Jean Jacques “JJ” Compeau has spent much of his adult in the Washington wine industry and around the Yakima Valley promoting, marketing and selling wine made by others. These days, he’s got not just one brand – Narratif, which he launched in 2019 – but a second sister project he’s branded NW Wine Collaborative. This represents his second vintage of The Collaboration, and while Flint Nelson is the common thread to both, the 2018 includes Nelson’s partners at Wit Cellars — Gina Adams-Royer and Cat Warwick – as well as Tim and Kelly Hightower of Hightower Cellars. And the Mercer family helped with its bottling. Hence, “The Collaboration.” It’s an example of what some in the Evergreen State have coined as a “Washington Bordeaux” – a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot that’s led by Syrah (41%). Vineyard sources range from in the east to Red Mountain to Red Willow in the west. As such it’s loaded with the ripe purple fruit you’d expect from Syrah with juicy, food-friendly acidity. The influence of oak seems to have refined the tannin rather than impart barrel nuances. Suggested pairings include duck, bacon burger, filet mignon with blue cheese butter, lamb, rosemary-rubbed chicken or baby back ribs with raspberry barbecue sauce. Look for it at Yakima-area restaurants such as Canyon River Grill, Birchfield Manor, Crafted, WaterFire Restaurant and Bar, Yakima Steak Co., Public House of Yakima. And a portion of the proceeds are earmarked for Compeau’s grand niece — Evelyn “Evvy” Allen — who is battling stage-4 neuroblastoma.
Production: 488 cases