We have known Chris Figgins for a number of years, and it’s been fun to watch him expand beyond Leonetti. From his venture with Drew Bledsoe on Doubleback, to his new label, Figgins, Chris consistently demonstrates the ability to hit a high bar with wines that are complex and thought provoking. In general, the wines that Chris makes are elegant and structured to age very well, but can also be enjoyed at a young age, because the tannins are ripe and buried under the wonderful fruit. At Taste Washington, we got to try wine from his Figgins Estate and a new Pinot Noir project called Toil, something we know he’s been working on for quite a while.
2010 Figgins Estate Red – Very dark spicy fruit on the nose with a hint of tobacco. In the mouth, blackberry, black currant and a mix of small dark berries that are very concentrated and spicy, again with a touch of tobacco. This wine has a great mouth feel, excellent acidity and a savory component that makes you want to keep coming back to it. The wine is very well-balanced and there is quite a bit of tannin that creeps in on the long spicy dark fruit filled finish, but the tannins are ripe and very fine. This is an absolutely beautiful wine that can be enjoyed now, but it will age effortlessly over the next two decades. This wine has a lot more to show if it is only given the time and is definitely one to seek out. I am very happy to have this resting in my cellar. Bravo! (95+ pts)
2012 Toil – Oregon Pinot Noir – Sweet dark fruit with some spices. In the mouth, sweet red and black cherry fruit with some baking spices. This wine has good acidity and a smooth mouth feel with fine tannins. This is a very nice wine, that is concentrated for a Pinot Noir, but not overly ripe. The wine has a nice long dark cherry fruit finish with baking spices at the end. This wine is a new venture for Chris Figgins and I look forward to see how this will develop. (92 pts.)
We walked a bit with Chris after we tasted with him, and asked him to point us in the direction of an up-and-coming winery we might not have heard of before, but should know about. He pointed us to Double Canyon, and we have to agree, these guys are doing a good job. Turns out that the new winemaker, Jason Ledbetter, hails from Napa, yet another California winemaker to make the leap and try their hand with Washington grapes.
2011 Double Canyon Red – 75% Cabernet and 25% Syrah – Dark fruit and chocolate nose. In the mouth, sweet dark blackberries, some black currant and red cherries combine with dark chocolate and a hint of earthiness. This wine has good acidity and a decent dose of tannin to let you know the structure is there. Medium -long finish of dark fruit and chocolate. This is a nice red blend, where the juiciness of the syrah counters the drier structure of the cabernet. (92 pts.)
More discoveries to come…