Vineyards
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We drove to the modern winery, a few miles outside of downtown Walla Walla and were met by winemaker Billo Navarane, who, along with his brother Pinto, own the winery. Their background in mathematics is behind the names of some of their wines. The wines we tasted along with my very brief notes:

2010 Vox Populi $45: 100% Mourvedre, rhubarb and spice, ripe dark fruit flavors, excellent, 93

2009 Living in the Limelight $55: 90 % Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, nose of earth and dark fruit, dark fruit plummy flavors, balanced, needs a couple of years, 92+

Occam's Razor Syrah Block 10 Seven Hills Vineyard $60: spicy dark berries on nose and palate, excellent, balanced, give it a couple of years, 93+

2009 Doctrina Perpetua Syrah Bacchus Vineyard $60: plummy nose, tart blackberry flavors, 92

2008 QED GSM blend $50: spicy nose with a hint of barnyard, tart black fruit on the palate, 92

2008 Principa Reserve Syrah $85: baking fruit pie nose, smooth, 93+

2009 Plus One Cabernet Sauvignon $65: pencil shavings and forest floor nose, blackberries on the palate, needs time, 92-94

2009 In Order to Form a More Perfect Union $85: 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc, barrel sample nose, balanced, can be drunk now but sure to improve, impressive, 92-95

2011 Composer Riesling $30: 1.1% residual sugar, light nose of honey, tart light fruit flavors, 91

2010 Lyricist Riesling $30: 44% botrytised grapes, 4.9% residual sugar, light nose of botrytis and honey, beautiful balance between sweetness and acidity, 95+

Everything we tasted was well-made with the structure to improve and hold for many years. The winery has been in existence only since 2007 and is the most impressive young winery I've ever visited. I love what they're doing with Rhone varietals. This is a must visit for anyone fortunate to find themself in the area.


Just one more sip.
 
Posts: 36781 | Location: NY | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Need to find out if they have distribution to other parts of the US. If you have a contact email Board-O please email it to me. Impressive based on your write up. It looks like they also have a wine called Creative Impulse which is cab and merlot. WS and WA both loved the '08 at 95 and 94pts respectively.

IW

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Italian Wino,


Life without wine?...... Yeah Right.
The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living - Socrates
"Wine....offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than possibly any other purely sensory thing which may be purchased" ERNEST HEMINGWAY (1889-1961)

ITB
 
Posts: 4971 | Location: Louisville, KY | Registered: Nov 14, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'll send you an email. Their wines are all very impressive.


Just one more sip.
 
Posts: 36781 | Location: NY | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is what it's all about!

I have not had their wines, but appreciated your note greatly. You gave me something to seek out and learn about and made my hobby better.

Thank you.


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"What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning, with infinite artfulness, the red wine of Shiraz into urine?" -Isak Dinesen
 
Posts: 1287 | Location: Chico, CA | Registered: May 05, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My pleasure. The fact that only one other post on this board references this fine winery is surprisng to me.


Just one more sip.
 
Posts: 36781 | Location: NY | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Very interested to try and schedule a visit here in early October. Thanks for the notes.
 
Posts: 5420 | Location: Aurora, IL | Registered: Jul 29, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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B-O,

I am in touch with Pinto. We are going to try and get them a distributor for here so I can get access to their wines for the store. Thanks for the info.

IW


Life without wine?...... Yeah Right.
The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living - Socrates
"Wine....offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than possibly any other purely sensory thing which may be purchased" ERNEST HEMINGWAY (1889-1961)

ITB
 
Posts: 4971 | Location: Louisville, KY | Registered: Nov 14, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Your customers will thank you. I'm guessing you'll get soime of their friends coming in for the wines also. This is the only other thread I found with tasting notes for their wines.


Just one more sip.
 
Posts: 36781 | Location: NY | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is what these Boards are all about: learning about a new discovery before the general population, and sharing it with the other wine fans.

Thanks, Board-O!
 
Posts: 6446 | Location: Palm Beach | Registered: Nov 08, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Great tasting notes!

If anyone in Ontario is interested in purchasing wines from Rasa Winery, e-mail me.

matt_fowler52 at yahoo dot com
 
Posts: 256 | Location: Burlington, Ontario | Registered: Apr 04, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We went to Rasa today and had an awesome tasting served up by Billo. There was a young-ish couple from Seattle there when we arrived. Great conversation all the way around. I will post my notes in the next week or so. Billo is extremely friendly and engaging - just an awesome guy. I don't think I've ever had as enjoyable a tasting experience.

