In September, we visited Succession Winery in the Lake Chelan Valley with our good friends, Chuck and Rita Kinzer. And we were instantly reminded why we decided two years ago that Succession is a winery to watch. That’s when we first met talented winemaker Brock Lindsay, who is co-owner with his wife Erica. This year, Brock was on the crush pad processing Merlot when we stopped by. But he kindly took a break to chat. Read on for details of their story and wine.
In 2014, Brock and Erica faced two major life events. Joyously, their first daughter was born. However, two weeks later, they sadly lost their home to the Carlton Complex wildfires, the largest in the history of Washington state. As a result, they re-evaluated what was most important to them and took these events as a sign to make their dream of winemaking a reality. In other words, they literally rose from the ashes. Consequently, by the time they welcomed their second daughter, they had established Succession Wines in Manson, on the north shore of beautiful Lake Chelan. “Together with our daughters, we are building a new life, a new legacy, a new succession.” As mentioned, Brock was in the middle of harvest when we visited. This photo shows the Merlot grapes he processed while we were there.
We could have stayed at the scenic outdoor tasting patio all day, while our fabulous host Emily continued to pour so many standout wines for us. Ultimately, we tasted Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and many amazing reds, including two Cabernet Sauvignons and the delicious Bridge Builder’s Blend. Credit for this photo goes to our friend and travel companion, Chuck Kinzer, a professional photographer.
Succession Wines L & R Sauvignon Blanc 2020 ($30)
Named after their two daughters, Leila and Reese, this crisp 100% Sauvignon Blanc features bright acidity and a hint of sweetness, “much like our two daughters.” This Sauv Blanc was barrel-aged for six months. Aromatics of vanilla and citrus lead to flavors of lemons, yellow peaches and melons. Perfectly refreshing on the hot day of our trip, you can also pair it with seafood throughout the year.
Bridge Builder’s Blend 2018 ($42)
We adored the 2017 vintage of Bridge Builder’s Blend, and took some home with us during our last trip to the winery. And we were even more impressed with the 2018. Cabernet Sauvignon (46%) and Cabernet Franc (30%) mingle with Merlot (15%), Malbec (7%) and Petit Verdot (2%) and form a smooth, rich and just gorgeous Bordeaux blend. Wow, what a mosaic of flavors of red fruit, dark chocolate and hints of vanilla and tobacco. Bring out the grill!
Cabernet Franc 2019 ($46)
We savor this wine, which is on our list of favorite standalone Cab Francs. Layered, balanced, complex and simply lovely, this wine showcases aromas and flavors of lush black cherries, plums and blackberries, with hints of black pepper, vanilla and pencil shavings. This beauty is young, so be sure to decant it for a few hours to open up its flavors. Or if you have the patience, put it in the cellar to reach its full potential.
Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 ($46)
This is another young wine with amazing potential. This full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon is comprised of a balance between fruit, oak and tannins. It is a silky, smooth, complex and structured Cab with a velvety mouthfeel. Flavors of blueberry, leather and earthiness spice it up. Pair with prime rib, roast or grilled meats. Or put it in the cellar to age it, and serve it at a barbecue next summer.
Succession Wines Syrah 2019 ($47)
This 100% Syrah offers beautiful, brooding aromas followed by ripe berry flavors and some herbaceous notes, along with earthiness and a smooth finish. This is one approachable, sophisticated and decadent wine. It’s textured and complex, with grapes sourced from several locations: Red Mountain, Candy Mountain, The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater and Columbia Valley. We loved it.
Black Label Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 ($72)
Black Label Reserve is one special Cabernet Sauvignon. In addition, this is the first time we tasted one of Brock’s Black Label wines. It is sourced from selected small blocks from Quintessence Vineyard on Red Mountain, one of the most distinguished vineyards in Washington state. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon opens with aromas of red berries and cocoa, leading into flavors of blackberries, raspberries and notes of vanilla and hazelnuts. Decant before pouring.
In conclusion, Succession produces stellar wines, which you can experience in their tasting room. Likewise, you can purchase these impressive wines at their website. We highly recommend it. Moreover, you’ll understand why.
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Margot and Dave