Woodinville Wine Honors (7th vintage, 2015)

On this momentous day celebrating joy and peace (and a new iPad Pro!), we offered Shona169 to host our awards program because no other hooch within city limits poached more free wine from dumbass wineries than the old goat. Unfortunately, she is being sought by Sand Diego PD for allegedly stabbing a man who simply asked if she had an extra cigarette. How do we know? Because the cops gave a description of a “400 lb. bearded woman” with a sick fetish for horses. And let’s give a hearty sigh of relief as two retards in our wine galaxy are tying the knot soon. These two wine knobs first met on OKCupid when she was managing a roach buffet and he was (and still is) a struggling bullshitter of wines he couldn’t afford. They had their ups and downs–she discovered he only has a 2-inch prick, and he woke up the next day after a short coitus only to find out she looks like Bowser took a crap on her face and did its post-defecating leg scratch. It’s called “coyote syndrome” for a reason, but Sean was later able to reattach his left arm once he accepted his life would be over. As a silver lining to this pathetic romance, you can bet I will be one of the servers at their reception. Get ready for some real fun when I accidentally “spill” some California champagne on both their heads. And, let’s all give thanks that she’s too old to reproduce and he’s too infertile to even make it a consideration.

To the awards…

Best tasting room experience: Facelli Winery. This is Lou’s swan song as he is set to hang it up and no successor wants to carry on. One of Woodinville’s originals going back about 30 years when there were only the Chateau and Columbia Winery to get your wine fix. The family always gives a hearty greeting to everyone entering and Lou talks to you like he’s known you forever. Year in and year out, wine veterans could count on the consistency of his wines and personality. And, he signed his bottles without hesitation. A class act through and through.

Rookie of The Year: Refuge & Prospect Winery. Jason Baldwin is in the right place, with the right wine, at the right time. His lineup of wines is solid and displays full Washington character. Why the hell would winemakers want to make wines that make you think of some outpost in France? These are grapes grown in Washington, vinified in Washington, and labeled as Washington. We are not France. We don’t give a flying f*ck about France. I want my Washington wines to taste like they are from Washington. Some hoidy toidy winemakers need to grow some testicles and be proud of their Washington wines that exemplify the spirit and state of Washington. ‘Nuff said.

Winery of The Year: Davenport Cellars. Those who know Jeff and Sheila Jirka know how far this wonderful couple has come along in their wine journey. They started out in a quaint shoebox of a winery and tasting room, lost a wonderful pet on the way as well as selling some prime Red Mountain acreage they had planned for an estate vineyard, then moved into much bigger quarters and added a full kitchen, fireplace, and game area to their expanded tasting zone. And let’s not forget, the wines have grown in quality to where these no longer taste like a small family operation, but more of a serious player in the warehouse district. No other winery is flying up the growth chart faster and packing heavier vibe than this winery in 2015.

White Wine of The Year: Guardian Cellars ‘Angel’. Still the best since like nineteen-forever.

Value of The Year: Davenport Cellars 2013 Snowflake white wine. In a vintage year where the best deals were found in the value range ($8-20), this wine gave the Angel a serious run for the gold. Far and away, the best white wine under $20 with a captivating spectrum of fruit flavors that best express the synergy that comes from a sauvignon blanc-semillon blend in our state. Oh sure, you could spend $40 at another place and wait (and hope) for a few years, but this one’s batting its long, thick eyelashes at you right now.

Washington Wine of The Year: Betz Family Winery 2012 Le Parrain. don’t dwell on the sticker shock of this bottle. It’s an amazing wine full of Bob’s masterful coaxing and twining of flavors from fruit, barrel, earth, and herbs. It is surreal. The wildest of dreams.

Merry F’N Christmas, winos! I gotta get on the next plane out of here…

Next week, we will feature Anny Sillyvain’s Top 100 me-too retweets of 2015.

