Efeste, pronounced like the letters “F-S-T” strung together, was named after the last names of founders Helen & Dan Ferrelli, Patrick Smith, and Kevin & Angela Taylor. Efeste is located in the Warehouse District of Woodinville, Washington. Peter Devison took over full-time winemaking duties when Brennon Leighton left to work with Charles Smith in 2012.
My wife Lisa is a member of the wine club, so this past Saturday we made a trip to the winery for the semi-annual wine club party and pickup. They may be located in the Warehouse District, but their winery is big, warm and welcoming. The winery has a working kitchen complete with a wood fired pizza oven. Throughout the release they served a variety of delicious thin crust, artisan pizzas.
The wines poured included the 2011 Evergreen Riesling, ’12 Sauvage Sauvignon Blanc, ’12 Feral Sauvignon Blanc, ’10 Final Final, ’10 Big Papa and ’10 Tough Guy. The quality was high across the board. Below are notes on my favorite white and red.
2011 Evergreen Riesling – The fruit is sourced from Evergreen Vineyard. Without question one of the more exciting sites for white wines in the state of Washington. Flowers and petrol on the nose. Lemons, flint and minerals on the palate. Bright acidity. $20 at the winery. My rating: 90 points.
2010 Tough Guy – Predominantly Merlot with fruit sourced from Klipsun Vineyard. Opaque purple in color. Cherries and mineral on the nose. Currants and anise on the palate. Incredibly rich and sweet fruit. Super supple and sexy. This wine is amazing now but should age well for a decade. One of the better Washington Merlots in recent memory. $55 at the winery. My rating: 94 points.
After tasting through the new releases we had the opportunity to do a little barrel tasting with Peter Devison. The highlights were the ’12 Stonetree Vineyard Mourvedre which will be a component of the Emmy, the ’12 Boushey Syrah which will make up the Jolie Bouche Syrah and the ’12 Klipsun Merlot which will go into the Tough Guy. Honestly though, every sample was super.
Efeste is firing on all cylinders. The whites, including those mentioned above and their two chardonnays are some of the best in the state. The winery has been doing memorable Syrahs for many years and, with the Tough Guy, they’ve taken their Bordeaux style wines to the next level as well.
There’s a lot to like at Efeste. I encourage you to buy a bottle of any of these wines and let me know what you think.
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