Eroica 2013 Columbia Valley riesling

Oh Florida. A Tampa woman manipulated herself to make it look like she now has three, count ‘em, THREE boobs that she supposedly paid $20,000 for to have a third funbag surgically implanted on her chest all in a quest to have her own reality show on MTV. You know, the Music Television channel that doesn’t play any music. Whatever happened to the usual path of, like, joining to college to get a degree in journalism/communications, paying your dues at a network, then earning the right through skilled talent to have your own show? Yeah, that was soooo last generation cause it makes too much sense. Rhode Island makes its dubious debut here on the blog when a 53 year-old sot set the modern-day record of getting DUI’d FOUR times in four DIFFERENT vehicles over a 30-hour period. On a Monday morning when most of us were fueling up on caffeine, this grunt blew a .22 for a cop. And, hey, did you know that Europe beat the U.S. in the Ryder Cup? Yeah, not one f*ck was given that day.

Hey get this, gang,– a blog that proclaims itself to be an “independent” and has “Washington wine” in its name no longer posts reviews of wines from Washington! How much of a moron must one be to not figure out this wank of an author is (1) not independent, but very cozy with industry insiders who ultimately control the content of said wine blog; and (2) think about it… a Washington wine blog that doesn’t review Washington wines. What a twat. We have said this before: the readers there are the fools for thinking they were getting an honest, untainted look into the glorious wines of Washington State. They finally figured out they were really reading a cheap PR stunt of the featured wineries making themselves look good in exchange for cases of free wine. Trick or treat, wine drinkers!

Where did we get all these weirdass blends lately? Perusing the tasting rooms and markets, there are some scratch-your-head combinations that make no sense. I never gave thought to much of these besides their value as a shock-marketing tool. Sure, blends originated long ago from the great chateaus that basically did a field blend, harvesting grapes regardless of their varietal when the clusters were ripe. The most famous example is the “Bordeaux” blends of France, utilizing up to six prime varietals for red wines, as required by their appellation’s restrictions. Other wine laws allow anywhere from 15% to 25% blending while still being allowed to be labeled by the major varietal’s name. This type of allowable blending is intended to develop more pleasing characteristics that a 100% varietal cannot display. Whether it be a deeper color (vision), more complex bouquet (smell), or flavors (taste), these blends were intended to impress the end-consumer and either charge more or prove that any leftovers at the winery could still boast a superior profile. Regardless, a blended wine has many origins; sometimes, it is made out of necessity or created to improve upon a varietal.

Then, there’s the consumer’s version of blending. Picture this, you’re at the dinner with friends and the last drops in the bottle are insufficient to completely fill your glass. The next bottle the host brings out is another type of wine. What do you do? Well, if you’re a true explorer of wine, you do what I do– fill ‘er up, Gaston! That’s how you discover that a pinot gris and sauvignon blanc synergistically do better than the individual components when paired with sushi. Or, add a dash of a earthy, peppery mourvedre into a glass of tempranillo and it stokes a pleasing fire with a fresh platter of paella. Or, cross it up and make your own satisfying blend of viognier and syrah. Pinot grigio with merlot. Sangiovese with a splash of dry riesling. They don’t always work, but at least you will know.

This 2013 edition is the 15th vintage of Washington’s most celebrated riesling and continues the trademark expectations of what a German perspective can do to a Washington grape. Crisp acids and aromatic fruits define Eroica riesling and this bottle bests its predecessors of the last four harvests. With just enough dissolved carbon dioxide to tingle but not corrode, this riesling will light up a platter of artisan cheeses. The balanced fruit profile along with a touch of sweetness is complex and complements spicy Indian curries and Sri Lankan sambal to perfection. Got invited to an Indian family’s dinner and want to impress? This is the wine to present… and you may want to tote an extra bottle!

Tasted at 53-62 degrees on the IR temp gun. Thin straw in color with a summer shower of lemon blossom, guava, and pomelo. Also light bodied on the palate with a collage of grapefruit, lime, slate, and crushed white rock.

Alcohol: 12.0%. Guessing the TA is 0.7-0.85% and pH 3.0-3.15. RS between 1.6% and 2%. Thousands of cases. Retail: $22-25. Save some moolah and buy it at Costco for $14.89. Ready to enjoy now but also worth keeping for the 25th anniversary. Power: 2/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 91. Music pairing: “Shower” by Becky G. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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Chateau Ste. Michelle 2013 Cold Fiddle white wine

Seattle’s had a summer for the ages, easily the warmest summer since I lost my virginity. And with the baking temperatures cometh the wild, the wacky news that no one wants to claim. Last Saturday in the heat, a Krappy Fried Chicken outlet in north Seattle was the scene of a wacked out customer flinging a $5.19 lemon cake at employees for no reason other than, I would assume, the crappy fried kitten they serve up there. When the po-po arrived, the victims couldn’t give a clear description of the assailant but they were able to describe the object of projectile, “yellow in color, circular, and costs exactly $5.19.” *facepalm* Police searched the area but were distracted by the “Hot Now” lighted neon lamp nearby. How’s this for a knucklehead– the po-po were checking on a home in the Mt. Baker neighborhood when they discovered stolen property inside. On cue, a male drove up to the home in a stolen Infiniti and was immediately ‘cuffed. Among the stolen property was Sean’s drawer of panties and pasties, so you spies can tell Sean his gear has been recovered. And speaking of Sean, customers at the tasting room of Airplane Landing Estates recently complained to employees that some “obese, scruffy white dude in a cheap suit” was trying to sell the remaining cases of donated wine from his recent “My Top 100 Wines That Were Donated by Suckers in 2014.” Employees of Airplane Landing Estates confronted the bum who lies about wine on some tertiary wine rag but he scrambled back into his 1991 Yugo after threatening to “stomp out” the employees with his size 4 Chuck Taylors. As he drove away, the employees yelled a question as to why he claims to judge wines impartially despite a photo showing him looking puzzled as he snorted a white wine while looking at a Lauren Ashton bottle.

