Andrew Rich left a very successful career as magazine editor, after deciding he wanted to change his lifestyle and jump into wine with "both feet". He enrolled into wine school, located in Burgundy, France, where there was only one other American student, who happened to be from Oregon. Years later, it was their friendship that ultimately prompted Andrew to migrate North, after he had worked five vintages with Randall Grahm, owner and winemaker at Bonny Doon Vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Passionate about Rhone style varietals, Andrew was determined to produce these warmer climate driven wines, even though he chose to live in Oregon. Starting his own label Andrew Rich Vintner in 1994, he quickly became a noted pioneer at creating Rhone-driven wines with a Northwest spin. He continues to work with some of the most respected vineyards in the Columbia Valley of Washington. Of course, he makes Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley too...
Over the years, Andrew has created a serious following for his wines. He produces wines under two different labels: Tabula Rasa (meaning: "Blank Slate"), which is reserved for wines that are blended from various varietals. His single specific wines are limited in production and under the Les Vigneaux label (meaning: "Little Vineyards"). The current ensemble comprises an octet of highly distinctive wines: white, pink, red, redder, sweet-culminating in the sensous, opulent and the oh so sweeter Gewurztraminer late harvest wine.
Andrew's wines are distinctive, innovative, exciting and always a treat to pull from the cellar to share with friends and family. That's only if you feel like sharing the wine!
This year’s model is very racy indeed: for the first time I would dare say it could be a ringer for Sancerre. With a nose that is initially reserved, and with little of the in-your-face passion fruit and gooseberry we often get, it becomes more expansive with air. The palate is less weighty than usual, with excellent tension and verve. Razor sharp acidity brings the wine to a very fine, lengthy finish, and makes one long for a crottin de Chavignol to eat along side it
While I can’t say that this is a word for word—grape for grape?—rendering of the vintage, that is more or less the idea behind the name. While the Prelude is pretty and open-knit and easy going, and The Knife Edge is the most structured with the greatest mid-palate depth, Verbatim is, I think, the blend that best captures the vintage, the place, and my wine-making sensibility. In a way, it is my “literal” expression of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir in a given vintage. You can quote me.
These days who doesn’t love Malbec? The wine
carries a density and richness, with pure blackberry
flavors, and tannins that will soften over time. Crafted
from gorgeous Washington fruit, this unique wine is
sure to please.
Our most elegant Cab Franc to date (thanks, perhaps, to the long hang time). I believe this extended time on the vine allows the tannins to achieve ideal ripeness. Look for deep red plummy fruit and vibrant acidity. 49 cases
From the long, cool (yet dry) vintage that was 2011. The result of such a vintage was dead ripe fruit without the usual sugar spike and high potential alcohol. Historically, the 2011 vintage was atypical in eastern Washington, and I don’t expect to see its like again.
Washington? The nose may well take you to the south of France, with slightly dusty notes of herbes de provence, black cherry, and olive. While grenache is often thought of as fleshy, this is a wine with a bit a sinew, more compact than broad: a structured wine, serious even, that is far more than merely gulpable. Drink this with something meaty and savory. It would be perfect with a butterflied leg of lamb, marinated with garlic and rosemary and a bit of olive oil, and grilled over hardwood. This is at its peak now and can be enjoyed over the next two or three years. (43 cases produced)
The 15th vintage of our dessert wine (fashioned as always from frozen grapes) exhibits the concentration of 34-year-old vines, with aromas and flavors that seem more tropical than Pacific Northwest: pineapple, guava, passion fruit, with perhaps some peach nectar for good measure. Juicy acidity keeps the texture from becoming syrupy while lengthening the finish. Savor this wine on its own, with fresh pears and stone fruits, with mild cheeses, or with barely sweet fruit and nut desserts.