The Toughest Part Of My Job
It’s something that most in my business can’t do but I based my entire somm career on my credibility. Reviewing the wines made by people you discovered and whom became friends with is like having to say your wife’s meatloaf is the best you ever had…but not if you are me. Annette Bergevin is a Friend. When me, “Captain Washington” made my first visit on Winecation to the area I had tons of appointments but I had to finally poke my head in and say hi to Annette while in the area. She is so wonderful she even came in on the morning of her birthday to work around my schedule just to show me around. Now I have to review her wine. You think that’s easy? For me it is simple. Annette or anyone even if blood family makes wine I am reviewing, If it sucks I tell them it sucks! Annette is a “True Friend” And True Winery Owner. She accepts my viewpoint and stands behind her wine team and we move on to still being friends. She knows how to separate the two.
Above is one of the several pictures Annette insisted I pose for. The Peek A Boo Shot. The second was the second of a selfie. The first one she complained her hair was covering her face. I lent her literally a helping hand lol
2 More Annette Posed Pictures
The first on the left Annette titles “The Middle of Nowhere” in the wheat fields near her estate owned vineyards and my fave on the right is the road that leads to her estate owned vineyards that more and more in the future will be the bulk source of where their wines come from in Walla Walla.
Major Facelift for 2014 Moonspell Cab
4 Chances I gave the 2013 Moonspell Cabernet a review. That’s when I had to contact Annette via FB Messenger and we spoke. I literally as the Captain Of The State, despite other reviewers scoring it well, Really hated that vintage. It tasted like nothing I expected from this winery or this vineyard which was mostly Stone Tree In Wahluke Slope but it was way over earthy with green notes and just barely an 85 point Cabernet Sauvingon again, in MY OPINION. I also told her I would never be able to recommend that particular vintage of that wine and if I were the buyer at Chima Steakhouse I would have Skipped over that vintage. The wine was comprised of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 8% Malbec, and 3% Merlot. I still don’t know why Bergevin Lane uses 10% Hungarian Oak but I have an aversion to the nuances of sweetness and nuttiness that oak imparts but they use that on other wines and it doesn’t bother me as much as that vintage did. Annette replied respectfully as always “I will pass your notes on to our wine team but we always stand behind their decisions (Which She Should) Dave Harvey and Assistant Now Head Winemaker Sean Smith are talented people. I just wasn’t on the same page with that vintage of Moonspell. The wine did well in the wine clubs and reviews were mixed. Some felt like me and some scored high. I never recommended the bottle once to anyone and sold Wild Child Merlot, She Devil Syrah etc. but never one bottle of 2013 Moonspell… and now for the BIG TRANSFORMATION FACELIFT!!
2014 Bergevin Lane Moonspell Cab
WALLA WALLA …YEAH!!!
Annette contacted me to ask me my professional Captain Washington Opinion about changing from Cork to Screwcaps and if she would lose customers. My answer was “Of course you will lose some customers but in the long run you won’t lose any wine to bad cork taint or other issues related to cork” That’s what they did. Also she told me more and more of the grape source would be from her Estate Vineyards Like Bergevin Springs and lo and behold she and her wine team did both. Check this out. Major Plastic Surgery here….
1- if you notice it says WALLA WALLA as 45% Of the Grapes came from their Bergevin Springs Vineyard in Walla Walla, 40% From the famous Les Collines vineyard also in Walla Walla, and ONLY 11% from Stone Tree in Wahluke slope and 4% from Candy Mountain. So basically a HUGE turnaround on grape sourcing to 85% of the grapes coming from Walla Walla instead of Columbia Valley A.V.A, 1/2 the production which is ok by me if it produces a better Cabernet and this mix is 98% not 81% …98% Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes with only 2% Of it’s sister grape Cabernet Franc…and LOOKIEEEEE HERE at the 3rd picture above… BYE BYE Cork and Hello Screwcap !!! Yipeeee. That is one major facelift from 2013. They only use Gravity flow or a Light Crushing in their wines so that’s a good thing for everyone. So let’s see if I can say something nice or was all this surgery a moot point?
First of all because of the new closure this needs a minimum of an hour of aeration before drinking. THE COLOR fits the NAME. Moonspell is Dark As Midnight on the deep dark purple to almost black color you expect from a Walla Walla Cab. Yes the bit of neutral Hungarian Oak is only a little annoying on this wine but not barely noticeable except for some nut skins on the nose. At 14.8% and the aroma profile of Cassis, Blackberry, Prune, Plum there is no confusing this with an Old World wine. This is new world but not new world Napa but New World Washington. You will get some leather, and dusty dark cocoa on the nose. On the palate if Midnight had a flavor descriptor, that’s what this tastes like. This is a plush, rich mouthful of Cab without all those other blending grapes. Rich dark blackberry and plum on a rich and juicy mid-palate that soars to a dark black cherry and cedary finish and spicy notes that linger not coming from the Alcohol but the Oak Treatment. This is a Napa Cab Drinker’s Style of Cab with a Good Example of what Washington State can produce at 1/2 or less than the price of Napa. I will score this way up from that 2013 Moonspell and give this a solid 91+ Open up some 90% Dark Chocolate and let it roll around the tongue and wash it down with a sip of this Cab…and you will be Under The Spell of the new and improved 2014 Moonspell Cabernet $29.99..is a steal! What a Steak Wine this would make. Brasserie 4 in Walla Walla Should have this with their famous Steak Frites!
Since 2002 two friends had a dream to pursue opening a winery and they did. I love seeing the forward progress from Bergevin Lane 17 years later. I can’t get enough of the 2013 or 2014 I tasted of Wild Child Merlot. The 2014 also getting a facelift with 50% of the fruit coming from Bergevin Springs Estate Vineyard and also 100% Merlot…It was a winner when I tasted it. The She devil Syrah amazing. The Linen Sauvignon Blanc 2018 is selling like Perrier Water… People love it as do I. It’s so nice of course when the wine is made well but even nicer when the owners of the winery are made well too. I am so happy to have Annette as a Friend and so happy I was able to finally re visit the 2014 Moonspell Cab and start recommending it to my guests again. Captain Washington Has Spoken!!!
Grape-fully yours, Larry
It Was So Amazing To FINALLY Be Here