Reynvaan Family Vineyards was established by Mike and Gale Reynvaan in 2004. Mike and Gale’s son Matt serves as winemaker. Reynvaan, who released its inaugural wines earlier this year, produces wines from 100% estate fruit from the Walla Walla Valley.

The winery currently has two vineyard sites. The first, In the Rocks, had its initial plantings in 2005. The family worked slowly, first planting five acres and then adding an additional five each year. The vineyard, which is currently fifteen acres, is planted to Syrah, Cabernet, Viognier, Marsanne, and Grenache Blanc. The second vineyard, Foothills in the Sun, is located near the Reynvaan family home. This location, which will be the site of the future winery, is nestled up against the Blue Mountains far along Cottonwood Road. The vineyard was planted in 2007 to Cabernet, Syrah, and Viognier. The first fruit from Foothills in the Sun is expected in 2010.

Earlier this year, Reynvaan announced that vigneron Christophe Baron of Cayuse Vineyards has been working as their viticulture and wine consultant. Baron has been involved in every step at the winery, from helping pick out vineyard sites to laying out the vineyards to making the 2007, 2008, and 2009 vintage wines at the Cayuse facility.

The inaugural releases from Reynvaan come from the first five acres planted at the In the Rocks vineyard. The first listed here is called “The Contender.” While the name is audacious and harkens to the names of some of the K Vintners wines, the wine lives up to the billing. This wine, a Syrah co-fermented with Marsanne, brings compelling aromatics and is rich and focused on the palate. The second wine, named In the Rocks after the vineyard, is Syrah co-fermented with Viognier and a splash of Marsanne. This wine, while not as fully fleshed out as The Contender, still shows the exceptional promise of this vineyard. Both of these red wines display Cayuse influences with earth, mineral, and focused fruit flavors. The third is a different beast altogether. This wine, a Rhone-style blend of Marsanne and Viognier, is the most limited of the three. While this wine has a great deal of appeal, the alcohol comes off as a bit heavy at times.

In a similar fashion to how Baron offers his Cayuse wines, Reynvaan offers its wines a year in advance through a mailing list. The 2008 releases – which were sampled during Fall Release and will be included in my upcoming report of this event – show the additional heft of another year of vineyard age.

The 2007 Reynvaan releases are sold out at the winery but are available through a variety of retail stores as well as on-line. These wines, while unique from those offered by Cayuse, show as similar an inspiration as one will find in Washington. While the Cayuse mailing list is close to uncrackable, the Reynvaan mailing list is currently open. However, with releases like these, that is sure to change.

Reynvaan Family Vineyards The Contender Syrah WWV 2007 $55Rating: **
Nose is a bit restrained initially with campfire, reductive aromas, and game. As it opens up, it explodes with purple fruit, mineral aromas, manure, earth, and flowers pushing their way up through it all. Thick and intense on a palate rich with fruit and lots of soil and bacon flavors. Beautifully balanced with depth and layers of complexity. Finish hangs. Syrah co-fermented with Marsanne. 13.99% alcohol.

Reynvaan Family Vineyards In the Rocks Syrah WWV 2007 $45 Rating: *
An aromatic wine with smoke, bacon fat, potting soil, lots of floral notes, vegetable aromas, fruit, and savory notes. Vibrant on the palate with a lot of intense fruit flavors. Dips just a bit in the mid-palate and isn’t entirely filled out at times but this will change as the vineyard matures. An excellent first release from this winery. Syrah co-fermented with 6.5% Viognier and 1.5% Marsanne. 14.44% alcohol.

Reynvaan Family Vineyards Queen’s Road White Walla Walla Valley 2007 $40 Rating: +
Light golden color. Golden delicious apples on the nose along with spice. A good bit of weight to the palate that has almost an apple juice feel without the sweetness. A backsplash of alcohol toward the finish. 65% Marsanne, 35% Viognier. 14.79% alcohol.

Samples provided by winery.