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McCrea Cellars

McCrea Cellars A pioneer of Rhône varietals in Washington State, McCrea Cellars transforms grapes from the Yakima Valley's finest vineyards into wines of extraordinary depth, balance, complexity and finesse. Our first Rhône grapes came from old, gnarled Grenache vines growing in the Columbia River Gorge. In the early '90's we made a popular red Rhône blend of Syrah and Grenache we called 'Tierra del Sol.' Our first varietal of Syrah came from the 1994 vintage. Our 1997 Viognier was the first ever released in Washington State. Pioneering Rhône grapes in Washington has required patience and careful selection of vineyard sites. Eastern Washington's fine soils, unique latitude and desert climate are now recognized as ideal for producing Rhône wines of great fruit intensity, structure and complexity. The effort has been worth it. McCrea Cellars is proud to be at the forefront of a rapidly expanding Rhône-wine boom in Washington State. McCrea Cellars is owned and operated by two couples. Winemaker Doug McCrea lives in Rainier, Washington with his wife Kim and their sons Kevin and Kalen.

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13443 118th Avenue SE, Rainier, WA, US, 98576 Email: mccreawine@aol.com
Phone: 360-458-9463 Web: www.mccreacellars.com
Fax: 360-458-8559
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Products



  Counoise
This is our third vintage of Counoise, and one of only a few bottlings of this varietal in the world. The cuttings are Beaucastel material sourced from Tablas Creek Nursery, planted for us in 1999 by Jim Holmes at his renowned Ciel du Cheval Vineyard on Red Mountain. Our primary use of these grapes is in our southern-Rhône blend (“Sirocco”), but we were so enchanted by the Counoise that we bottled some varietally, with a bit of Syrah to soften the acids and fill out the mid-palate.
  Grenache
We produced several vintages of Grenache in the early nineties, and a blend with Syrah called “Tierra del Sol.” The vines used for those early bottlings were unfortunately lost in the big freeze of 1996. We have now replanted, allowing us to return Grenache to our lineup. This is our fourth vintage from the new vineyards. Our primary use of these grapes is in our southern-Rhône blend (“Sirocco”). But we enjoy the strawberry-and-spice of Grenache so much that we bottled some varietally, with a bit of Syrah to lend structure, soften the acids, and fill out the mid-palate.
  Late Harvest Roussanne
2003 was another very warm vintage in Washington State, much like ’98, ’00, ’01 and ’02. July and August were hot, and we anticipated an unusually early harvest. Fortunately the weather cooled off in mid-September, allowing for more extended hang time. The wines from this vintage will be lush and fruit-forward with slightly higher alcohols, balanced by greater fruit intensity, tannins and excellent acidity.
  Late Harvest Viognier
McCrea Cellars released Washington State’s first varietal Viognier from the 1997 vintage. We now introduce our first “sticky” wine made from this exotic white Rhône grape. 2002 was another very warm vintage in Washington State, much like ’98, ’00 and ‘01. In spite of a few strong heat spikes in June, grapes were harvested relatively late throughout the season. Although sugar levels indicated ripeness, we waited for the fruit flavors to develop fully. As a result, many wines from this vintage will be lush and fruit-forward with slightly higher alcohols, balanced by greater fruit intensity, tannins and excellent acidity.
  Mourvèdre
The 2005 vintage was a perfect combination of a frost-free spring, an even, warm summer, and a protracted 'Indian summer' -- virtually ideal conditions for excellent wine grapes. The extra hang time produced mature, concentrated flavors and the season’s ideal weather resulted in small berry size. 2005 will stand as one of the most outstanding vintages in the industry's history. This is our fourth vintage of Mourvèdre, a varietal we believe will become legendary in Washington State. The cuttings are Beaucastel material sourced from Tablas Creek Vineyard, planted for us in 1999 by Jim Holmes at his renowned Ciel du Cheval Vineyard on Red Mountain. Our purpose in planting these grapes is for our southern-Rhône blend (“Sirocco”), but we couldn’t resist bottling a small quantity as a single varietal.
  Rosé of Mourvèdre
We are very pleased to offer this true Bandol-style rosé, made from dedicated Mourvèdre fruit. After gently pressing whole clusters, we fermented the juice very slowly in a temperature-controlled stainless steel tank, using yeasts isolated from the Rhône. This “pink wine” is dry, crisp, and refreshing.
  Roussanne
Roussanne, one of the six white Rhône grapes of Châteauneuf du Pape, is a relative newcomer to Washington State. Orange and peach blossom aromas and flavors are characteristic of the variety. After gentle whole-cluster press, the juice was fermented in stainless tank. A portion of Viognier was added to lift and brighten the blend.
