Since 2007, Rotie Cellars and owner/winemaker Sean Boyd has focused on crafting outstanding Rhône style wines from great Washington vineyards. Boyd makes a host of wines including his Northern and Southern red and white blends. Each are a homage to the respective regions of the Rhone. Rotie Cellars has tasting rooms both in Walla Walla and in the SoDo District of Seattle.
I really enjoy spending time with Sean Boyd and talking wine. Sean is one of the wonderful people in Washington wine who is both highly knowledgable and highly humble despite his obvious talents. Originally from Tacoma, Sean got his start at Waters Winery in 2004. Sean finally made the decision to open his own winery 2007, focusing solely on Rhone varietals. He has planted an exciting vineyard in the Walla Walla Rocks region. He is a great winemaking talent and I was very impressed with his latest release red and white wines. His 2016 Rotie Cellars ‘Northern Blend’ Red Wine (WWB, 94) is an insanely good red blend sourced from Walla Walla Rocks region that shows really good range and wonderful mid-palate richness. This is one for the cellar. Nearly as good was the 2016 Rotie Cellars ‘Southern Blend’ Red Wine (WWB, 93) which impresses with its red fruit character and brilliant stony character. Learn more about these outstanding wines at https://www.rotiecellars.com Here are the outstanding new release wines by Rotie Cellars.
2017 Rotie Cellars Rose- This pale colored Rose is a blend of 85% Mourvedre with the remainder Syrah. The brightness of the wine shines with melon and delicate red fruits, that connect with touch of sweetness on the palate. Refreshing and forward, enjoy this in the short-term. Drink 2018-2022- 90
2017 Rotie Cellars ’Northern White’ White Wine- The 2017 ‘Northern White’ is a silky blend of 70% Marsanne and 30% Roussanne, this great wine shows a sumptuous nose of honeysuckle and gardenia with candied white peach. The palate has an old-world feel, with lychee, lemongrass and Pink Lady apple flavors shining brightly. Drink 2018-2022- 91
2017 Rotie Cellars Grenache Blanc- The 2017 Grenache Blanc by Rotie Cellars is one of the best of its kind in Washington. This wine begins with very delicate aromas of gooseberry and green apple slowly build in the glass. Serious astringency marks the palate, as mouth-watering acidity provides a wonderful experience. Enjoy this in its youth while the striking and intense minerality remains. Drink 2018-2022- 92
2016 Rotie Cellars ‘Southern Blend’ Red Wine- The 2016 ‘Southern Blend’ by the talented hands of Sean Boyd is compelling blend of 70% Grenache with the remainder Mourvedre and Syrah. This wine shows a marvelous stony character on the nose with blood orange and red currant jelly singing as well. The palate shows a marvelous texture and tension The range on the palate and mouth-watering acidity makes this nearly impossible to resist right now. This will continue to evolve in the cellar over the next decade. Be sure to give this a one hour decant if enjoying in its youth. Drink 2018-2028- 93
2016 Rotie Cellars ‘Northern Blend’ Red Wine- The 2015 ‘Northern Blend’ by superstar winemaker Sean Boyd shows a plethora of aromatics including Asian spice, cigar box, lychee and damp earth with lighter wet stone tones. The hedonistic character on the nose brings you back to the glass for more. The palate is both lithe and rich, showing a marvelous texture that coats the mid-palate. Umami, Hoisin sauce, cigar ash and blackberry cobbler flavors beautifully mingle in the glass. Seductive, with marvelous tension, this is a stunning wine by Rotie Cellars. Drink 2018-2028- 94
2015 Rotie Cellars ‘Swordfight’ Red Wine- Made with 50% Mourvedre sourced from the Wallula Vineyard and 50% Syrah sourced from the Phinney Hill Vineyard, this inky colored wine begins with aromas of smoke, wet stone and blood orange with a touch of milk chocolate that build in the glass. The palate shows a wonderful freshness with dried herbs, cigar box, blackberry pie and red currant. The acidity and tension drives this excellent wine. Drink 2018-2028- 92