Over the last six months, we purchased several different bottles from Full Pull Wines, the amazing online retailer based in Seattle. Since I can’t drink wine right now while I recuperate from knee surgery, this article features these Full Pull wines that we are looking forward to opening in the future. They are either 1) new vintages of wines we’ve enjoyed in the past; 2) new wines from winemakers we appreciate; or 3) wines we’ve never had before but are attracted to their tasting notes from others.
We initially wrote about Full Pull, the brainchild of owner (and excellent wine writer) Paul Zitarelli, shortly after its October 2009 launch. Paul sells wine through a mailing list. The process is simple. First, Full Pull emails you about wine their staff loves. Next, you request the bottles that appeal to you. Finally, you pick your wine up at the warehouse or have it shipped. Better yet, there is no monthly fee or minimum purchase. And the deals are worthwhile. Read on for details of the latest wines we ordered.
Full Pull Wines: 2018 MTR Productions Syrah Memory Found
First up, 2018 MTR Productions “Memory Found” Syrah. a special production wine produced from Washington Rocks Syrah royalty, Matt Reynvaan. Matt sourced the grapes from Reynvaan’s estate “In the Rocks Vineyard.” Critics call this Syrah “a stunning, head-turning, seductive world-class wine since its initial vintage in 2012.” Because we’ve not tasted it yet, here are some reviews about this elegant Syrah: “rich and powerful with an expressive nose and palate that balance savory and warm red and black fruits with minerality and notes of smoky bacon fat and oyster sauce.” We can’t wait to try it, but plan on exercising patience by cellaring it.
2020 La Rata
We recently experienced 2017 La Rata, and my reaction was: “Simply wow. Simply sensational. What a show-stopper.” Magnificent winemaker Elizabeth Bourcier crafts La Rata from Cayuse Vineyards fruit and, of course, it’s spectacular. We adored the 2017 so much, we immediately ordered the new 2020 release from Full Pull Wines. It’s the ninth vintage of Elizabeth’s personal wine project. She is Bionic Wines’ resident vigneronne, and she still thinks of herself as a cellar rat. 2020 La Rata blends 53% Grenache, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Syrah. According to Elizabeth, “The wine opens with aromas of salty brine, prosciutto, fig, dark raspberry, umami, wet brick, cedar, and plum. The palate is slightly chewy and firm in the front but opens to succulent, lush tannins in the back and finish. There is a core of beautiful, rich, dark fruit throughout while still remaining fresh and airy.”
2020 City Limits “Where the Sidewalk Ends” Zinfandel
2020 City Limits Zinfandel is another label by our favorite rockstar winemaker Morgan Lee of Two Vintners, Covington Cellars and Block Wines. Zinfandel is not widespread in Washington state because it’s harder to grow this far north. However, Stonetree Vineyard, on a south-facing spot on the Wahluke Slope, is consistently warm enough for the heat-seeking Zin. According to Paul Zitarelli at Full Pull Wines, 2020 City Limits Zin “opens with a wonderful, true-to-Zin nose: brambly berry fruit (raspberry, tayberry) and sun-dried figs, tomato paste and hot-rock minerality. The palate is colossal: rich and delicious, of course plenty ripe but never venturing into overt alcoholic heat.” Morgan is known for creating opulent Zins that pair well with barbecued burgers and steaks, or roasts and slow-cooked stew. We can’t wait to taste it after I’ve recuperated from knee surgery.
2022 MAN Family Wines Free-Run Steen Chenin Blanc
We poured a sample bottle of 2022 MAN Family Wines Free-Run Steen Chenin Blanc a few months ago, and we really liked it. So, we ordered some from Full Pull. This refreshing Chenin Blanc drinks way above its $12 price point – crisp, mouth-watering, with minerality and vibrant acidity. Aromas of pears, lemons, minerals and pineapple lead into beautiful flavors of apples and more lemons, limes, peaches and tropical fruits, with more minerality. Steen, the traditional South African word for Chenin Blanc, thrives in the climate and deep soils of the region.
