Making great wine is a religious experience. The best teams have a deep, heart-felt affinity for the land and a reverence for the vines that they worship. Gianfranco Farimbella and Joshua Maloney understand the soil, sun, wind, and rain and share a passion for crafting great wine.
Vineyard manager, Gianfranco, grew up in Brescia, Italy where he watched his grandmother and uncles tend to the vines on the family vineyard. Wine is in his DNA. He worked vineyards all over Italy including Lombardy, Tuscany, and Sardinia before making the move to Washington. Most days you will find him in the fields with plenty of that sandy, silty, nutrient-rich Red Mountain dirt under his fingernails tending to each vine and evaluating every grape cluster.
Joshua is the winemaker. He is an expert in shepherding the journey from vine to bottle. He carefully exercises his craft with the joy and confidence of a priest tending to his flock. Over 100 of his wines have received scores of 90 or more points from major wine publications. A native New Yorker, he went to Cornell and started working in the Finger Lakes wine industry before moving to Washington to make his mark. After fine tuning his skills at Chateau Ste. Michelle, the oldest winery in the state, he jumped ship to build Chasing Rain into something special.
This is a beautiful classic cabernet sauvignon with a little malbec and petit Verdot thrown into the mix. A climate of scorching days and cooler nights creates an amazing flavor. Grapes are harvested at the perfect time and the wine is barrel aged for 19 months in 20% new American oak and 10% new French oak. If you are put off by the crazy prices commanded by Napa cabernets, then this is the wine for you. It is an everyday favorite of the Blurred Vines family.
When Texans think about Washington, we think about rain (or coffee, or hipsters, or grunge), however, the eastern part of the state is as sunny and dry as Big Bend. The Red Mountain region gets less than five inches of rainfall per year. This gives vineyard manager control over the amount of water the vines receive which results in rich, bold, flavorful red wine with intense complexity and structure. With well-drained volcanic soils, south-facing slopes, and 300+ days of sunshine a year, this is an idyllic location.
This is a full-bodied cabernet with generous density on the fore palate and a pleasing mid-palate. The taste is vibrant with blackberries, cherry cola, and hints of mocha and dried herb. The long finish is dominated by black cherry and vanilla. While this is a great food wine that pairs well with steak and can stand up to spicy dishes, it also is pretty tasty all by itself, maybe instead of dessert.
Bill considers Chasing Rain his “go to” when entertaining sophisticated wine drinkers that aren’t big on self-restraint. There are apparently limits to his generosity. He says, “Introducing people to Washington wines is one of the great joys of the Blurred Vines model. We will find you bottles that drink well above their price point.” And, like Bill, you can serve it to your friends by the case without breaking the bank.