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Betz Family Winery 2012 Le Parrain

Do we miss Florida or waaaaat? A 68 year-old Lakeland pensioner was one of the solicitors in an undercover sweep of prostitutes. The following is a trail of his crime, not unlike a local wine blogger preparing to give a speech at a Wine Commission event: the fool replied to an online advertisement requesting a dominatrix and rode his bicycle (after losing his driver’s license to a DUI) to a motel, where he disrobed to reveal… a French maid’s uniform, a chastity belt, and a dog collar all worn in the appropriate locations. And that’s not including the coke bottle glasses he was sporting. Upon arrest, he confessed he worked at Home Depot. Well… think I will taking all my business to McClendon’s from now on. Heading west on I-4 to I-275, a 12 year-old St. Petersburg knucklenut, with a 20-arrest rap sheet,  rode his bicycle to a gas station and conned an octagenerian out of his car and drove away in his whip. Guess he wanted to add “grand theft auto” to his inglorious list of indecencies. All he needs to complete his pathetic mess is to add “wine blogger” to his achievements. Turning east on Hwy. 60, a 32 year-old Vero Beach man got nabbed for lifting an “Arouz’d screw butt plug” and “Arouz’d stroker can” from a Spencer’s store, even though he had the money to pay for it. He dejectedly admitted that he was too embarrassed to honestly pay for them at the cashier. The simple fact he was in a Spencer’s to begin with says everything we don’t need to know, kind of like Shona at a horse farm. Let’s head out west for a breather. The ugly sweater un-fashion trend has infected our pets. Pet stores in Los Angeles can’t re-stock their shelves fast enough as owners of furry companions swoop them up, including owners of guinea pigs. There are 5K runs devoted to ugly sweater pets in Chicago. Further evidence of the dumbing of America and why India and China will be our masters by the end of this century.

Speaking of domesticated animals, we have a lot of dog owners reading this blog, so let’s make this the Dogs of Wine issue.

There are thousands of different breeds of canine, but only a unanimous consensus of a few truly FUGLY dog breeds that no one should own, similar to wine bloggers. Here are the five worst-looking breeds and their relation to local wine bloggers.

5. The Chinese Crested mutt that reminds everyone of Annie Dong. This is a dog that is bald mostly from the neck down and hippie from the neck up. Kinda like Annie, who Sean says is “bald from the neck down, specifically, her snatch.” TMI, Sean. T. M. I.

4. The Pug, aka Margot’s bulging eyeballs. Some people think pugs are pretty. Yeah, name one that won a beauty contest, rigged or not. Yeah. didn’t think so.

3. The Mexican Hairless that smells like Jamie PeePeeHaHa. This smooth-skinned but hairless freak is known to ward off evil spirits but all she has done recently is keep promising to bring back her “cracked” table talk wireless show to all six of her AM radio listeners. Wait, what is AM radio??

2. The Bulldog. Your choice here–Clive or Josh. Doesn’t matter. They both reek a stench only their mothers could tolerate. In spite of spending too much time in front of the cracked mirror, these asswipes think they are the shits in the bicycle and dive bar world, respectively. A swift teep to their chops will hit them harder than a Narcan shot.

1. Topping the bottom of this list is the Boston Terrier. Gee, how coincidental that Sean proudly claims to be from the Boston area, even though he is from far south in a hamlet called Wareham. Like Sean, the Boston Terrier is actually a mix of English dogs, not Irish or anything near Boston. Also like Sean, they have compact bodies with short hair and equally short, 2-inch penises. However, this breed is known to have intelligence as is displayed by Sean conning readers of Choad Enthusiast into thinking he knows wine and has vast experience in strumming the 100-point rating scale.

So, here it is, like we promised. Woodinville’s most expensive commercial wine to date. Only about a couple hundred cases are floating around the area and this blog was lucky enough to acquire a bottle. Any other wine blogs you know of review this wine? Any wine searchers? Yeah, didn’t think so either.

This current off-season between wine vintages will be officially Bob Betz’s final one, unless he signed an extension as he desired (and should rightfully have). The original intent was to ride off into the sunset to be with his grandkids but like any singularly-focused master, he didn’t find full retirement to be all that. Being around winemaking is his true comfort zone (and it pays well, too). So, he’s desiring to stick around a little longer, much to the applause of his namesake winery’s still-closed mailing list. Also, it helps to have back-to-back-to-back sterling vintages in Washington. And a new vineyard under the winery’s control.

Much has been said of this wine, but with scant validation from independent sources. This is one of those true independent sources that didn’t have to suck the crusty wad that is the local wine commission.

Does that free us to say negative things about any wine? Hell yes. Are we doing that here? Hell no. Why not? Because this is a tumescent wine. This is a wine that advocates baby-making. For every Le Parrain that was sold at this release (except this one) and consumed, you can reasonably estimate that one boy or girl will be roaming our planet Earth in the next 6 months. That is, if everyone popped it open. This is a wine that both Republicans and Democrats can unanimously hail. Pro-life and pro-choicers will come together (or is it ‘cum’ together) and salute this wine. Black Lives Matter will change its name to Black Wines Matter. This is that powerful a wine.