Full Pull Wines: 2020 Lydian GSM From Avennia
Lydian is an excellent-value wine produced by the team at Avennia, amazing winemaker Chris Peterson and his impressive and cool partner, Marty Taucher. Chris combines large portions of declassified Avennia juice with selected wine from his friends. This vintage blends 40% Grenache, 33% Mourvedre, and 27% Syrah, at a cool price point of $25. We have the 2019 in our cellar, but Paul says “This 2020 might be the most approachable, openly delicious vintage of Lydian’s GSM to date.” According to early reviews, aromas of custard, pomegranates, raspberries, blackberries and spices turn into a silky, textured palate with flavors of cassis and mocha, along with minerality and salinity. Perhaps we will do a side-by-side tasting of the 2019 and 2020.
2021 Lydian Cabernet Sauvignon From Avennia
This is another excellent-value Lydian wine from the Avennia team. You can’t usually find a Washington state Cabernet Sauvignon for $25. Similar to its more expensive Avennia counterparts, this wine possesses bright acid, fine dusty tannins, complexity and fruit impact. In addition, 2020 Lydian Cab Sauv is said to be elegant, savory and earthy with sturdy veins of minerality streaked throughout. Sounds wonderful.
2019 Prospice Meravina
We’ve been fans of Prospice since we visited their Walla Walla tasting room when it launched a few years ago. So, when we saw Full Pull was selling 2019 Meravina, new to the Prospice portfolio, we wanted to try it. This is a compelling Bordeaux-style blend of Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Paul describes it as complex, textured, graceful, polished, classy and attractive. We’re really looking forward to tasting it. Meanwhile, it joins Prospice 2018 Cab Franc in our cellar.
Full Pull Wines: 2021 Domaine de la Chanteleuserie Bourgueil Cabernet Franc
Full Pull’s notes about 2021 Domaine de la Chanteleuserie Bourgueil Cabernet Franc pulled us in (pun not intended): “One of our favorite all-timers here at Full Pull is the limestone-grown Cabernet Franc from Domaine de la Chanteleuserie in the heart of the Loire Valley’s Touraine region. It’s a consistently pristine bottle with phenomenal Cabernet Franc typicity.” The seventh generation of the Boucard family runs La Chanteleuserie, and Kermit Lynch has imported 46 vintages. This wine is so age-worthy that Kermit Lynch insists that bottles from 1976 still drink well today. It’s 100% Cabernet Franc, sourced from vines planted between 1967 and 1980. According to Paul, this is classic Loire Valley Franc, as much about spicy greens (watercress, arugula) as it is about red fruit (raspberry) and mineral. Yes, we know it’s young. But it’s going to take a lot of patience to cellar this one!
2021 Involuntary Commitment Red
We have owned bottles of Andrew Will’s Involuntary Commitment since its initial 2016 vintage. Chris Camarda launched Andrew Will in 1989 in Seattle. However, five years later, he moved to scenic Vashon Island. Many wine enthusiasts regard his exceptional wines very highly. For example, we think Andrew Will Cabernet Franc is divine. But if you’re looking for a lower-price wine by the same winning team, look no further than this one. Chris puts the same level of attention into Involuntary Commitment as into his high-end Andrew Will wines. This 2021 vintage blends 55% Cab Franc with Cab Sauvignon and Merlot, described as a Loire-meets-Washington marvel. We know we’re going to enjoy it as much as the 2016.
2020 Block Wines Ankleroller Syrah
For years, we have been drinking Block Wines Ankleroller Syrah, crafted by rock star winemaker Morgan Lee, in collaboration with Full Pull Wines. So, no surprise, we ordered bottles of the newest vintage, sourced from Rich Funk’s Stones Speak Estate Vineyard in the Rocks District. We frequently quote Paul, who says: “Morgan working with Rich’s fruit is basically a dream come true for lovers of Washington Syrah. Morgan working with Rich’s fruit? That’s about as good as it gets in WA Syrah.” Paul also says the nose on this savory, succulent vintage is so expressive that you can smell it as it pours into the glass. Oh, and by the way, it’s called Ankleroller because the stony rows of this vineyard can be very difficult to walk on. Therefore, people (and vineyard equipment) have to be very careful navigating them! Trust us, we were there over the summer!
Summary: Full Pull Wines
In conclusion, we have many bottles of incredible wine from Full Pull to appreciate in the weeks, months and years ahead. And if you haven’t checked out Full Pull Wines yet, what are you waiting for? We’ll be buying our next selections soon.
Margot and Dave