Each Friday we highlight a wine from the Northwest that we think is a real "find." By find we might mean that it's a steal, as all of these wines we'll feature weekly are under $20. We might also mean "Hey, you really need to go find this" and it might be a wine that we feel not enough people know about. In any case, with the weekend pending we're hoping to help you "find" a wine to kickoff the weekend right. We'll tell you a little bit about the wine and try to help you track it down here in the Northwest.
Negociant is a french term. It refers to someone who buys up fruit or wine from other producers or growers and sells it under their own label. Renegade Wine Co. is just such a negociant. However, they're renegade-ish. Reminds me of another renegade negotiator played by Samuel L. Jackson in the 1998 hit "The Negotiator" it's extremely possible that in France this movie was called "Le Negociant" I cannot confirm this however because I am not French and I was not in France in 1998. In that blockbuster action flick Samuel L. Jackson is framed by some crooked cops. Clearly these guys never watched Pulp Fiction. This man is not to be toyed with. Similarly Trey Busch the winemaker at Sleight of Hand Cellars was set up by some crooked cops, actually, that's not true. Trey though is the winemaker doing the blending and barrel selection behind the Renegade Wines. The goal here is to bring some nice wine to the people for a nice price instead of getting hostages released.
I have to admit I was shocked to see the Renegade Wine Co. doing a Walla Walla Valley Mouvedre. The varietal is certainly gaining steam here in Washington and it's been showing up in a lot of the great Rhone style blends that is part of this state's wheelhouse. You're only seeing a few single varietals however. It's scarcity makes it cool, especially cool for $13. The 12.7% alcohol is a renegade statement to be sure given the rising ABVs in the state. The wine itself? The aromatics are reminiscent of Pinot Noir, bright red raspberry and cranberries. The wine is medium bodied and loaded with spice, if you're looking for a change of pace this certainly brings that with a kiss of cocoa powder on the finish. You're going to find other Renegade Wines much easier than this one but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. I know Esquin's got it because I picked mine up there.
The song Renegade by Styx may have been the inspiration for this wine label as we know Trey's into the whole music thing. So I leave you with the greatest Styx video ever created.