The drawback is the pricing. The previous version, 2005, sold for just over half what this was retailing for. I don’t know if you can call it “retailing” when the wine sold out to list members pre-release, but it is what it is. This cut is the latest in a recent string of Washington wines to cross the $100 barrier in order to be taken seriously by the far more wine-plagued California-leaning advocates. ‘Washington produces great values at all levels’ has been the mantra to the world. They weren’t referring to this one.

Seriously, who pays $130-150 for a bottle of Washington wine, or any wine for that matter? Well, besides this blog– hint: $200 for a DuBrul Vineyard cabernet way back when. And a $160 Quilceda Creek tannin-bomb. And a $100 Chucky Smith heavily extracted syrah.  Never mind the 21 Grams, Grand Ciel, or any library offerings circulating out there currently. Okay, so I guess there is a market for this liquid gold…

Tasted at 58-67 degrees on the IR temp gun. Blackish purple on the swirl with aromas of savory cured slabs of Double Q Ranch beef,  and bright black and red fruits. Tantalizingly silky and full-bodied on the palate with a sizzling mid-palate and evolution on the long fade. A miasma of liquorous cassis, nettle, raspberry, tellicorn peppers, currants, cherry, cedar, spiny tannins, dried leafy herbs, and red spices.

Alcohol: 14.7%. Listed as “Columbia Valley” but this is 100% Red Mountain AVA clone 8 cabernet sauvignon. Vineyards: Heart Of The Hill, Kiona, and Ciel du Cheval. Power: 4/5. Balance: 5/5. Depth: 5/5. Finesse: 4/5. Rated: 98. Value: $150. Sold out. So solid, your grandchildren will enjoy it. Investment-grade wine. Music pairing: “Money” by Barrett Strong. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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Refuge & Prospect Winery 2012 Dark Arts red wine

It’s Apple Cup week. That means we celebrate the turkeys of the year, of which lately have been mostly the Washington Huskies football program and Washington wine bloggers, each with pathologic losing records. That means, we celebrate the LOSERS this week with notable merits for their pithy, trough-scraping achievements.

The Incontinent Shithole of The Year award goes to none other than Sean Peepee Sillyvain. This fluke couldn’t even attend a major university before his premature salt-n-pepper years (“Premature” is this d-bag’s nickname), couldn’t even hold a decent job until Amazon scooped up every last low-efficiency software developer in the city, even the dickless doods who were laid off at Rosetta. He sucked enough wart-pocked penises at a D-listed wine rag to get a gig and convert his reviews from retarded one-liners to the 100-point system that everyone under 80 years-old used as a reference to grade the quality of wines. That right there should have been an obvious clue to the relevance of these sketchy reviewers for wine rags. As if that wasn’t enough, this bum-sniffin’ asexual has the nerve to continue his anything-but-“independent” wine blog despite not shittin’ an ounce of honest wine reviewing, in favor of lap-dogging to the deep-pocket wineries and those not located in Walla Walla. Of course, he still loves to share pics of clay pots to age wine (woo! what a concept!) while rating donated wines after slogging through some 600 of them on a hot summer day, a procedure originated by the goats at Wine Creeps sprinting through the annual overinflated Taste WA convention. Let us conclude that the Feds train their bomb-sniffing dogs by tucking an issue of Choad Enthusiast in some jihadist’s luggage…

The Senior Wine Writer Posing As A Pedo award goes to Paul Guttless. This homophobe lemonparty chairman curmudgeon used to pollute the fishwrap, used to ingratiate the internet with his crusty, blackmailed reviews on his personal blog until the Anonymous boo-birds forced this raisin’d peckerhead to retreat to a private Facebook page where only those who continue to suck his clitoris are accepted. Somebody hit him over the head with his banjo…

The Get Your Fatass In The Gym award goes to Andy. While no doubt, the local fishwrap has incrementally improved in local wine coverage, this bloke does no favors exposing his extremely wide girth during tastings with the selected public. If there are any skepticisms as to how wine improves one’s health, this guy is the poster child. Note to Andy, all your work is for piss when you look as pathetic as you do. Shed the morbid obesity. Blame yourself for being required to purchase two seats on an airline. Drinking and reviewing wine should be about good looks and good figures. It should be an insult when one is called a ‘fatass’, not a compliment. Drop the size 60 corduroys and respect yourself. You’ll be dead in 5 years if you don’t. And no one in the industry will honor your work, because they can’t afford the metal.