Phenomenal wines. Everything was exceptional, and the sweeter of the two Rieslings was mind-blowing to me. I ended up buying a mixed case at Rasa for shipment.

My credit card is gonna be pissed at me after this Pacific NW trip, but I'll deal with it. Devilish Heading back towards Portland tomorrow and will do some more Willamette Valley PN's over the weekend. I really owe my gf a nice non-wine vacation next year! Even though she isn't nearly as enthusiastic about wine, she loved the Rasa juice as well. If any of you plan a trip to Walla Walla, you MUST make an appointment there.
 
Posts: 5420 | Location: Aurora, IL | Registered: Jul 29, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Board-O:
My pleasure. The fact that only one other post on this board references this fine winery is surprisng to me.

Hey, production is limited and the wines are already pricey enough as it is. Besides, I thought all you guys drank was European wine anyway...
 
Posts: 316 | Registered: Sep 23, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I drink as much American wine these days as European wine. Rasa's wines are worth the money. They are in the top echelon of Washington wineries. I'll take them over Quilceda Creek any day.


Just one more sip.
 
Posts: 36781 | Location: NY | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just opened an email from Full Pull Wines. They are offering Plus One, Creative Impulse and In Order to Form a More Perfect Union.
 
Posts: 8680 | Registered: May 28, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I bought the Vox Populi and the Lyricist. This is a top echelon winery, not just in WA, but in the country. The value here is especially great when you think of how overpriced, in comparison, some better known wines from CA are.


Just one more sip.
 
Posts: 36781 | Location: NY | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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They had a bottle of grenache blended with something on the wine list last night at Michys. Almost pulled the trigger
 
Posts: 5925 | Location: South Florida | Registered: Dec 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It was probably excellent, based on their other wines. What was the wine list price?


Just one more sip.
 
Posts: 36781 | Location: NY | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Not sure but I think $90.
 
Posts: 5925 | Location: South Florida | Registered: Dec 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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SQN, Rasa, Barroche, Pegau
Post Number:#1 by J. Scott Kipping »
I thought I posted this tasting on Wine Spectators forum, but I was mistaken.
I believe these are the best wines that I have tasted in Washington. Both Cab based and Rhone based. I have not tasted any Cayuse, but pretty well everything else. They are far bigger, brawnier and structured than Reynvaan.


Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:02 pm
After a few warm up celebrations for my 50th. The Northern Fanatics [3 of us] convened to taste a line up of Syrah's and Grenache based wines.
All wines were opened at 10:00am, tasted by me, and decanted at 4:00pm. Started wine tasting at 7:00pm.
My wife was in charge of pouring into the test decanter and bringing it downstairs for us. I wrote out the lineup for the other two winos. We always usually taste double blind.

Wine #1 Big nose of red fruit. Same on palate. Great finish. SINE QUA NON B20. One of the fanatics concede later he wanted to hate this wine, he wanted to find it OTT with a hot alcoholic finish. He found neither. Everybodies first SQN. 100% Syrah

Wine #2 I will be repeating this a lot. Big nose of red fruit. Moderately tannic grip, black fruits, smoke. Another great lip smacking finish. 2006 FIANCE. Years of life ahead of it. Very similar to one tasted in 2008. 50/50 Syrah Grenache

Wine #3 Smoke, coffee, black fruit nose. Smoke, coffee, black olives, black fruit. Sorry about the broken record, but, a great finish, with slight tannins. Young with years of life. 2007 Rasa QED.
94% Syrah 3% Grenache and 3% Mouvedre

Wine #4 Huge sweet nose of raspberry.Slight tannins, blast of red fruit. Longest finish of them all.Not at all what I remember tasting it with the Fiance in 2008. Back then it was real sweet and gooey. It has grown up since and also has years ahead of it. 2006 PURE. 100% Grenache

Wine #5 Wow what a nose. Smoke, coffee, tar, liquorice. All of these carried over to the palate with an olive component added. The most complex wine by far. Again a terrific finish. Wow wine for everybody. Less tannic than the QED. 2008 RASA PRINIPIA. 100% Syrah

Wine #6 It is too bad that my wife left this for last. I loved it, but the other two didn't. Big ass brett nose. Intense palate of dried fruit and leather. Rioja like. Good solid finish. Still has tannins and more acidity than all of the other wines combined. 2001 CUVEE LAURENCE. Cndp blend I don't know the cepage.

CONCLUSION
The Principia was the clear cut best wine for us, tied for second was the Pure and the B20, after that it is splitting hairs as the Fiance and the Qed are both awesome wines. I loved the Laurence but it stood out as lean in fruit in this lineup.

