Elsom Cellars Scores a Goal with Stefan Frei Partnership

I still recall my first encounter with Elsom Cellars wine years ago. It was a malbec, and a distinctive one at that. It exuded a spicy, black pepper nuance. Is there a spice more popular than pepper? It adds abundant flavor to life. As do the wines coming out of this woman led business.

While Malbec is still considered the signature variety of Elsom Cellars, the winery is about so much more than that. Especially to me personally. I am a member of the board of Seattle Urban Wineries as a result of Winemaker Rebecca Weber’s outreach. Even if it weren’t for that, I find it admirable that the people behind the brand create such a welcoming space and foster community. They also have much to offer wine loving consumers such as a one-of-a-kind urban tasting experience on the outdoor patio, an indoor space available for private events, and a diverse range of tantalizing wines that even includes a vermouth. There are also bottles that give back to the community.

Celebrating the release of The Keeper
Photo via Elsom Cellars Facebook Page

Meet The Keeper

Elsom Cellars recently scored a collaboration with celebrated Seattle Sounders goalkeeper, Stefan Frei. The wine project, aptly named The Keeper, benefits youth sports programs through Washington Youth Soccer. The bottle is adorned with label artwork created by Frei, a two-time MLS Cup champion and an avid artist.

“I’m really excited about this project,” said Frei. “It’s about coming together to support our community’s young athletes and helping them reach their goals on and off the field.”

With two children involved in soccer programs and a strong desire to give back to the community, it seems natural that Jody Elsom would support such a cause. The collaboration enabled Elsom to recently donate $10,000 to Washington Youth Soccer, made possible by sales of the wine.

It seems that such a project also grows the wine community. According to the winery’s Operations Manager, Neil Maertens, “the partnership between Elsom Cellars and soccer great Stefan Frei was terrific for getting wine in front of a new audience.” An audience that extends near and far, mind you. The wine brings people to the Elsom Cellars tasting room prior to Seattle Sounder games. Plus, people order bottles of The Keeper to ship to their soccer loving friends and family across the country. It’s incredible what can be accomplished through joining forces.

Let’s Talk About the Wine

Sure it’s all well and good to raise money for a charitable cause, but how is the wine? Based on the sample provided, I say it’s a winner!

The Keeper
Blend: 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Malbec, 20% Merlot, 20% Syrah
Appellation: Columbia Valley (Red Mountain, Horse Heaven Hills & Rattlesnake Hills)
Production: 200 cases
For every bottle gifted, $15 is donated to youth sports programs for underserved kids through Washington Youth Soccer.

This wine has some heft! The satisfying sipper first revealed brambly fruit, vanilla, and some molasses all framed by structured tannins. Then came some bright red fruit. On the second day, pronounced cocoa notes revealed themselves along with raspberry and cherry. It tastes like optimism. Since this wine takes a little time to reveal its full range, I recommend decanting and/or serving with food.

I opened this wine on a Friday which by default is usually pasta night at our house. Both the hubby and I savored the wine with pasta marinara and we’d do it again!

The Keeper is available for purchase at the Elsom Cellars tasting room in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood and online.

Thirsty for more from Elsom Cellars? Last month, the Netflix show “Love is Blind” aired an episode that includes a cast member’s birthday celebration at the winery. Go ahead and stream episode 8 of season 4 to see for yourself!

For more about Seattle Urban Wineries, discover the fun varieties the wineries pour.