Novelty Hill Debuts New GSM
As Washington wine expert Andy Perdue observed in a Seattle Times column last year, “Among the most fascinating and gratifying developments in Washington wine in the past decade is the rise of red Rhône varieties. The biggest benefit of this increased interest is a blend called GSM, an acronym for the three grapes involved: Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre,” Perdue wrote.
“These wines tend to emphasize bright red-fruit flavors and are low in harsh tannins, providing wide appeal,” he continued. “In a sea of red blends made in Washington, GSMs might just be the best and most interesting.”
Oxbow, Novelty Hill’s newest wine, is an exciting GSM blend that displays the complex, red fruit characteristics that has Andy and many others so enamored with these rich, jammy wines laced with layers of spice and mouth filling ripe tannins. From the 2017 vintage, a warm growing season that enjoyed near perfect fall harvest conditions, Oxbow is brimming with enticing aromas of black licorice, currants, crushed boysenberries and spice that echo across the palate. “A wine of refined elegance with a rich, persistent finish,” observed winemaker Mike Januik. Among other vineyard sources, this debut release relies on grapes from the winery’s Stillwater Creek Vineyard on the Royal Slope of the Frenchman Hills, an area highly regarded for its Rhone wines.
The name “Oxbow” carries special meaning to the Alberg family, Novelty Hill’s owners as well as founders of the Oxbow Farm and Conservation Center. Located in the Snoqualmie Valley, not far from the winery, Oxbow is home to an organic farm, native plant nursery and education center. Its mission is to educate people on the importance of healthy food and environmental stewardship, to connect people to the land and local sustainable food systems, and to inspire people to take action in their daily lives and in their communities.
The 2017 Novelty Hill Oxbow is a blend of 45% Grenache, 35% Syrah and 20% Mourvèdre. The wine retails for $50. Only 236 cases were made. Distribution is limited. To purchase, visit the tasting room in Woodinville or the winery’s shopping page.