Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pure and Solid Character: Substance Wines

The dictionary gives many definitions to the word, substance: 1.) that of which a thing consists; physical matter or material. 2.) a species of matter of definite chemical composition. 3.) the subject matter of thought, discourse, study, etc. 4.) substantial or solid character or quality. 5.)consistency; body. 6.) something that has separate or independent existence. 7.) possessions, means, or wealth.

I couldn’t agree more that when it came to naming what is now one of the hottest wine brands in America; the collaboration of this second-label project between Jason Huntley of Waters Winery, Greg Harrington of Gramercy Cellars and Jamie Brown, Winemaker for Waters; they could not have chosen a more innovative name. A name that also involves fresh, clever and hip marketing views and labels. This alone follows under all of the above definitions.

It was during one of our recent spring days here in Walla Walla that I was treated to a wonderful afternoon in the sun tasting the wines of Substance with Jamie Brown and also Christa Hilt, Marketing Director for Substance and Waters Winery. It was the best "chemistry" lesson I have ever had. As you see, for each varietal they are labeled to resemble the periodic table of chemical elements. The striking black and white Substance label is printed with two-letter abbreviations such as Cs (Cabernet Savignon), Mb (Malbec), Me (Merlot) and Ch (Chardonnay).

Jamie explained to me that the goal of Substance is to captivate all generations and tastebuds, whether it be a novice or a seasoned wine lover. You won't find any blends on the Substance periodic table either, as their concentration is on each distinct varietal so their audience can experience the true character of each individual grape. Besides the standard varieties, you will also find more of the obscure and unique such as Ci (Cinsault), Mv(Mourvedre) and Rn (Rousanne) to name a few. However, you can be sure that the more obscure wines are going to sell out quickly besides being a limited production. Also on the back of each label gives descriptions and some education about the wine.

The wines of Substance are also priced right - $20 and under. Now, just because they are affordable, doesn't mean they have skimped on quality. I found the wines of Substance to be expressive of their character and in many cases with intensity. Although they are wines to be enjoyed now, I think you will also find them cellar-worthy. But why cellar? Enjoy these wines now as just like the chemical elements listed on the periodic table, Substance is going to be around for a very long time.


Unknown said...

What a wonderful post, beautifully written. It captures these wines so well.

Chris said...

Nice review, Catie. I've never had these wines but have seen them in stores. Nice to know they are priced competitively. I'll check one out soon.

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