The Anastasia and Drizella award goes to Shona420 and MargotO’Clock. Is there anything lamer than being called a Wine Diva or shlocking the monkeyass “It’s Wine O’clock Somewhere” retread jingle? Neither of these imbeciles acknowledges being a wine blogger but they are the first to hock a free wine they lifted from a tasting room newbie. It’s like a badge of honor when they score free tickets to a wine event. Like they are owed that ‘respect’. That’s because they only get respect as 50-somethings when they are slipped a ten-er for 15 minutes of “chrome polishing” time behind the counter.

Refuge & Prospect Winery (<1000 cases/year) is one of the hidden gems of the warehouse district because the tasting room is not located in the cluster of some 30+ wineries at 19501 144th Ave NE. Look for the sandwich board on your way there. The rustic interior is your hint that something eclectic is happening here. Winemaker Jason Baldwin got his major break making wine for Bookwalter Wines after dabbling in the industry in dead-end jobs with no "boning" potential. His first commercial wine is a 2008 chard-sauvignon blanc-viognier blend that has mellowed its off-the-charts acidity. He currently pours seven wines that mostly feature his two favorite vineyards–Conner Lee and Two Blondes.

The winery name is an ode to author Professor Jay Appleton's 1975 novel, The Experience of Landscape, which describes the human condition as both a refuge (safe haven) and prospect (opportunity and exploration) as it pertains to why we like specific wines– our wine preferences are driven by taste sensations we lived through to satisfy our innate desires. This fascination with English literature permeates to the fanciful names of Jason's other wine labels. We chose to lean on his $42 gem to get a no-excuses overview.

This is a pretty good wine from an upstart winery. Of course, it helps to have (1) a great vintage year and (2) two impeccable vineyard sources. With such bright fruit available, Jason chose to tone down the use of new French oak (40%) in this merlot-dominant blend. A great feature-wine for Thanksgiving.

Tasted at 60-67 degrees on the IR temp gun. Dark garnet in the Riedel expressing aromas of black rose, black currant, making a blackberry pie in grandma's kitchen, black cherry, black pepper, light smoke and black violets. Full, soft, and enduring.

Alcohol: 13.3%. Columbia Valley AVA. 54% merlot, 19% malbec, 18% cabernet sauvignon, 9% cabernet franc. 140 cases. Power: 3/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 92. Value: $35. Music pairing: "Lean On” by Major Lazer. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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K Vintners 2011 The Hidden syrah

This world is full on imbeciles posing as intelligent life.

Look at Sean, imitating a well-traveled wine reviewer for Choad Enthusiast who can switch from one-word gimmick reviews to the 100-point standard. And, of course, free wine tasted in unknown conditions tastes just as good as that bought at the store or tasting room and spotted on the dining table. Yeah riiiiiiight…

South Carolina has been on fire since the resignation of Steve Spurrier. The Palmetto State is home to a young couple who repeatedly called 9-1-1 to report that “possums and people were jumping out of their refrigerator and microwave” in addition to “pictures of worms coming out of the floor of their vehicle as well as midgets and other people camouflaged.” The po-po deduced that these druggies were under the influence of flakka and were promptly booked. Not too further up the road, both teenage black twin boys were booked into juvey after getting busted at that upscale Nordstrom-like beauty joint, Wal-Mart, for lifting facial cream and deodorant, respectively. After all, when you’re 17 years old, you need to pay attention to your wrinkles and b.o. Of course, when it comes to stupid news, we cannot escape the vortex of Florida– a Palm Harbor 26 year-old man was arrested for pushing his 82 year-old grandmother because he wasn’t able to use a debit card to purchase a cake. If you are from Florida, then you understand. If you are from anywhere other than Florida, well you know… smh. Leave it to the other Washington (D.C.) for this one… a couple of black women are wanted for sexually abusing a black male customer at a convenience store where one of the hoochies twerked her butt in the area of his Johnson while the other ho grabbed his crotch and tried to plant one on his lips. If you know these bitches, you are asked to call the wineman immediately. And, finally, idiocy is not limited to Americans. A university in Shanghai, China recently issued a memorandum forbidding students from uncivilized shows of public affection such as feeding each other with spoons, chopsticks, or other utensils. It did not specifically mention penises so one can assume that’s still communicable…

Speaking of the slaves that make our cheap, plastic tools tainted with cadmium, one-party China’s retail wine industry is recovering after the Commies finally cracked down on ridiculous lavish spending for official parties where concubines are traded as easily as American business secrets. Wines that were marked up 1000% are returning to the normal 40-100% markups as officials (the only ones who could afford to buy 1st growths) feared execution if caught abusing their party-issued AmEx cards. You think I’m kidding?