We recently did a survey of the local landscape and uncovered what a fraud the Washington Wine Liar’s Report is. First off, there was nary a wine smellier’s celebration anywhere after the asexual dipsquat from (somewhere near) Boston declared he would be drinking all the free wine from this region. Did anyone outside the wine community care about the news? I posed this question to the first fifty customers who crossed the red line of my tasting room and not even one wine simp could identify the buzzard. Secondly, what kind of asshole would dare shuffle through a diminishing annual supply of free wine in order to meet a summer deadline (before a large fraction of red wines get released) for some second-rate local compost-immediately rag? Why, when it comes to free wine, only the quickest of queers like Sean would run to be first in line just so he could overhype the fecal wines from his buddies in the Walla Walla section. Who reads that shit? Dentists and their hostages. That’s who. As for the rest of us, we just swing on by the local ubermarket and grab the label that looks coolest in the cold case section.

Anywho, that’s what this wine slugger did. Rather than pay for the obscene ticket prices to watch a past-peak Lyle Hateit and his Viagra-Enlarged Band or the Maurice White-less Dirt, Fart and Ember band, we just bought the wine for this year’s summer concert set and watched concert videos on You Tube. Actually, it was hella more fun than scraping for parking at a nearby industrial park, like in past years. Saved enough money to buy a case of this wine but, after tasting this, we decided to bank the savings toward a couple lapdances at Deja Vu instead.

To neophytes, this wine will appear fine. A nice right hook to the mandible of peach and hot summer apple with enamel-dissolving acid. This proves the hypothesis that hipster wine drinkers are idiots. Where else would a human voluntarily choose to flaunt his idiocy by mouthwashing a pH 3.10 solution? My dental hygienist pulled out my nose hair when I asked her consent in doing such a foolish maneuver.

Such is the folly of wine wannabes who follow false idols. Wine is such a total complete subjective evaluation that no one is truly correct in evaluating a wine’s profile. The public thinks wine experts who write for the rags have some college degree in wine studies when the reality is they got their position by default. Basically, most of them were drowning in obscurity in the arts section trying to hype up a “display of the clay arts” or taking subscription collections when they were asked, “What do you know about wine?” Most answered, “Well, a white wine like cabernet tastes great with seared crab.” Um, yeah…

Here are the basics for wine newbies who are looking for an appropriate wine to impress people they don’t like (the definition of “status”). For the dudes trying to impress the second date, just go to the cold section and find the most recent vintage date– currently year 2013 — and pull that white wine, like this one. Don’t get a red. Women who love red wines are too old for you and will dump your ass once they view your scant bank account. Just ask Sean why he’s still single and almost 50. Don’t worry about single varietals or vineyards. They don’t know the difference either so save some money and focus on tagging her ass later in the evening after smothering her with lies of how good she looks.

Some tips for the “I think I know my wine even though I just started drinking the rotten grape.” You think you know reds but really, you don’t. You want to pull that eight year-old vintage languishing deep in the eye-level shelf and it’s “on sale” so you think you’re getting a deal. Here’s the scoop: there’s a reason why that wine is still there. It’s either: (a) cooked, meaning it was stored in a too-warm box on the dock all day in July; (b) from a producer who dumped it for a song; or (c) from the all-time worst vintage year for that area. So, don’t be stoopid and think you’re getting a deal. You ain’t. You probably did some research and know that a recent vintage like 2012 in Washington is a good one. Stick with it. Don’t be fooled by the 2011 or even the 2010 vintages. Only the top producers whose sticker price is normally above 40 bucks survived with their reputations intact.

Which brings us to the topic of “Why are the ratings so high on the 2011 and 2010 vintages?”

Simple. In a nutshell, the major wine rags (Wine Expectorator, Wine Antagonist, Free Food & Donated Wine) were clear conspirators in overrating the wines from this two-year aberration in Washington. They justified the higher ratings by stating how cooler vintages bring out varietal character (bullshit, unless you enjoy broccoli, mint, tomato leaf, and cabbage in your wines) or should be cellared longer when it has been nearly unanimous that these wines from year 2010 and 2011 are gross underperformers. Ladies and gents, these wines will not get better with time. They will not rise up to the 2009 or even the 2008 vintages and, for sure, place nowhere near the bonzo 2007-2006-2005 vintages. Is anyone still standing by their yippee words from the 2004 vintage? Of course not. Most of the wines are dead from that cold year. Just ask the peeps who recently popped a 2004 Mark Ryan wine… All these wine critics did was spread wide the unwiped lower cheeks of the Washington Wino Institute, slapped some gritty Carmex on their herpes-bumpy lips and got a deep tongue full of ass in return for future cases of 110-point wines from the all-time best 2014 vintage. If you can’t figure that shit out, then you’re a believer in Area 51. Break free from your misguided intuition.

