Ron Bunnell makes wine. He classifies them as either Vins de l'esprit (wines of the creative spirit), or Vins de l'endroit (wines of a place). When Ron dropped by the Bent on Friday, and, smiling, asked if we'd like to taste a few, we said, yes (oui) and yes (oui, oui).
After a decade-and-a-half making wine and paying dues in California, including a stints at Beringer and as director of Kendall-Jackson's Syrah program, Ron took on the task of guiding Chateau Ste. Michelle's red wine program in 1999. Today he is flying his own flag, and is introducing the first releases from Bunnell Family Cellars.
The focus is on Syrah and other Rhone varietals, but there is room in his cellar, and imagination, to explore other varieties which have been introduced to Washington. We focused on one of three vineyard-specific Syrahs, the luscious 2004 Horse Heaven Hills (what a place), and the provocative 2004 "Vif", a proprietary blend of Rhone varietals (creative, spirited, yummy).
At the Bent, we do the tasting and leave the tasting notes to others. But, take note of this - in the spirit of supply-and-demand, you can only get Bunnell Family Cellars wines from their place. It's going fast.