Which brings us to this topic… pride-filled winemakers are commonly faced with a quandary: “Do I sell my top-line wine to a clueless chap with shitloads of money?” Some winemakers are quite territorial and if they discover you are an idiot who only wants to buy wine to christen his new 15-foot fishing “yacht” and want to do it with your $80 limited-release, highly-collectible, and small-lot cabernet sauvignon, would you sell the fool that bottle? The bloke doesn’t even know, through tasting your lineup, what the difference is between a cabernet and a grenache. Would you do it? What does it say if you did or didn’t? This is what your tasting room employees have to endure on Sundays.

Here’s another… some fool walks in and goes through the tasting menu then wants only that special “club only release” that he got to sample with a neighboring couple that are club members so he can impress his buddies at the next Seahawks gameday party. He is told that he has to join the club in order to purchase the wine, even though he mentioned he is not interested in joining another wine club. He freely admits he will join the wine club to get a case of the limited wine but will then end his membership the next day after acquiring his wines. Do you sell him the free, no-strings membership?

Tasting room employees (more like “volunteers”) are the most-abused area of the winery, and yet, they are the “face” of the winery when the winemakers aren’t available, which is commonly the weekends in some wineries here. They get paid 15 year-old wages and a gratuitous bottle of the winery’s finest for each shift, and if they’re lucky, any leftover wines from a day’s pouring. You’ll notice who they are from all the bitten lips and steam burns on their ears. Dealing with the wine public on weekends is like sticking a splintered broomstick up your hoo-hah or glory hole. There should be extra hazard pay for groups like wedding parties and buses. It’s a thankless job but, hey, you get to check out the clientele and score a few phone numbers and free f*cks now and then. This is why your favorite winery has a revolving door of pourers over time– when the thrill of working at a winery is gone (as well as the taste of STDs), it makes no financial sense to be involved in the wine industry at the retail level. That’s how they know they f*cked up…

Speaking of f*cked up, why are all the wine blogger lemmings still enamored with K Vintners? The winery’s labels are outdated. Once a gimmick, the simple, childish black-n-white drawings look out of place for a $70 bottle of juice. The whole concept is passé. If Charley and Charlie want to be relevant from 2016 on, then instead of hiring nymphs to handle Southeast accounts, how about updating the labels to match the quality of the wines? Look at Schoolhouse No. 41… gone is the pre-school colored artwork, replaced with a real picture of the winery building and looking more regal in color. Look at Columbia Crest… even their lower-tiered wines got the upscale marketing label so cheapass wine gugglers could feel they belong with the boutique wineries with closed mailing lists. Sure, it’s nice to grease the wine reviewers with free $70 bottles of wines for high numbers but it’s tiring. It also belittles everyone behind that label who were involved in making the wines, including the farmers who looked exasperated when asked to drop fruit down to 1.5 tons/acre. Chuck, clean up your act and stick your millions up your kid’s rear end. You are a blight to the local wine industry. $140 for a syrah with a wooden nickel label… are you competing with Rasa, which is another Walla Walla winery with no sense for luxury marketing?

Overrated. And the winerags are in on perpetuating the notion that this is a super high-end syrah. Bullshit. This is how you know. Right here.

Tasted at 58-64 degrees on the IR temp gun. Dark magenta in the Riedel expressing dusty white pepper, plum, ripe raspberry, and feral herbs on a steady palate with a display of red plum, red licorice, crushed stone, tart cherry, red currant, meat closet, and a pinch of Salish Sea salt. Tastes filtered.