  Sirocco
This is the third vintage of our Southern Rhône blend, named for the hot wind that blows from Africa across the Mediterranean. The grapes were sourced from four excellent Washington State vineyards. At harvest, the fruit was destemmed and gently crushed, then fermented in 1¾-ton tanks using a variety of yeast strains isolated from the Rhône valley. When complete, the wine was dejuiced through large stainless steel strainers, then transferred to French oak barrels. This process yields exceptionally focused, high-quality wine low in phenolic solids.
  Syrah, Ameríque
2004 was a year of many challenges. It began with a devastating freeze in January that permanently damaged many Washington vineyards, particularly in the Walla Walla valley. Fortunately, Rhône varietals are far more winter hardy than anyone would have imagined. Most of our fruit was not affected. The summer was one of the hottest on record, suggesting a very early harvest. But late August cooled and even brought some rain, which slowed sugar development while promoting good acidity and proper physiological maturity. We had a relatively normal harvest from mid-September through late October. The ’04 wines are very promising; the fruit characteristics are similar to 2002 and 2003. We anticipate good complexity and intensity, with even better acid and pH ratios than prior vintages. At harvest, the grapes were gently crushed, then fermented in small lots following several days of cold soak, using a variety of yeast strains isolated from the Rhône valley. When complete, the wine was dejuiced through large stainless steel strainers, then gently transferred to one-, two- and three-year-old American oak barrels. The inclusion of older oak mitigates the intense, direct character often associated with American oak, resulting in a more balanced, integrated wine. Similar to an Australian Shiraz, the flavors are clean and berry-driven. The oak acts as a framework providing excellent length and structure, surrounding the intense, mouth-coating fruit. This wine should age gracefully for five to ten years.
  Syrah, Boushey Vineyard
At harvest, the grapes were gently crushed, then fermented in 1¾-ton stainless tanks and ¾- ton Macrobins following several days of cold soak, using a variety of yeast strains isolated from the Rhône valley. When complete, the wine was dejuiced through large stainless steel strainers, then gently transferred to French oak barrels. This process, rather than hardpressing, gives us exceptionally focused, high-quality wine low in phenolic solids. It was bottled after fifteen months ageing. It’s enjoyable now and should develop in the bottle for five to seven years.
  Syrah, Ciel du Cheval
2004 was a year of many challenges. It began with a devastating freeze in January that permanently damaged many Washington vineyards, particularly in the Walla Walla valley. Fortunately, Rhône varietals are far more winter hardy than anyone would have imagined. Most of our fruit was not affected. The summer was one of the hottest on record, suggesting a very early harvest. But late August cooled and even brought some rain, which slowed sugar development while promoting good acidity and proper physiological maturity. We had a relatively normal harvest from mid-September through late October. The ’04 wines are very promising; the fruit characteristics are similar to 2002 and 2003. We anticipate good complexity and intensity, with even better acid and pH ratios than prior vintages.
  Syrah, Cuveé Orleans
This is our seventh vintage of Cuvée Orleans. It is our most exclusive and limited bottling, a tribute to Doug McCrea’s birthplace, New Orleans. The fruit was sourced from two premier vineyards – Dick Boushey’s Grande Côte vineyard in central Yakima Valley, and Jim Holmes’s Ciel du Cheval vineyard on Red Mountain. 2003 was another very warm vintage in Washington State, much like ’98, ’00, ’01 and ‘02. July and August were hot, and we anticipated an unusually early harvest. Fortunately the weather cooled off in mid-September, allowing for more extended hang time. The wines from this vintage will be lush and fruit-forward with slightly higher alcohols, balanced by greater fruit intensity, tannins and excellent acidity.
  Syrah, Washington State
The 2004 Syrah is a blend of fruit from two excellent Washington State Vineyards. It was aged eleven months in French oak barrels, approximately 20% new.
  Viognier
This is our ninth vintage of Viognier, a Rhône varietal that has proven to be very well suited to Washington. The Viognier and Roussanne were both picked at approximately 24½º Brix. After gentle whole-cluster pressing, the Viognier was fermented in stainless steel, the Roussanne in two- & three-year old French barrels.

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