We here at the blog admire Wendy Stuckey. We love that Aussie accent because it reminds us of the world’s best hoopster, Lauren Jackson. Because she reminds us of Muriel’s Wedding more than vegemite sandwiches. Because we hear Men At Work more than 1927 or Boom Crash Opera. Because McLaren Vale rocks over a McLaren MP4-12C. Well, maybe not that last one…

This is a wine for the fu-fu crowd that inhabits the ’80s roundup of past glory bands like the Go-Go’s, ZZ Top, Steve Winwood, etc. They’re done climbing the ladder and now just want to look good because they’re flush with cash and non-physical assets. They’ve married into wealth or settled down after a mid-life crisis. Their kids are in college or they just sold off a fixer-upper for a profit. They’re breaking free of the chains they put themselves in. But, just like the ’80s, this wine is full of flash but no substance. The wine is just complex enough to confuse the truly blind taster (black Riedel glass– everything else is faux blind tasting), yet lacking in depth and vision. Perfect for its intended audience.

Alcohol: 13.0%. Columbia Valley AVA, including Horse Heaven Vineyard planted in the 1970’s. 39% riesling for the acid, 30% semillon and 10% viognier for heft, 19% gew├╝rztraminer for spice, and 2% chenin for the leftovers. TA 0.61. pH 3.10, RS 0.64%.

Tasted at 51-57 degrees. Color: light straw. Nose: peach, honeysuckle, yellow wildflowers. Mouthfeel: medium with acid bite. Tail trail: 6 seconds. Flavors: spiced apple pie, pear, dried peach. Power: 2/5. Balance: 1/5. Depth: 2/5. Finesse: 2/5. Rated: 87. Value: $8. Paid: $10. Music pairing: “Break Free” by Ariana Grande. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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Efeste 2011 Lola chardonnay

This is why all teenagers should be jailed when they enter high school… so they learn the payment when they do commit a retarded deed in society. A 17 year-old from (where else?) Skyway was arrested from mall camera evidence after swiping a tablet from a woman in a wheelchair at Northgate Mall. Dood, you’re in a mall. Security can pinpoint how often you’re scoping out the cleavage of passing women with their ubiquitous cameras. And, the fact you’re a resident of Skyway automatically makes ya a suspect in crimes against the community. Adding to this disgrace, a 16 year-old from neighboring Renton decided to turn his ‘boss’ on and disregarded a warning to slow down from a skateboarder in front of his vehicle and chose to clip the poor bastard then denied fault to the victim’s posse before driving off. Too bad because all teenagers know their peers and he was later busted at his home. The victim later died at Harborview, which further reinstates this simple lesson: regardless of the reason you are in the street in the Seattle area and whether or not you have the right of way, time and again will tell you this, you risk your own life being in the path of a vehicle. If you are crossing in a crosswalk, be swift and know the cars that want to cross your path. Too often I see numbnuts looking down as they slowly stroll into waiting traffic while busily gettin’ their jams on their iTunes. And, there are others who take their leisurely time crossing like they own the fuckin’ road. Be considerate of others and move yo’ ass on down! No sense being right when you’re disabled or dead. But, I digress. Thankfully, there’s Florida… neighbors in Ormond Beach called police after noticing a 45 year-old woman on a motorcycle “half-naked from the waist down and was masturbating.” Ya know, there’s a couple motorcycle parking spots across my micro-apartment window… Just sayin’

Ahh, September. The new school year means a fresh start to get it going again after a furious summer that left me on the threshold. Time to get back to the fundamentals, so this is a primer on wine blogging and how to do it right versus doing what your peer-pressure “buddies” expect.

First off– if you’re gunna blog about wine, make sure you know the basics of English composition. Examples: forming competent sentences, proper syntax, and spelling. For God’s sake, every blog program these days has spell-check. Use it.

Next, and this is important if you want to be credible and truly non-partisan, BUY the wines you review. Nowhere else is such underhanded graft and freebies considered to be “status quo.” Just because it’s wine does not mean authors and readers lower the standard of judgement of the product in review. This is not acceptable in any other regulated industry and the wine blogging industry feigns interest in becoming “regulated” through paper-stamped certification from wanna-be standardized entities. It’s pretty simple: a wine owner gives you a wine for free, after you greedily blackmail the poor dude, to “review” so, like, what the hell you gonna do? You gonna give your real thoughts if the wine sucks? Of course not. You’d then be blacklisted from the winery and her/his friends forever. Stupid move. Of course, you’d join the rank-and-file on an average wine and basically “polish a turd” by hyping it up. Really good wines of a stud lineage already have the word out, so really, there’s no news there. This is where the good bloggers separate themselves from the pack… go find that hidden gem that no one has covered. Go to the store. Go to that obscure new winery tasting room. Pay the price and take a chance. Every now and then, a gem appears. This is what I call the “discovery phase” and this is what makes wine blogging a joy here. In a different light, mix it up and go buy the mass-produced, what-everyone’s-buying wine and try to understand why it is so. This is how to connect with your readers and fellow bloggers. Stay on top of trends as well as blend in new discoveries. And do it independently of what your peers are doing. Create some personality because that’s what people are attracted to. Your own stamp of quality.

From there, go out and find your specialty. For here, it’s Washington wines. We have been supporting the local industry like no other wine blogger since 2008. Thousands of dollars. Many wine clubs. We know all the players in the local area. We know the tasting room managers, the winemakers, the wine rats, the limo drivers, the restaurants, etc. We support them all. They are not here for your self-listed “A-List” penis. Money talks. Being courteous is the supplemental currency. It opens doors. Money is the preferred transaction, but if you want to be Sean, then go suck enough sommelier dick and you might still make it, albeit you’ll be gettin’ penicillin shots up the ass periodically.

