Boasting an excellent new lineup of Washington wines, Purple Star and Muret-Gaston wineries were started by Kyle and Amy Johnson in 2008. They have a wonderful sense of giving and donate 15% of their wine sales to Children’s Hospital, benefiting those who are in need of uncompensated care. Sourcing from some great Washington vineyards like Weinbau, and Heart of the Hill, these wines are polished and well-structured even in warm vintages. Intriguingly their winery, Muret-Gaston is named after both of their family ancestors, the Murets and Gastons, who were relative neighbors living in adjacent villages in southern France. All the new release wines were seriously good, completing what is a pretty impressive new lineup of limited-production wines.
Kyle Johnson is a soft-spoken, down to earth guy. Not someone who enjoys the spotlight, Kyle has a great handle on a huge range of varietals in the cellar. Originally from Kennewick, Washington, Kyle has seen the Washington wine industry rapidly develop over the past few decades. Holding a degree from Washington State University, he previously worked for Chateau Ste. Michelle and Olsen Estates prior to starting his own venture. I really enjoyed his 2014 Purple Star Syrah (WWB, 90) which showed wonderful poise and richness from this exciting vintage for red wines. Even better was the 2014 Muret-Gaston Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 92) which was sourced from the Klipsuun Vineyard in Red Mountain and shows wonderfully layered and complex flavors and aromatics. Learn more about these great wineries at http://www.muret-gaston.com and http://www.purplestarwines.com Here are the great new wines by Purple Star and Muret-Gaston.
2016 Muret-Gaston Chardonnay- There is a wonderful texture to the wine that adds to the the tree and citrus fruit flavors. With a slightly smoky element, the wine finishes long with vanilla cream. This is a great value out of Red Mountain. Drink 2018-2022- 90
2015 Purple Star Cabernet Sauvignon- Inky in color, this shows a dark fruit bouquet with a touch of sagebrush woven in. Forward in fruit, yet having some good restraint, dark cherry, blackberry and roasted fig flavors connect with the minerality. Drink 2018-2024- 89
2014 Purple Star Syrah- This deeply colored wine was sourced from the Columbia Valley AVA. The nose is really lovely with dark fruits and a touch of milk chocolate creating a lovely bouquet. Decadent and rich, this showcases lovely dark fruits with dark chocolate cake and nutmeg flavors that connect with the good tension. The is really good stuff considering the price. Drink 2018-2024- 90
2015 Muret-Gaston ‘GSM’ Red Wine- The ‘GSM’ is a silky blend of Grenache (41%), Syrah (15%) and Mourvedre (41%). The smoky and meaty elements from the Mourvedre are evident right now, as is the pretty floral edge from the Grenache. This has a great combination of weight, tension and salinity, as this beautiful wine covers a really good range of red and dark fruits with a smoky character from the Mourvedre. Ripe and downright delicious, enjoy this excellent wine in the short-term. Drink 2018-2024- 91
2015 Muret-Gaston Syrah- Soruced from the Edyth Mae Vineyard, in the Yakima Valley, this begins with aromas of Hoisin sauce, blackberry pie and roasted figs. The palate is round and generous revealing wonderful dark fruit flavors that connect with the mineral edge. Drink 2018-2024- 90
2015 Muret-Gaston Petit Verdot- Sourced from the Yakima Valley, this begins with aromas of black olive tapenade, milk chocolate and wild blackberry preserves. The wine unveils downright delicious dark fruit flavors with an herbal edge. Ripe and juicy, this needs a rich ribeye steak. Drink 2018-2024- 91
2014 Muret-Gaston Cabernet Sauviginon- This deep colored warm vintage Cabernet is sourced from the Klipsun Vineyard in the Red Mountain AVA. The highly perfumed nose entices with black cherry compote and sagebrush with milk chocolate. The palate is refined and has a great sense of place. Dark fruits mingle with a touch of red currant, red bell pepper and chocolate cake. An outstanding effort, this great Cabernet will cellar well for a decade or more. Drink 2018-2028- 92