Alcohol: 14.5%. Northridge Vineyard. Wahluke Slope AVA. Syrah clones 174, 383, 470, Phelps. 1.85 tons/acre. Native yeast, hand drawn, basket pressed. Aged 40% in new French barrels (Ermitage, Saury) for 22 months. TA 0.59. pH 3.63. Retail: $70. Value: $40. Power: 3/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 92. Music pairing: “That’s How You Know” by Nico & Vinz. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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Powers Winery 2012 Kiona Vineyards Reserve cabernet sauvignon

Words of the Year. Gawd if that doesn’t make my neck hairs cringe when I hear blah-blah’s-of-the-year bullshit. Even word-mongers have it. What’s even more depressing is that millenials are pushing sway over the de-evolution of our species’ lexicon. Update your noggin’ when those entitled, options-rich but cash-poor hipsters enter your domaine for an “exclusive tasting of only your best wines.” *barf*

Manspreading
accepted def: men who habitually spread their legs on public transportation so that no one will sit next to them.
WAwineman def: something that Sean is not physically able to do simply because… he ain’t a man. More like a meathead.

Transgender
accepted def: in biological terms, XX full-on acting like XY, and vice-versa.
WAwineman def: Caitlyn Jenner took a cue from Sean Sillyvain and the rest is history.

Dadbod
accepted def: the body of a typical slovenly, sloppy middle-aged male with diabeetus, hypatenshen, and more blood cholesterol than red blood cells.
WAwineman def: typical obese, multi-fold, broke-ass figure of a local smellier who has to eat and drink leftovers from work because the bitch just can’t afford to buy groceries.

Binge watch
accepted def: watching an entire season of one tv show in one sitting, generally via dvds or digital streaming.
WAwineman def: watching Sean cream through 600 donated bottles of wine in a day and having the nerve to assign a point value, of which the Elmer Fudd of wine rating has no experience in, other than terse, one-word jingles that even he abandoned because NO ONE else could be so retarded to rate wines that way.

Swipe
accepted def: related to the dating website of the same name where undateable individuals, using their dumbphones, use their finger to swipe right (yes) or left (no) on profiles of their next date.
WAwineman def: that’s Sean again after being constipated for a week (because we all know he’s full of shit), he rips a five-pounder morning deuce but because he cannot afford to buy toilet paper from Grossery Outlet, he wipes his hairless face asshole with his bare right hand. Yes, the one he shakes hands with winemakers he wants to lift wines from.

Clean eating
accepted def: the latest healthy-eating food movement
WAwineman def: what smelliers call a party invite by Sean that turns into a dominatrix orgy where they all get on their knees and do their thing on Sean. You can check if your favorite smellier has been to one lately by asking to see the rugburns on his knees.

Powers Winery is full of modern Washington wine history and, combined with Red Mountain’s first vineyard, this winery is the “chapter 2” (after Harrison Hill and Associated Vintners) of all that is for today’s Washington wine landscape. You can read about the colorful characters back in the day in Ron Irvine’s deliciously iconic, essential, and all-encompassing book, The Wine Project. Thee truly (and only) essential book on Washington wine.

Eggplant violet in the Riedel, expressing pungent blackberry, charred forest, ripe cherry, and mature cedar aromas. Full and long on the palate with flavors of black currant, black earth, grilled tumbleweeds, double shot espresso grounds, and raspberry. Pray for integration.

Alcohol: 14.0%. Red Mountain AVA. 56% north block, 44% block 8. TA 0.62. pH 3.76. Aged 28 months in 60% new French oak. 802 cases. Released June 1, 2015. Power: 3/5. Balance: 2/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 2/5. Rated: 90. Value: $25. Retail: $35. Music pairing: “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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Evening Land Vineyards 2011 Seven Springs Vineyard pinot noir (Oregon)

Sounders WIN, bitches!!!

The best odd news is real news and last night’s Republican presidential debate was at odd as it gets in politics. Every major candidate revealed themselves as blatant liars who cannot stand on their own merit, who lack diplomatic graciousness, and who show more interest in tearing apart the competition than facing the real issues plaguing America today. Never mind acknowledging a strong domestic economy with low unemployment and how to further the current bull market. Never mind that our country is still at war in a far off land that we have no business in– problems in the Middle East should be dealt with by the narcissitic regimes swaddling the cheap bath towels on their heads in that region. Our vehicles are more dangerous to be on the road than ever before due to a lack of tire and airbag accountability. Our local educational system is run by parents more interested in seeking political office than improving the intelligence of the next generation. And the mayor wants Seattle to be car-free by sticking guilt-inducing global warming notes on gas pumps. These are the same individuals that wanted to kick out the old cronies that ran the country by back-door negotiating and compromise and install poorly-educated rebel partiers who play the “infant card” and refuse to go along with the status quo if they don’t fully get their way. Readers, show your stiff middle finger to the system by voting for WAwineman for president! F- the Republicans. F- the Democrats. F- the Progressives. A bottle of Washington wine on every table in America is the rallying cry! Stand by your WAwineman!

