Hello everyone and welcome to the first release of Devium!
Devium has been in the works for several years and over that time it has taken on many different forms and guises in my head. What you see before you is the culmination of countless hours of thought and debate. At its core, Devium is a tool to explore exciting vineyards and to make wines that tell their story. These wines will be personality filled, quirky and, hopefully, emotional.
The name, Devium, is the Latin precursor for many words in our modern English dictionary; wayward, deviant, apart… I chose the name because I felt that it encompassed what I am trying to do, I am making wines exactly the way that I want to make them, with a personal view of what a great Washington wine can be. I chose Latin and am using the Amphora emblem as a way of showing respect for the history and tradition of winemaking; I may be making unique wines but I am certainly not the first.
All of that aside, wine also has to be delicious and the first release, the 2015 French Creek Vineyard Red, certainly meets, and I feel, exceeds this standard. This wine came about, as I hope all Devium releases do, by falling in love with a vineyard. In 2012, Damon La Londe began planting Rhone varieties adjacent to the late 1970’s Wente Clone Chardonnay block at French Creek. Most of what he planted is very tightly spaced, head and stake trained Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache. I immediately was taken with one block in particular, the Corkscrew Block of Mourvèdre, planted on the steepest portion of the vineyard, and that block is the basis of this wine.
Since I wanted the wine to represent the vineyard more than it does any particular variety, I pulled some Syrah and Grenache Blanc to co-ferment with the Mourvèdre: the final blend is 90% Mourvèdre, 8% Syrah, 2% Grenache Blanc. The Syrah adds depth and texture to the blend while the Grenache Blanc gives us acidity, verve and the magic of co-fermentation. After a 100% whole cluster maceration lasting just over 3 weeks, the wine was pressed to entirely neutral French oak Puncheons and Barriques where it aged quietly on the lees for 13 months. The finished alcohol is a modest 13.5%, which allows the complexity and delicate character of the wine to really shine on the lithe palate.
Here are my tasting notes for this first release: Complexity is often confused with ripeness when describing wine, and I hope that this release will debunk that line of thinking. It is lithe and elegant, but with a generous dose of fruit showing off our Washington sunshine. The nose is at once floral and sauvage, with underlying red fruit; pomegranate, blood orange and strawberry. On the palate, the tannins make themselves known, but they are never out of place, always perfectly behaved. Echoes of the aromatics continue with white flowers and red fruit, here the savory side of the wine takes a back seat, but is ever present helping to keep your attention. This is a wine made for the dinner table and friends and contemplation. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
I have chosen to offer this first wine in 6 packs and 12 packs. The 6 packs will be priced at $204 ($34/bottle) and the 12 packs at $360 ($30/bottle). I feel that great wine should be accessible to everyone, so I am committed to keeping my pricing modest. Please follow the links below to order. Note that this will take you to the Sleight of Hand Cellars shopping cart, if you have a Sleight of Hand account already, you can use that profile to order. Sadly, no Sleight of Hand Wine Club discounts will apply to Devium purchases. The offer will be up until sold out and will be on a first come first served basis.
For the sake of simplicity, I am offering flat rate shipping on Devium, $20/6 pack, $30/12 pack. For those of you who would like to pick up your wine, we will be having two pick up events in April:
Walla Walla (in the Sleight of Hand production facility): April 8th 4-6PM
SoDo (3861 S. 1st Ave, Seattle): April 15th 5-7PM
If you can’t make either date, the wine will be available for pick up in both Sleight of Hand tasting rooms at your leisure. If you do plan on attending one of the events, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Finally, and hopefully you have made it this far, I want to thank my two friends and partners, Jerry & Trey. They have been incredibly indulgent and supportive of my vision for Devium from the very start and this email would not be going out today without them. Also, a special thanks to Trey for volunteering to be the Director of Social Media for Devium, there really is no one better qualified.
If you have any questions about Devium, or if you just want to say hello, please drop me a note at email@example.com.
Cheers and Happy Valentine’s Day,