Once the wine is procured, be consistent in its treatment. Develop a habit… your drinking environment should be void of distractions. Focus on the wine, not the slags in revealing dresses growing your third leg. Monitor the temperature at tasting. Yes, it is that important. Drinking a red at 55 degrees is vastly different than at 62 degrees. Same with whites. Know the perimeter of food pairings that complement the experience. Take detailed notes. If you don’t know your descriptors then stop what you’re doing and make your next destination the farmer’s market. If you’re into white wines, go buy some fresh (not canned) peaches, limes, lemons, pears, apples, nectarines, bread rolls, and mixed nuts. For the red wines, go with blackberries, black currants, plums, blueberries, and cherries. Then, find a barista that serves burnt espresso. Go smoke a cigar from no less than the DR. Go burn some toast and take a bite. Understanding the language of wine means sampling what’s at the market. Eventually, while you may be thinking you are educating the supposed masses on wine, the wine itself will be educating you on the senses in your life’s experiences. Smelling a Belgian girl’s hair when you were in elementary school. Walking by a bakery shop or coffee stand. Running through a row of strawberries at your uncle’s farm. Smoking a #6 Cohiba with a single-malt Scotch in the aft of your buddie’s yacht. Smelling the funk wafting between your legs after dropping a sphincter-splitting a.m. deuce. The sense of smell triggers memories quicker than no other stimulus, yet enjoying wine is about engaging all the senses so be aware.

Sight– look at the wine in the glass. What is the color consistent with, in terms of age and varietal? Look at the bottle. Ask yourself, “What is the label attracting?” Listen– pop the cork! Unscrew the Stelvin and imitate that popping sound. Listen to the sound of the wine pouring into the glass. That’s the sound of anticipation. Smell– what is the first impression? Touch– feel the wine bottle label. Why is it bumpy? Feel the glass. Is it the right temperature? Touch the wine. Just because you can. Taste– what are you imagining? Does it take you somewhere wonderful or woeful? Many wines take people back to the place they first had it… in some distant locale where they were carefree. These are the senses that make the experience of wine tasting so dreamy.

After that, you are on your own. And, if you’ve been doing it for awhile, it’s okay to repeat the basic information like the area the grapes came from, the winemaker, the history of the winery, any significant time period involving the wine or winery, or any one- or two-degrees of separation between the wine and some personal connection you may have to it. Regurgitating information from the winery website is strongly discouraged, except for bits and pieces that enhance the overall content.

Post consistently if you’re starting out. You have no real fans so be predictable at first. Speed the process up and blog often if you’re a newbie. Don’t be a one-hit wonder.

Don’t get too fancy with your snootiness in rating a wine. Stick to the standard 100-point scale. If you don’t know what that is, then go buy a wine mag like Wine Spectator (this is the ONLY time I recommend paying good money on a waste of a rag) and buy a few wines with the number-rating and see why it was rated at that number.

And, get this… if you want to develop your own voice, avoid at all costs grouping with other wine bloggers. They don’t know any more than you. Following these losers in life will only trap you into blogging about the same wines or topics. Boring.

There.

Wine bloggers pay hundreds of dollars for these secrets, wasting precious time in the tasting room and flying to places that think they make great wine. Skip that shit. Be passionate and invest your own time in researching the facts. Don’t waste it on sucking up to Dickless Wine Report or his hoochy bisexual gf that once ran a mini-mall faux-Chinese joint that served food that tasted like ass.

Chardonnay has become the litmus test here for true enthusiasts of wine. The Anything-But-Chardonnay haters have run their weakass course and are now seen as dysfunctional creeps that secretly couldn’t tell the difference between a Franzia and M. Etain. Sure, Washington has weak chardonnays. Look at the many small-time wineries that use it as a cashflow item. Even Chateau Ste. Michelle has its share of pencil-necked chards, but you knew that.

Chardonnay is another malleable white wine. Many styles involve its winemaking; from traditional 300% new French oak to stainless steel or the hipster concrete egg, and all combinations in between. It’s a great wine with any course when paired correctly. While not quite the wild-card status that Washington riesling is, chardonnay is making a comeback here and in the near future, there will be a $100 Washington chardonnay available. Why? Because we can. That’s why.

It’s a white wine so think about it… it’s best paired with cheeses and white meats that may include your girlfriend’s crotch. Had this with my bud’s fried chicken, experimental fried gizzards, and 505 Green Chile sauce. Holy blow hole!

Tasted at 50-59 degrees on the IR temp gun. Buttery gold in the Riedel with blooms of white peach, nectarine, graham crackers, 3am-baked bread, and wildflower honey. Full and dense on the palate with a long, even residence of warm summer peach, orange oil, lemon mash, and gravelly minerals.

Alcohol: 13.41%. Evergreen Vineyard. Ancient Lakes AVA. Native fermentation. Power: 3/5. Balance: 2/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 2/5. Rated: 90. Value: $25. Paid: $30. Music pairing: “Secrets” by Mary Lambert. This is WAwineman, back for you bitches.

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Andrew Januik 2011 Stone Cairn cabernet sauvignon

