Wednesday, March 28, 2012

509 Wines... All About the 206

As the Washington wine industry blossoms to over 700 labels even those most "in the know" can have a hard time keeping up. For the uninitiated who want to support their local or regional wines it can be down right overwhelming. As the wine industry in Washington has continued to grow, its newer proprietors have learned from their predecessors, helping them achieve success with varietal selection, business models and often times more sophisticated labeling. For one Fremont winery, the industry growth has inspired a new look that's a stroke of genius.

As the Washington wine industry grows, 509 Wine is in their 6th vintage with the 2010 whites. They've sought to set down roots in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood and try communicate that sense of place through their wines. 509 Wine Company has called Seattle, and more locally Fremont, home for a few years now. Their current releases have been a re-branding of sorts. After initially coming out of the gates with an Elephant Mountain Merlot and Red Mountain Cabernet, 509 began to produce Rhone varietals, specifically Viognier and Syrah sourced from the Walla Walla Valley. With these most recent releases they've changed up some of their sourcing but have also expanded their offering and re-branded with that urban Seattle focus.

Kevin Conroy; owner says these current releases represent the new focus for the 509 label: "Fremont is where I really want to take the brand." Their Fremont tasting room is hopping each Friday throughout the year and sees extended hours during the summer and their new label is really a new opportunity for 509 to hone in on their urban appeal. With their Cotes du Fremont Rose and newly labeled Clos de Seattle Viognier, they're primed to attract new wine drinkers looking for a label with which they can identify.

If Washington wine drinkers want to drink locally, these labels give them an opportunity to nail it down to their neighborhood. The labels are fun and eye-catching and the wines are well made. In addition to the new look 509 has expanded to appeal to a broader audience. These most recent releases include a Cabernet, Grenache/Syrah/Mouvedre blend, the Mouvedre Rose, Syrah and Viognier. All of the wines have moved towards the broader Columbia Valley designation as well.

The 2009 Roots Syrah is reflective of the quality Syrah that 509 has been making for the past few years. The wine delivers classically Washington Syrah aromatics with dark fruit, clove and a hint of barrel spice. The palate comes through with ripe dark cherries, cinnamon and a touch of white pepper.

2009 Coq au Vin is a meaty, hearty Rhone style blend. Earthen aromatics give way to mouthfuls of dark fruit and baking spices. The dark hued wine is all black fruit and black pepper.

The 2010 Cotes du Fremont Rose is not as fruit forward as the 2009 release, instead exhibiting more subdued aromatics (a little time with the bottle open helps here), hints of strawberry and plum blossom. The palate is lots of stoney minerality, straw and a hint of citrus. The wine has a nice crisp acidity and will be great compliment to summer fare.

The 2010 Clos de Seattle Viognier has the new label but exhibits the same lovely aromatics I've come to rely on from the 509 Viognier. Peach skin and honeysuckle aromatics lead into a wine with a bit more minerality than fruit. Hints of orange zest and pear are followed more strongly by notes of stone and spring grass. Nice acidity and finish on the wine.

These wines were provided as samples.


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