Buy more Rasa, and try to source Pure and Fiance at reasonable prices. I bought these by the 6 pack for 65.00 each. Know I see Pure at 230.00 retail, thanks Uncle Bob.

We have visited Rasa a couple of times and Pinto and Billo are great hosts who know what they are doing in such a short time as winemakers. I am hoping to visit Julien Barrot in May.
 
Posts: 32 | Registered: Dec 29, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We had a bottle of the 2010 Vox Populi last night. It's 100% Mourvedre. This is a wonderful wine with the attributes foir which I prize and excellent Chateauneuf-du-Pape. No notes taken but a solid well-made spicy gem that's sure to improve. 93-94

Rasa is one of America's great wineries.


Just one more sip.
 
Posts: 36781 | Location: NY | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My visit, on 11/10/12:

2010 PB Wines Cabernet Franc ($29)
What a nose. A mélange of dark fruit, plum, Crhsitmas spice and minerals. Zero trace of alcohol. Long, detailed finish. 92 points

2009 Rasa Vineards QED ($50)
(71% Syrah, 14 Grenache, 12% Mourvedre, 1% Viognier) I was amazed when Billo told us how many blind trials go into deciding on the final blend for QED. Darker profile than so many GSMs, but not so much that it isn’t clearly a GSM. Floral, spicy, so dense, but still light. 91 points

2009 Rasa Vineyards Principia Reserve Syrah ($85)
(100% Syrah) Very dark. Brooding, highly complex nose. Rocks, spices, black raspberry, light soy, meat, and an undeniable streak of mineral under everything. Huge in the mouth with great lift. Inner-mouth energy. 94 points

2009 Rasa Vineyards ‘Plus One’ Cabernet Sauvignon Kiona Vineyards Red Mountain ($75)
(their first single-vineyard Cab) An exceptional effort from this vineyard. Very clearly a Cab, with currant, anise, blackberry. Very fine yet stiff tannins. So deep and broad. 94 points

2009 Rasa Vineyards ‘Creative Impulse’ DuBrul Vineyards ($95)
(71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot) One of the most memorable wines I’ve had in quite awhile. Power, but still so elegant. Wow, what a mouthful! Textbook DuBrul nose of olive/tobacco currant jam. Effortlessly long and pure. Wow. 97 points

2009 Rasa Vineyards ‘In Order to Form a More Perfect Union’ ($95)
(41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc) Slightly more subdued nose than the prior wine. Black cherry, slight cedar, blackberry, sappy, juicy. Bright and complex. 93 points

2011 Rasa Vineyards ‘Composer’ Riesling ($30)
Easily the finest WA Riesling I’ve had. His equivalent of a Kabinett. Close your eyes, and you’re sipping something from the Mosel. Very light color. Minerally, with apricot, white peach, jasmine. Such a great, complex nose. Pear spice on the very bright, dry palate. 93 points

2011 Rasa Vineyards ‘Lyricist’ Riesling ($30)
An Auslese equivalent. Orange and peach, sweet, and not at all cloying. 88 points


Cheers!
 
Posts: 2884 | Location: Seattle, WA, USA | Registered: Mar 22, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nice notes! You must be a faster note taker than I am. Sorry you missed the Vox Populi. We liked the Lyricist a lot more than you did, quite a lot. Maybe bottle variation or time open? We bought the Vox Populi and Lyricist.


Just one more sip.
 
Posts: 36781 | Location: NY | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I remember thinking about the Vox Populi, but I wasn't going to push my luck. They opened a lot of yet-to-be-released stuff, so I was pleased as punch. I had plenty of time to write out my notes. The other couple there was asking lots of questions, as were we, and Billo was a gracious host, willing to answer all our questions. I'll remember that tasting for quite some time.


Cheers!
 
Posts: 2884 | Location: Seattle, WA, USA | Registered: Mar 22, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Board-O:
My pleasure. The fact that only one other post on this board references this fine winery is surprisng to me.

+1.
Thanks for the notes, Board-O.

The folks on the CT forum clamor for this producer's wines.
 
Posts: 1862 | Location: L.A. | Registered: Dec 04, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Board-O:
We had a bottle of the 2010 Vox Populi last night. It's 100% Mourvedre. This is a wonderful wine with the attributes foir which I prize and excellent Chateauneuf-du-Pape. No notes taken but a solid well-made spicy gem that's sure to improve. 93-94

Rasa is one of America's great wineries.


This is killing me ... I *love* Mourvedre, and, despite not being able to access anything I order for a couple years, might take a flyer on a 3-pack of this wine based on your notes. Smile
 
Posts: 1862 | Location: L.A. | Registered: Dec 04, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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