With the upcoming wine liar’s convention on the radar, we salute wine bloggers with the stupidity they shamelessly display on their sites. First, there’s the fugly old goat of a failure who leeched his way onto Seattle’s former “other newspaper” by ripping the customers who frequent the big-box wine stores and accusing those patrons of not buying “local” when they should be paying more for the same wine at some small-time local hoodrat’s store. Listen, you shriveled, Viagra-popping face-got-run-over-by-a-BevMo-semi raisin’d palate, those places employ “local” people who live here and contribute to their communities. Those stores attract a demographic that ma-and-pa Peter’s Wine Esquins cannot entice. I may not buy wines from them but I get some damn good beers there and the people are courteous, unlike the corrosive rant spewed on that poorly edited post. There should be a law that anyone over 43 be disallowed to blog about wines because they are so out of touch with the world. Especially if they failed in selling wine in a previous life. That goes for you, too, Stanley. Next is that brainless cleft-lipped monstrosity that continues to boast that retarded cliche “it’s wine o’clock somewhere.” Her latest posts, despite being a self-proclaimed Washington wine advocate, focuses on Mollydooker and Franciscan Estate wines. Hmm, last I checked those wineries could not be found within Washington’s borders. It’s one thing to occasionally dip into “outside” wines, if anything, to reaffirm that Washington’s wines are clearly superior. It’s quite another to stay focused on second-tier world wines that only rank competitively with the lower-end Precept wines. Then, there’s that Bullshit Wine Reporter’s posts… look at the last month of his posts– not one single investigative topic about a Washington winery or winemaker. The only “focus report” in that time is a self-promoting Glee-type post begging readers to vote for him in some kiddie-school “best wine blog” category. Let’s all thank Amazon.com for shutting this dude’s trap. Hey Bezos, keep driving your slaves, ya buddy! Finally, there’s the grand old mule who thinks he owns the rights to making Washington wine so popular today that no one in southern California has heard of any world-class wines being made here. This guy failed twice at his own blog site then moved his reviews to Facebook only to publicize his ghostly effort at making wine for Tumbleweed Cellars with (a lot of) help from a conglomerate’s winemaking team and cherry-picking vineyards like ANY newly-minted winemaker here. Imagine the creepiness of having an 80 year-old senior wine writer on Facebook… can you say “pedophile”? And after all that heavy failure, the guy ends up promoting his asshat band because he couldn’t make any money with his reviews or heavily-biased-toward-his-Walla-Walla-hoodrats wine book? Hey Sean, here’s a look into your future in twenty years… failed blog, failed marriage with no kids, have to move out of Seattle due to cost of living, writing a book for the equivalent of 8 cents an hour effort, leading some hick banjo-slinging folk band, and forced out of the region’s preeminent newspaper writing about wine due to no one giving a f*ck. Yeah, better enjoy it now before you get reassigned to some remote un-air conditioned fulfillment center way out in the tulies. And you still wonder what’s my beef with Washington wine bloggers and their self-serving motives? Dummfux.

I present to you more evidence of a successful passing of the baton to the next generation of winemakers in the state of Washington with Andrew Januik’s highly anticipated and smashing debut of his eponymous winery. Andrew is the younger son of world-renowned master winemaker, Mike Januik, and a longtime cellar rat, unlike the fly-by-nights that plague the Lake Chelan wineries. Andrew, when not getting his ass beat by older brother, Donald, would sneak into the lab on weekends and work on pH and total acids when most of his kind would be sneaking into some girl’s bedrooms. It also helped that he had two fundamentally sound mentors in duck-father Mike and fellow Novelty Hill winemaker, bulldog Scott Moeller. And, unlike most scraping-by, aspiring winemakers, his “college of hard knocks” was (and still is) the beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright-esque monument that is Januik/Novelty Hill wineries.

With this background, one can expect his wines to be textbook fundamentally sound and clean and this first offering does not disappoint in such high expectations. Despite being a hefty 27 years of age, Andrew has made a wine from a most difficult vintage that is pure and representative of Washington’s jewel of an AVA, Red Mountain. Mark my words, this is not an easy or simple wine to make from year 2011 grapes. Many have fallen or taken a backseat compared to their typical production quality standard, marking 2011 as their “worst” wine in a lineage. Yes, some may say that the 2011 vintage will shine years down the road, but that is just a weakass guess to sell 2011 wines. The fact is, 2011 will be the forgotten vintage for wine connoisseurs who are nursing their own verticals of their favorite fanciful-named wines. However, for a winemaker to begin his journey with the 2011 vintage with such a polished effort as this, the future is boundless with possibilities! 2011 love never felt so good…

Tasted at 58-65 degrees on the IR temp gun. Pleasing deep garnet-black magenta in the Riedel with layered aromas of smoky blackberry, dark cherry, plum, and rich polished wood. Smooth and seamless on the palate with an eternal presence (10+ seconds) displaying raspberry, black pepper, blackberry, sweet rolled tannins, fine dust, nutty espresso, dried bark, stinging nettle, and carpenter’s workbench. This tasted like a French businesswoman… never standing up to overpower its Texas-bbq beef or chicken cutlet with plum sauce peers but never running away from its stage call either.

Alcohol: 14.2%. Vineyards: Shaw and Obelisco. Red Mountain AVA. 4% merlot, 2% cab franc. Aged 21 months in 50% new French, 36% 1-year French, and 14% new American oak. TA 0.53. pH 3.70. 199 cases. Released March, 2014. Sold out but can be found at Januik Winery… if you beg or you’re an Oregon alum. Power: 2/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 91. Value: $35. Paid: $40. Music pairing: “Love Never Felt So Good” by Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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VINTJS 2012 Columbia Valley carmenere

Another July coming up, another lameass wine liars convention passing through. The editors here at this blog got sucked into another planning meeting to “unify” the local scribes, but, as usual, the chatter melted down to the usual ineptitude so on display at these blogger’s caves. We also net-met with wine blokes across the pond due to this being a World Cup year. Let’s take a look…

Uwe von Pusser: “Not a chance USA will beat Germany at the World Cup.”
WAwineman: “That’s what the Germans said in World Wars I and II. How’d that work out for ya?”

Zits: “Hey, no offense but why are you bad at soccer?”
Prince Andrew: “You mean ‘football’.”
Zits: “It’s soccer when America wins more games than you.”

Antoine: “We will destroy those Africans! If it was a real war, the French just purchased some new tanks that have 14 gears!”
Alex: “Yeah, 13 go in reverse and 1 goes forward in case the enemy attacks from behind.”
WAwineman: “Good one! That reminds me… what’s the 100 meter sprint called in France?”
Antoine: “100m? I don’t know.”
WAwineman: “French self-defense.”

