Guardian Cellars 2012 Entrapment chardonnay

Tasted at 55-59 degrees on the IR temp gun. Gorgeous 18k gold in the Riedel with equally opulent essences of lemon, peach, pineapple, and honey lead to a heavy presence on the palate. Firm and steady flavors of peach, kiwi, melon, mineral spirits, grapefruit and lemon evolve through the midpalate onto a sustained, even finish. Great with korma curry.

Alcohol: 14.1%. AKA ‘Cougar Juice’. Conner Lee Vineyard. Aged in 66.7% new French oak for 6 months. Made for 2016. 250 cases. Power: 3/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 92. Value: $35. Paid: $30. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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Castillo de Feliciana 2012 albarino

Tasted at 55-60 degrees on the IR temp gun. Color: faint gold. Nose: lime, indoor swimming pool, lemon blossom. Mouthfeel: smooth and light, snappy, with an acid scrub. Tail trail: 6 seconds. Flavors: lime, lemon, white hibiscus. Paired with gingered tripe, bull tendon, and a spider roll. Wicked.

Alcohol: 13.2%. Columbia Valley AVA. Milton-Freewater winery. RS 1.0%. Still a very rare find in Washington albarino as only a handful of wineries have access to this scarcely planted grape. Best wine to pair with shellfish. Power: 2/5. Balance: 2/5. Depth: 2/5. Finesse: 2/5. Rated: 88. Value: $15. Paid: $22. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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Martedi Wines 2009 sangiovese

Tasted at 58-64 degrees on the IR temp gun. Color: magenta. Nose: alcohol punch to the schnozz, black cherry, blackberry, raspberry, blackened toast. Mouthfeel: full bodied. Tail trail: 7 seconds. Flavors: sting, black cherry, black licorice. Too hot for a sangiovese.

Alcohol: 14.6%. Yakima Valley AVA. Good with spaghetti but not potato chips, especially jalapeno Kettle Chips. Power: 2/5. Balance: 2/5. Depth: 2/5. Finesse: 2/5. Rated: 88. Value: $17. Paid: $20. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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Chateau Rollat 2007 Edouard de Rollat cabernet sauvignon

Tasted at 61-66 degrees on the IR temp gun. Great consistency. This 2007 is showing a pristine ruby-edged magenta reminiscent of its grand vintage. Plump black fruits continue to dance on the crystal despite this being well into its sixth year post-harvest. Full throttle on the palate that begins with a slow trickle of black currant, nettle, and red currant, then leading to a buff midpalate of dark chocolate, mint, red pepper, and finishing with a crescendo of pliant tannins and background spices. Fine complement to maple bacon beans and rice, chicken and apple sausages, and ol’ fashioned USA beef hot dogs.

Alcohol: 14.2%. Walla Walla Valley AVA. Power: 3/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 92. Value: $35. Retail: $62. Paid: $45. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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Coyote Canyon Winery 2009 H/H Estates Reserve Michael Andrews Red

Tasted at 60-68 degrees on the IR temp gun. Deep black cherry jello in the Riedel with mesmerizing scents of black licorice, plum, dried tea leaves, oven-dried fennel, and fresh herbs swirling within the tulip bulb. Fairly dense on the palate with a long residence of black tea remnants, bright cherry notes, black cherry and blueberry midpalate, with lingering Camellia sinensis floral notes. Good acid bite. It’s dark. It’s light. It’s a strobelight!

Alcohol: 14.3%. Horse Heaven Hills AVA. 223 cases. Winemaker: John Gabriel. Rioja-style blend of graciano, tempranillo, and grenache. Power: 3/5. Balance: 2/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 91. Wonderful with a Chipotle burrito. Value: $30. Paid: $35. Music pairing: “Strobelight” by the B-52s. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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Altair Vineyards & Winery 2003 Valle de Cachapoal cabernet sauvignon (Chile)

Tasted at 65-68 degrees on the IR temp gun. Black ruby in the Riedel with steady aromas of black tea and coffee grounds. Full bodied with a moderate presence reflecting black currant, bell pepper, charred beef tips, dark chocolate, and black plum. Counterweight to a hefty lasagna and black pepper salami.

Alcohol: 14.4%. Cachapoal Valley. Heavy dark green bottle–makes a sexy paperweight. Slick packaging. Still retailing for over $100 to the clueless. Power: 3/5. Balance: 2/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 91. Value: $30. Paid: $26. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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Maison Bleue Winery 2012 Jaja white wine

In yet another sublime moment brought on by the 2012 vintage in Washington, this blog presents to you readers a star of the 2012 class!

Maison Bleue Winery has had its share of bumps and bruises lately but the current lineup brings the luster back to this emerging Washington stud winery with a rather spectacular southern Rhone-style blend at a price point that is befuddling, and thus, should be hoarded quickly before supplies dry up.

This is also another “don’t let the blasé label fool you” wine bottle that is encrusted with subtle complexity only an experienced connoisseur of white wines will appreciate. Translated: for you chardonnay yahoos and riesling weirdos, this is not the wine you are looking for. This is a wine made for Rhone buttrangers… deeply analytical flavors emanating from some of the most obscure grapes grown in Washington: grenache blanc and picpoul blanc. For those who have delved into the bland and generic white wines of the massive Columbia Valley AVA, this wine will revitalize the fatigued spirit of the palate with delightful and energetic vibrance like no other mass-produced, blue-collar, multi-vineyard schlock. This is the Columbia Valley AVA at its very best in expressing what are “wallflower” grapes in your other preferred grape-growing region.

What’s even crazier than drinking this now is that this blend will mature into something magical at this year’s Thanksgiving table (and maybe even next Thanksgiving). That’s right. This is not really a wine for Spring. It’s too much of a showstopper. Open this on a (oxymoron alert) warm April afternoon in the oxtail end of America and you will quickly forget the nuclear-ice cold orange sunset, which is precisely what you DON’T want in a wine while thawing out from the 2013-14 Wintergeddon. This is more like a wine you pour on (and lap up) your denuded significant other in the bathtub to detoxify from a Miley Cyrus concert. If only Amy Winehouse lived long enough to enjoy this baby…

Tasted at 48-54 degrees on the IR temp gun. Some serious “I mean business” bright lemon in the Riedel with overflowing aromas of apricot, peach, yellow rose of Texas, and Meyer lemon expose a thick and full-bodied profile of nectarine, almond, crushed rock, pineapple, lemon, and Granny Smith apple on an adequate spine of acid and suggesting hints of good aging ahead. Mmm Yeah! Paired with Trefoils (yummy), nachos (ta bueno), and chili (not bad).

Alcohol: 13.4%. Columbia Valley AVA. 50% marsanne, 23% roussanne, 18% grenache blanc, 9% picpoul blanc. Can only guess the vineyard sources include Boushey Vineyard, which would not be surprising. 311 cases. Something’s up at Maison Bleue so scoop this up before some dickweed monopolizes the stash. Power: 3/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 2/5. Rated: 91. Value: $27. Paid: $16. Music pairing: “MMM Yeah” by Austin Mahone. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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