Getting back to the nonsense around these parts…

A Bremerton public high school football coach is now on paid administrative leave for defying his boss’s order not to pray after games. While members of Congress supported the coach, the fact remains… he defied his boss’s orders. First rule in business: regardless of common sense, if you’re not asked to do a felony, then do as your boss says. Stick your personal religious beliefs up your rear end and do it. If the coach was so adamant in having a post-game prayer, then do it at a private school, free of any contradictory church-state divisions.

This will be interesting… an infamous band of hackers will be releasing the names of KKK members soon, some 1000 of them. Local wine gluggers predict more free advertising for inept, entitled wine bloggers and senior wine writers for D-listed wine mags.

Speaking of Paul Guttless, looks like he was doing a wine tour in the eastern states of Maryland and Pennsylvania as it was reported that a fat, white dirigible was on the loose trying to score free wines in the area. Said one local shopkeeper, “We thought he was going to buy wine. We saw him open his empty wallet. We called 911, who said they were tracking him.”

Speaking of Sean Sillyvain, Donald Trump summarized why the asexual, two-inch prick successfully complained to Google to remove this blog from top search results (but failed with Bing because we “know” peeps there), “WAwineman was getting too successful, like me, and became the top dog in popularity. Sean’s poll numbers tanked, that’s why he’s on the end.” The Don is always right, ain’t he?

Evening Land Vineyards started up from a former movie producer a decade ago and has garnered sterling world-class numbers for its pinot noir and chardonnays in the heart of Oregon pinot noir country, the Willamette Valley AVA. The winery’s story is well-documented but that is not why the wine is spotlighted on this long-running blog.

Anyone worth her/his spit in wine knows good Oregon pinot noir costs more than a wooded Washington cabernet. And, single-vineyard gems from well-known producers can easily command prices of $50 to $150. This is not hype. There is nothing to sell here. There are no financial or free samples interest to gain here, unlike all the other wine blogs. Evening Land currently owns the “best ever” rating of ’98’ for its pinot noir from another wine rag of all Oregon wines. Top Dog.

So, it was a surprise to get a tip that their 2011 Seven Springs Vineyard pinot noir ($50 on website) was selling in the area for the unheard of price of $24. That’s below the price of most of the cuvees (multi-vineyard blends) that make it to the Seattle market. Strong recommendation to get some at this price as it plays to its retail value right now and will get better over the next three years and keep thrilling for another decade.

Tasted at 64-68 degrees on the IR temp gun. Mesmerizing deep royal garnet in the Riedel Oregon pinot noir crystal, with notes of Victorian rose garden, huckleberry, strawberry jam, black cherry, and red currant with an astonishing presence on the palate reminiscent of your high school dream date wearing a silky prom dress of cherry, cranberry, raspberry, red licorice, and a light hint of truffle overseen by a firm parental acid backbone. Bring this lusty lady back home by midnight…

Alcohol: 13.0%. Eola-Amity Hills AVA. Clones: Pommard and Dijon 777, 114, and 115. Aged 16 months in French oak (30% new). Unfined. Bottled April 14, 2013. 2700 cases. Power: 2/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 91. Value: $45. Music pairing: “Train In Vain” by The Clash. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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Davenport Cellars 2013 Snowflake white wine

Iconic quotes from the past week:

“Drunk driving is not cool.” That’s Whitney Beall, a 23 year-old from (where else?) Florida, who livecasted her drunk driving skills on Periscope, daring her audience to see if she can get a DUI while driving home with Shona… er, make that a flat front left tire.

“A mistake was made.” That was good ol’ Jim Harbaugh describing the final 10 seconds of his Wolverines football team attempting to punt on 4th-and-2, ahead 23-21. It’s Michigan. You just knew something bad would happen and it did.

“We are going to outlast this.” Future Hall-of-Famer Earl Thomas muttered this, with divisive team undertones (see Kam’s contract) embedded, after the Seahawks blow yet another 4th quarter lead, this time to those bastard Panthers. Has there been a more agonizing Seahawks season in recent memory? Ever?