Onto typical wine blogger topics…

Sean: “Okay guys, I need help. What are some one-liners you use to get a first date?”
Sean: “I used this one on Jameson… My dick just died. Can I bury it in you?”
Josh: “I used this on my wife… You smell like trash. Can I take you out?”
David: “Margo got hooked on this one… If your right leg was Christmas and your left leg was Easter, would you let me come over for dinner in between the holidays?”
Antoine: “This one worked on Sarah… Do you want to play war? I’ll lay on the ground and you can blow the f*ck outta me!”
Bill Pollock: “I hung out at Pike Market once and tried this on a tourist… Oh you’re Australian? Would you like an Australian kiss? It’s like a French kiss, but only down under.”
Babs: “Hey Sean, remember this one from the backyard barbecue that you used on me? Are you a termite? Cause you’re about to have a mouth full of wood… Too bad it turned out to be a toothpick.”
Bean: “I practiced this on myself, with success… I wanna tongue punch you in the fart box.”
Jameson: “I surprised Sean with this winner… I would hide every chair in the world, just so you would have to sit on my face.”
Shona: “I fell victim to this 40 years ago… My name’s Skittles. Wanna taste my rainbow?”
Cheryl: “My short-lived husband got me with this… I’m no weatherman but you can be expecting more than a few inches tonight.”
Benny: “My wife was with her gang in front of the library when I slipped this on them… I know you ladies haven’t been studying. You must want the D.”
Rand: “As you know, I’m very old-fashioned so I hit on my daughter’s friend with this… My teddy bear just died. Would you sleep with me tonight?”
Paul Gwine: “I got my war horse the old-fashioned way also… Did you just sit on a pile of sugar, cause you’ve got a pretty sweet ass.”
Tom: “I’m an intellectual so I used this on my ex-wife… I’m like a Rubik’s Cube. The more you play with me, the harder I get.”
Clive: “I tried to hit on Cyndy once but she was one step ahead of me… I said ‘I was gonna tell you a joke about my dick, but it’s too long.’ She owned me with her reply, ‘Oh really? I was gunna tell you a joke about my vagina, but you’ll never get it.'”
Sean: “I got Anny to notice me with this… I’m not Asian but I’ll still eat your cat.”

Carmenere is the grape your grandfathers forgot to tell you about. Carmenere is also the wine that no rational-minded Carmens of the world will tell you is their favorite wine. It’s obscure. It’s gritty. It’s got the essence of unwashed armpit on a cool 95-degree day in Kerala. It’s also been a favorite of this blog for a few years… well before it got “sexy” by some late-comer’s article in the local fishwrap. And, still yet, no matter how much publicity carmenere wines get, the wines will continue to swim in the deepest part of the lake because no one understands or appreciates what carmenere grapes bring to the table. Oh sure, there are pockets of fanboys and fangirls that will eat up a good carmenere. Think Cooper Wine Company and Beresan Winery. These two wineries probably produce Washington’s best carmeneres, though not necessarily from grapes made in Washington. And, let’s not forget the pioneer winery (now extinct), Colvin Winery, that got us all hooked on carmenere grown in Washington. Nowhere else will you find a plethora of information on Washington carmenere than this blog. Even other wine writers use this blog as a reference, though they are too gutless to admit it. Besides, any and every dickwart writing about wine before 1994 (re: Paul Greg) thought Chilean merlot was just that… merlot. Wrong answer, fuckface.

Let’s face it, carmenere in its truest form is garden green. Bell pepper is the signature sensation. Yeah, not your most highly anticipated sensory perception when drinking wine. Regardless, true lovers of really good wine will take carmenere’s unusual profile and appreciate its unique persona and show respect by smartly pairing it with carmenerophile foods. Think peppered beef. Smoked pork tenderloin. Jerk chicken. Foods with some grit already encasing them. Pairing this with joke foods such as herb-crusted or stewed lamb reveals what a dipstick loser the writer is. Nobody serves lamb here on the wetside for dinner.

Found this bottle LAST WEEK on a trip to that bonhomie of supermarkets… Trader Joe’s. True, nothing’s ever on sale there, but the prices are so agreeable, there’s no need to have a sale. And the quality for the price delivers. My favorites that you cannot go wrong on are only two: the frozen paneer tikka masala and the breakfast mango-passion fruit granola cereal. I find any bitches that go as cray-cray as I do over these two meals and I will personally deliver an 8-hour orgasm. It’s that good, ladies.

So, what’s up with the name Vintjs? The back label says it refers to the word “vintages.” Riiiight. First off, (a) this is a single vintage. Ain’t no vintages here. Mebbe it’s more like “Vin” for vino or wine, and “tjs” for the store where it’s sold. Vintjs… Wine Trader Joe’s. You’re welcome.

Of note, in truth and labeling– this wine was produced by a reliable winery in Walla Walla’s own original all-girl winery, Bergevin Lane Vineyards. Once I saw that on the back-label and at less than a Hamilton, it went straight into my basket. Remember, it’s the 2012 vintage. Protip: 2012 is the Washington vintage that produces killer wines across the dollar spectrum. There are no duds from the 2012 vintage. Haven’t found one yet and I have cut a wide swath through Woodinville’s 100+ wineries. The very best values will be found in the cheapskate’s range of $8 to $30. This is the time to buy a boxed or canned wine if it displays a 2012 vintage. Seek out your favorite dollar store and buy out the supply. Rely on me for this.

