In one of the five incubator buildings out at the Walla Walla Airport is Corvus Cellars, a collaboration between Steve Lessard and Jennifer and Randall Hopkins. We spent a few minutes early last September visiting with Jennifer while tasting the current wine line up (it was crush, neither of the guys were around). Like us, Jennifer and Randall were very interested in making wine and the friendship with Steve Lessard catalyzed their dreams into Corvus. Randall took the WSU wine making extension program, where I am immersed in the WWCC certification programs. Steve Lessard has credentials from Napa Valley & Sonoma California before heading to Washington State to Hedges and Whitman Cellars – a good man to know apparently. Corvus has been in the incubator since October 2010 which makes them one of the older businesses in that block right now; businesses have five-year leases before needing to find new digs elsewhere.
On this windy, rainy night, when I should be studying, I am writing while sipping their Syrah (60%)-Petite Sirah (40%) from 2010, which ended with a very early and severe frost here in Walla Walla. But most of the fruit for Corvus is from Red Mountain, a renowned, 4000 acre AVA with hot summers and may have been close enough to harvesting all fruit before the worst of the cold hit there. The wine is well-balanced, fruity with a bit of a spicy bite toward the end. I recall it being quite flavorful in September (hoping the stuffy nose and sneezing is allergy rather than cold coming on) but I don’t get as much nose or specific flavor profile as I recall six months ago. When classes slow down we will have to go back to see revisit and see if we can catch up with the rest of the Corvus team while discovering their new releases.