“We had too many self-inflicted wounds.” Huskies coach Chris Peterson on his team’s underwhelming performance against a weak Oregon opponent. Probably the first thing that comes to mind is UW’s team is too young to understand how hated the Ducks are. A visit to Autzen Stadium next year should resolve that when they get a full dose of ugly.

“We had a great first half.” WSU’s coach Mike Leach on his team’s 45-17 first-half annihilation of visiting Oregon State on Homecoming Day. The intent behind his game summary is that WSU went flat in the 2nd half, losing 14-7, but still winning the game and consensus as the state’s best team right now. Huck the Fuskies.

“100% Jameson’s!” This, a facepalm response by Sean Sillyvain (he’s still silly, he’s still vain) after being asked what kind of taint he likes with his wine.

“?”. This was a typical Shona response after being asked what was her most recent Washington wine purchase. This wine moocher diva continues to prowl tasting rooms, begging for free wine samples to support her DSHS-diva lifestyle and 80-pointsplus daily diet on Overweight Watchers.

The summer has seen some wonderful white wines released to the masses, but none have been compelling enough to unseat Guardian Cellars’ ‘Angel’ sauvignon blanc… until, quite possibly, now.

Davenport Cellars has been the quaint, quiet, and wallflower micro-winery in the warehouse district until a recent upgrade to more than double their wine-tasting square footage about 100 meters from their former site. The tasting room is now a must-visit as it includes a big screen tv, games, a living room section, and fresh bites from the kitchen. Of course, all of this wouldn’t matter if the wines sucked. But, those familiar with Jeff and Sheila Jirka’s skill and suave know that it is the atmosphere that is finally catching up to the wines.

DC’s wine lineup includes both reds and whites, with an emphasis on their top-tier Bordeaux-style blends. While their wines have always been a good value– a great weeknight sipper!, the Jirkas do not opt for the “home run” style of winemaking that caters to commercial publications. This is a couple with grace and design, not unlike the Blues of Adams Bench Winery. I’d call them the First Couple of the Warehouse District because they’ve been around for almost ten years, their wine labels have not changed in style and familiarity, their wine selection is broad enough for a small winery, and it’s just a fun place to chill.

However, every now and then, Jeff will smack one out of the park at will, ala Ichiro Suzuki. Jeff’s first dinger was formerly a one-time deal, 2007 syrah. You can read about the raves on an earlier post as that syrah gave Betz’s La- syrahs a run for the gold. Update: Jeff released the sequel with a 2012 version from slightly different sources that is still a wonderful weekend impresser.

Jeff’s ‘Snowflake’ has been around every year, quietly leading off the tasting experience at his former tasting/winery studio in the B-wing. Let’s be honest, the previous Snowflakes were simply gateway drugs to get to his red blends. Unassuming like the girl-next-door. Sometimes a little spritzy like an Ecstasy doll. Not so desirable like the four-eyed 4.0 girl in the front row that dressed like she ran through a box of Goodwill leftovers. The Chaleur Estate blanc’s distant third cousin. The wine that no one talked about but everyone knew was there.

Not anymore.

At a recent tasting, I was admittedly looking to collect some reds for the harvest dinners and was prepared to blast through the lineup to get to them. Mission failed. A first swirl then a sniff and something went haywire in the olfactories. The initial aromas were complex and captivating– tropical fruits, southern citrus, earthy, rocky, and firm. Everything I look for in a Washington white wine. I had to look at the bottle again, making sure Sheila didn’t slip in a sau-sem from another producer as a joke. But, Sheila never jokes when it comes to wine. She is elegant, discreet, and easy to chat with. A few sips and my initial impressions were confirmed. And I left with a few more bottles in tow. As for the rest of the lineup, it was a blur. Even the syrah.

Consider this wine for your starter on Thanksgiving night, right next to the Cristal.

Tasted at 51-63 degrees on the IR temp gun. Lovely light gold foil in the Riedel with penetrating aromas of guava, peach, grapefruit, fig, mountain apple, lemon rind, lime pulp, and granite backed up by zippy acids and fairly long on the palate. Delightful!

Alcohol: 14.73%. Vineyards: Bacchus, Dionysus. 100% stainless fermented. 2/3s sauvignon blanc, 1/3 semillon. 90 cases. Columbia Valley AVA. Power: 3/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 92. Value: $28. Music pairing: “Cool For The Summer” by Demi Lovato. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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