Matt Frazier’s successful negoçiant approach to his family’s Drum Roll Wine program landed on center stage at this year’s Cascadia International Wine Competition thanks to grapes from the Miller family’s historic Airport Ranch in the Yakima Valley and his ongoing collaboration with Woodinville winemaker Lin Scott of Sparkman Cellars acclaim.
Together, they turned a blend of Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc for the 2022 Drum Roll White ($15.99) into the Best White Wine of Cascadia International. It’s an aromatic cuvée that’s not mainstream, yet they are the two white varieties Frazier most enjoys drinking.
“I’m often asked which of our wines is my favorite and I do not have an answer. But I am, perhaps, most proud of the House White because releasing the non-traditional blend felt like a risk at the time, especially as the pendulum of wine fashion has swung away from Riesling as of late,” Frazier points out.
“So we use a generic Burgundy bottle and describe the wine to tasters without highlighting the varieties in the bottle. It seems to be the best way to get around the current preconceived notions of Riesling.”
Frazier regularly pours samples of the Drum Roll wines at farmers markets in Snohomish, Des Moines, Mercer Island, Issaquah and Maple Valley. The fruit-forward profile and straight-forward approach to the blend makes for easier discussions across the table.
“This is the third vintage of Drum Roll White, and each version has been a blend of the same two grapes — but in different proportions,” Frazier says. “This vintage is 75% Riesling and 25% Sauv Blanc, and each vintage has finished at 1% residual sugar.”
The success and following for the brand have Frazier and his wife, noted author Sundee Tucker Frazier, lining up a tasting room — the first for Drum Roll Wine — in Renton.
“It’s an off-the-beaten-path approach, but we’re pretty confident that South King County is ready for more wine options,” he says. “It’ll be in the heart of downtown Renton to open late summer/early fall.”
And it would provide a larger platform for Drum Roll 4 Good. Their efforts and support, which involve the Fraziers’s two teenage daughters, have generated testimonials from Seattle’s The Fifth Avenue Theatre and Taproot Theatre Company, The Pike Place Market Busker Relief Fund, the Maple Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra, Maple Valley and the Women’s Audio Mission in San Francisco.
“We’re all musicians in our family and true fans of the arts, so when we saw everything shutting down in 2020, giving back a little seemed the right, best move,” Frazier says. “It started with our kids’ local youth orchestra and grew from there. It’s not a huge part of what we do, but we’re proud of it, nonetheless.”