Unique, terroir-driven wines from the best vineyards in Eastern Oregon and Washington

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2012 Fianchetto

2012 Fianchetto
2012 Fianchetto

Winemaker Notes: This is our first Walla Walla designate Bordeaux Blend. It is also single vineyard, from XL Vineyard which sits in the hills above the Rocks District. This is an extremely windy site; consequently, the berries are very small, thick skinned, and intensely flavored. The very high fruit intensity and tannic structure demanded 100% new French oak. This is our only wine where we have used 100% new oak. The result is seamless, however. The wine has a deep ruby-purple color and a complex bouquet of crème de cassis, marionberry, scorched earth, smoked herbs, allspice, sandalwood, and gravel. On the palate there are intensely rich notes of creme de cassis, marionberry, black plum, tar, gravel, cigar tobacco, dark chocolate, espresso, and vanilla. Substantial minerality and nuanced violet notes extend into the very long finish. Full-bodied with a rich and firm palate. Excellent balance between substantial fruit, crisp acidity and generous ripe tannic structure. Properly cellared, this wine should hit maturity in about 10 years and gracefully evolve for 25+ years.

Fermentation: The wine had a pre-fermentation maceration of 125 hours. 80% Native fermentation. The wine was punched down by hand 3 times each day during maceration and fermentation. All individual wine components, including free run and press fractions, were kept separate until final blending. The wine achieved its sparkly brilliance from 4 judicious rackings, no fining agents were employed. The wine was very gently filtered using crossflow filtration.

Cooperage: Elevage was 30 months in 100% new French oak from Troncais.

Cases Produced: 98

Varietal51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, 24% Merlot
AppellationWalla Walla Valley
VineyardXL Vineyard
Acid6.1 g/L
Aging25+ years
Volume750 ml



96 Points



Rasa has created an absolutely massive XL Vineyard Bordeaux blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Cabernet Franc and 22% Merlot. The wine begins heady aromas of mocha, black cherry and anise. This leads to flavors of blackberry jam, coffee grounds, creme de cassis, anise and done in the hugely modern style. The texture of this wine is ethereal. This is intense Cabernet, showing moderate to heavy tannins at this point that settle after three hours of decanting. The purity of fruit is exceptional here. (Best 20168-2031).

Owen Bargreen, International Wine Report

93 Points



Another new wine in 2012, the 2012 Fianchetto is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Cabernet Franc and 22% Merlot, all from the XL Vineyard in Walla Walla. Its dark ruby, mostly opaque color is followed by a big, powerful and ripe 2012 that has loads of dark fruits, tobacco leaf, toasted spices, hints of lead pencil and a touch of graphite all soaring from the glass. Possessing tons of fruit, a big mid-palate and a heady, lengthy finish, this blockbuster effort will be even better in another 1-2 years, and drink admirably through at least 2027.

Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate

91+ Points



The very windy XL Vineyard, planted in 2007, is located above Seven Hills Vineyard; the thick grape skins and tiny berries require careful extraction, according to Naravane, who matured this wine in 100% new French oak for 24 months and then moved it into neutral barrels for the final months of its élevage): Deep medium ruby. Musky aromas of black cherry, black raspberry and dark chocolate, along with a gravelly scorched-earth quality. Rich, thick and superconcentrated, showing surprising sweetness of fruit for such a firm, mineral-driven wine. Finishes with huge but ripe tannins that saturate the cheeks and linger with compelling sweetness. Captivating coffee and mocha notes give early personality to the finish but the wine's powerful medicinal reserve suggests that it will evolve very slowly in bottle.

Stephen Tanzer , Vinous Media

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