Tonight Mary and I had the privilege of being invited to the private inaugural release party for Mosquito Fleet Winery.
We, along with more than 200 other wine lovers, filled the Belfair winery to get a taste of its three 2009 releases. Being that it was the first time the public was tasting the varietals, you can imagine how excited winery owners Brian and Jacquie Petersen and Scott and Jacy Griffin were to showcase their hard work.
The three wines being poured were a Meritage Blend, Petersen’s take on a left bank Bordeaux-style wine; a 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon; and a barrel tasting of a 2010 Touriga Nacional Port.
We were impressed with everything we tried. Sourced from Pepper Bridge Vineyards, the Cab definitely carried the signature Pepper Bridge flavor profile. The nose on this wine was amazing. With each sip we uncovered more layers of flavor — this is definitely a complex wine. Being it was harvested in 2009, you can tell the wine is still quite young, so it’s one we’d recommend buying now and cellaring for a few years to let some of the flavors mellow.
In contrast the Meritage felt flat initially — in hindsight we should have tasted this first. After letting it sit on our palates and letting it breathe, we discovered this wine had a softer, rounder mouthfeel than the acidic Cab. There were hints of Carmel on the nose and with more exposure to the air, notes of cherry on the nose and the finish became much stronger. This wine, like the Cab, is one that should age well with time.
The last wine we had a chance to sample was the Touriga Nacional Port, which seeing that it came straight from the barrel, obviously was still quite young. Its characteristics were similar to the Cab in that there were layers of complexity. I noticed pomegranate on the nose and finish, while Mary experienced Carmel and herbal spices. Also like the cab, this wine needs more time to age, but all the components are there to make a truly excellent wine. The grapes for this wine are grown in Washington, but have Portuguese origins. This wine won’t be bottled until November, so for now they’re selling advance bottles.
Because this is the first release from the winery, quantities are limited. In fact they’re so limited — they only made 200 cases in 2009 — Petersen expects they’re likely to sell out after their grand opening Saturday. (Yes Saturday as in tomorrow). So if you’re interested in checking out the winery and trying their wines — which we highly recommend you do —you better make your way to Belfair between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. tomorrow. We’d recommend getting there earlier rather than later.
If you miss out tomorrow they will be offering their wines through the website but they won’t be opening the winery after Saturday for tastings until the next round of wines are ready for release. Which will be next year when the 2010 vintage is ready. And instead of 200 cases, there will be 1,000 cases up for grabs.
The winery is located at 21 Old Belfair Highway, across from the QFC in a warehouse space next door to Seabeck Pizza.
Finally, here’s a little blurb on the winery itself from its Facebook fan page:
Mosquito Fleet Winery is a relatively new winery going into it’s fourth year of production. We are located at the tip of Hood Canal in Belfair, Washington, only miles from the state’s first bonded winery, The St. Charles Winery of Stretch Island. We are a small winery that prides ourselves in developing Bordeaux-styled wines aged for 20-24 months in French oak barrels. With our 2011 crush behind us, we are now eagerly awaiting our first release of our ’09 Vintage in February of 2012. Cheers!!!