Tasted at 55-67 degrees on the IR temp gun. Nose: raspberry, black pepper, cherry, bell pepper, crushed blackberry leaves, red licorice. Color: dark magenta. Mouthfeel: plush, full-bodied with good grip. Tail trail: 6 seconds. Flavors: black cherry, black dust, bell pepper, black pepper, raspberry, charred tips, red licorice. Refined roadburn in a Riedel.

Alcohol: 13.9%. Lots of cases. Trader Joe’s best return on investment to date. Columbia Valley AVA. No oak sensed so do not cellar this more than one year. No new oak = no tannins = no antioxidants = no cellaring. Stelvin cap. Power: 2/5. Balance: 2/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 2/5. Rated: 89. Value: $20. Paid: $8.99. Music pairing: “You Can Rely On Me” by Jason Mraz. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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Dolan and Weiss Cellars 2013 Julia’s Dazzle rose wine

All hail the San Antonio Spurs for destroying the M.I.A.-mi Ice to win it all! Tim Duncan should be worshipped like Larry Bird and Bill Russell, unlike the buy-a-title of Wade and LeBum James. That’s now four titles in nine years, and counting. Another old dog bites the dust as Casey Kasem finally kicked the bucket earlier Sunday right here in the Puget Sound after ushering in the modern pop era as host of a radio show called “American Top 40.” Most of us don’t know why anyone would be so glued to a radio box but, I guess, back in the day, that was the only way to get a dose of popular tunes. Kinda sad how that generation grew up– I mean, look at their phones with the round, numerical dial and that bulky music file storage system called… 8-track, that’s about the size of my tablet. Speaking of tablet, back then it was something you swallowed to correct some malady (see Paul Gregutt and his anti-diarrheals that’s really for his mouth). And, what the hell was up with the antennas on the tv? And those tvs… looked like mini-refrigerators! And what was up with all that music they called ‘disco’ and the outlandish fashions that mutated from it? But, let’s look at the bright side… that was the decade of the pimp-mobile. The Delta 88, Grand Torino, Ford LTD, AMC Ambassador, etc. Bitches love cruisin’ in a pimp-mobile. Oh yeah, and then they had this thing called “drive-ins” where, on the outside, it was an open-air movie theater but on the inside, it was backseat applied sex-education on crushed Corinthian leather. Yeah, try doing that in your Uber or Lyft. Oh yes, and let’s not forget the decade’s greatest invention… Pop Rocks. Sure, its for kids but try giving a pouch of that to your honey just as she’s about to give you a bj. You haven’t lived until you tried it. #justsayin

Oh look, the wine blogging klan has nominated their asexual (and not attending) compatriots for several awards similar to Nickelodeon’s Kid’s Choice statues. Like who gives a flying fuck about wine bloggers?? These attention-starved, no-talent-in-a-real-field-that-pays-well, self-absorbed, butt-leaking lepers only care about being different and contradicting everyone else, all the while trying to score free wines in return for cheesy, hyped-up words. These half-wit fistulas, when not deworming their innards, seek recognition like some A-lister in the wine industry even though they have no business even associating with the many great and hardworking winemakers who make their living crafting their wines, then becoming a leech to the successes of the wineries. New wine bloggers know this– NOBODY cares what you think. Old wine bloggers know this– only your fake friends, who are forced to read your crap, stroke your ego because you quiz them despite you all having the exact same opinion that was forged by the fat smellier with the big title. And, converted wine bloggers from those weakass small-town newspapers– you weren’t good enough for Wine Expectorator and you’re still not good enough for Generation Me. Give it up, pick up a banjo, name your band Asshat (Yes I’m a) Asshat, and go sling it at some rural dive bar in the wheat fields.

Dolan & Weiss Cellars of Walla Walla is part of the con-glamourate of the Longshadows group of wineries that contract with all-star winemakers from around the world. One walkthrough their tasting room and you know where these wines want to be found… in the burled, dark wooded living rooms of overcompensated executives. And, the wines do deliver.

Julia’s Dazzle used to be a cult-find rose wine, partly due to its unique bottle shape that later becomes a serviceable, elegant vase. The 2013 version, thankfully, can be found everywhere these days, even at the gas station, but the quality is still there. The mystique is no longer, however.

This is a single-vineyard pinot grigio from The Benches vineyard near the Wallula Gap in the prehistoric section of the Horse Heaven Hills AVA.

Tasted at 48-56 degrees on the IR temp gun. Color: Yukon Chinook salmon. Nose: apple blossom, strawberry, peachberry. Mouthfeel: dazzling acids. Tail trail: 5 seconds. Flavors: peach cream, Granny Smith apple, melon, whack of grapefruit, tangerine dream, pineapple, pinch of baking spices. Wonderful with pesto pizza and garlic cheese bread.

Alcohol: 13.7%. No website. Power: 2/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 2/5. Rated: 90. Value: $20. Paid: $13. Music pairing: “Mama Told Me Not To Come” by Three Dog Night. This is WAwineman… uncorked and doing it right.

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3 Horse Ranch Vineyards 2011 Reserve syrah/mourvedre (Idaho)

Looks like that balding, aged old goat in Steve (Jacks) Himoff of Hosemasterbater insignificance retained his loser status after watching his crinkled fatass go down in the Belmont Stakes. Some 9 million dollars (from wannabe know-it-alls–just like in wine!) were bet on his California Dome to win some award and, just like his performance in the bedroom, he came up limp. Up north, it appears former American Top 40 deejay, Casey Kasem, met up with Paul Gutless (aka front-turd for his band– Asshat (Yes I’m a) Asshat) as it was reported Casey was admitted to a hospital with a flaring bedsore that could ultimately be his demise. And, as usual, that middle-aged asexual Sean begged his blind followers on Twitter for Seattle not to pass the $15/hr minimum wage law because that would mean uneducated immigrants would be making more than his cache of being a college-educated (notice he says he never graduated from college) herpderp who majored in neurology. I didn’t know you needed a degree to be considered neurotic. I was fortunate enough to chat with his gf, Anny, during the Copper River salmon shindig and she was in a depressed state after discovering she was a lesbian for dating Sean. That’s okay, Anny. Sometimes, the woman in a relationship carries the big dick while the male is just a cunt.

Anyone pull out the facial tissue, one more time, for Paul Guttless’s latest “farewell”? The 85 year-old looking barnacle with the cheap hair dye and curly, girly locks (based on his Facebook mugshot) has turned into a news snark of sorts, kinda like a sophomoric version of this blog. So, this ruffled, crinkled banjo-slinger has abandoned (yet again) his weakass, fake-y wine blog and has turned into a news soundbite and shameful self-publicizing folksinger for some rural dive bar and shlocking his wine that was really made by a 2nd-place Big Wine consortium. This is the destiny of a pathetic senior wine writer who for years refused to let outsiders admire the wonders of Washington wine and claim it as their discoveries. He wasn’t good enough to write for Wine Expectorator, ever, so he cajoled his fellow lemonparty dicksuckers at Choad Enthusiast to add a couple points to every Washington wine review. Then, based on Sean’s powerful ass-sucking, Paul chose him to continue the illusion that Washington wines are “owned” by Choad’s editors (aka freeloaders). After all, Sean knows nothing about using the 100-point system to rate a wine, choosing to diss rather than understand and learn, and preferring to use gay one-liners to slot a wine. What’s so funny (and sad) is no one buys that flimsy rag and thus, no one still knows how great Washington wines have become. That is… until they read this Washington wine blog.

3 Horse Ranch Vineyards sits in the up-and-coming Snake River AVA of the Gem State. Now, Idaho is far better known for things other than wine, such as French fries (Simplot), paper (Boise Cascade), semiconductor chips (Micron), and cut-rate supermarkets (Albertsons, WinCo Foods), but there is a growing wine industry shooting off of neighboring Washington for those winemakers who consider Walla Walla part of the “rat race” and yearn for better quality flyfishing expeditions. Yeah, if that’s you, get to know your ‘ho… Idaho.

The owners use estate fruit and have reached into the Walla Walla Valley AVA to grow some serious grapes. Recently, they started to craft their own wines and the improvement in quality winemaking has attracted some big buyers west of the Cascades. Regardless of whatever wine awards they garnered, this is still an Idaho wine. I. Da. Ho. Common responses include “Dafuq?,” “Idaho? What side of the Potomac are the grapes grown?,” and “It doesn’t look like a ‘ho.”

History will say this is the bottle (and vintage) that puts Idaho on the wine map. The Snake River Valley AVA is setting course as a future wine tourism destination and is already ahead of several Washington regions in terms of resort development. Ultimately, I think they will take a chunk of expendable cash from the hordes that invade the onion capital of the Northwest. I can see the jingle of “Drive east another hour to get the same quality at half the price” adding to Idaho’s lure. It just might work as Walla Walla is just too snooty these days. Hell, it’s already happening with wineries flocking south to the Oregon side of the border.

Syrah. My empire for a good Washington syrah. Thankfully, this is from Idaho so I won’t be holding a cardboard sign in front of Amazon world HQ anytime soon. Regardless of where it came from, this is a phuckin’ good wine that played well with homemade meatloaf. Syrah was supposed to be Washington’s guiding light, the wine that screams “Washington” like cabernet does for California and malbec for Argentina. Not. Gonna. Happen. There are some flat syrahs currently in tasting rooms in your area. Uninspiring. Eye-bonerless. Asensual. Disjointed. 2011. Enuff said. Well, not with Idaho in this case.

It’s easy to fall for the baited-hyperbole spewed by winemakers, wine awarders, and industry fcuks who only want to move wine because they are either on-the-take or have a vested interest in selling you that questionable bottle. It gets all the more fun when they say they are either (1) studying to be “master” certification, (2) work their second job schlepping wine at some overpriced restaurant, or (3) throw a bunch of useless terms that make them feel they know more about wine than you do. “This won double gold at Charlie Chan’s Seattle thingy so it’s the best of the best!” Hold it, dildo breath, the term “double gold” simply means every broke-ass moron at the judge’s table conferred with each other that the winery gave plenty of freebies so they should bestow their highest award to said wine that was donated. So, an “award” organization can have thirty shitty wines at the table and if a few of the wineries donated extras like a Kraft cheese plate or “authentic” Iberico ham from pigs raised in the Kent valley, well… you know how that goes. Bottom line is, multiple wines can get the “double gold” tag. Sounds good, means nothing. Sells wine? Maybe. Bottom line to that is a few well-connected, overpaid waiters duped wineries into scoring free wine. A cheap buzz. Here’s your double-gold and thanks for the $300 case of wine, dumbass.

Tasted at 63-68 degrees on the IR temp gun. Stern brick magenta in the Riedel with essences of black currant, plum, and meat locker. Full and wily on the palate, this baby delivered with a good flavor evolution of dusted blackberries, smoked ham, and pot roast. Not a lot of wood detected, which is a plus. Firm and balanced. This one is ready to go… now. Should be a winner with barbecued pig this summer.

Alcohol: 14.3%. Snake River Valley AVA. 83% syrah, 17% mourvedre. A few hundred cases. Power: 2/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 91. Value: $30. Paid: $19. Music pairing: “Black Magic Woman” by Santana. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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