Welcome to a very special edition of the wineman’s blogposts! Forget the 4 year-old being sued for a tricycle hit-and-run. Forget the superhero 3P battle in Stamford. This is a focus report on the state of Kansas. Why Kansas? Why not! Besides, I’m fart-blasted tired of picking on double-standard, passive-aggressive wine bloggers who cannot admit their shortcomings.
Kansas is best known as the center of the ambiguous, oops er… contiguous nation of Islam-tolerance. I say that because if you know the State’s history, then you are versed on neighboring hookworm States of Missouri and Arkansas sending in settlers to try to unsuccessfully sway the vote to become a “pro-slavery” State when it was admitted as the 34th State of the Union on January 29, 1861.
While Kansans are agri-smart, they sometimes are 13 doughnuts short of a baker’s dozen. The folks in Lawrence have a couple headscratching laws such as: (1) all cars entering the city limits must first sound their horn to warn the horses of their arrival, and (2) no one may wear a bee in their hat. Wtf? Here are some fun State laws: (1) no one may catch fish with their bare hands; (2) rabbits may not be shot from motorboats; (3) the State game rule prohibits the use of mules to hunt ducks; (4) pedestrians crossing highways at night must wear tail lights; and (5) if two trains meet on the same track neither shall proceed until the other has passed.
Kansas is best known for the sports program at KU (University of Kansas). No, not for its historically strong basketball program (1952 national champs) that, despite having Wilt Chamberlain in the mid-50s, did not win another collegiate championship until Danny Manning’s 1988 miracle.
Let’s talk about football at KU. After dismissing their BCS-bowl winning coach over abuse charges in 2009, the team has proceeded to imitate the UW Huskies and go 0-and-4 in their conference (2-6 overall) with embarrassing losses to rival K-State (7-59) and Iowa State (16-28). Jeezus Kryss…no one ever loses to Iowa State! Even Wazzou could beat Iowa State. Heck, even Prosser High could beat Iowa State.
As a side note, Maison Bleue’s fabulous winemaker, Jon Martinez just happens to be a KU alum with a B.S. in biology and chemistry before defecting to Iowa to become a dentist. Hint: the football’s a little better in Iowa City, and besides, he could only get away with so much with all his good looks and brains.
Quiz for Jon: Quick! Which city is closer to Lawrence? Topeka or Kansas City, Missouri?
Before you walk into Jon’s tasting room, you need to understand where he’s coming from with this dinger: “A man walked into a Topeka, Kansas Kwik Shop and asked for all the money in the cash drawer. Apparently, the take was too small so he tied up the store clerk and worked the counter himself for three hours until police showed up and grabbed him.” And, I dare anyone to walk in wearing a University of North Carolina Tar Heel basketball jersey. Make sure you have teeth insurance before doing so.
Why have a “man crush” on Jon so much? Two reasons: (1) I admire any winery for using my wine reviews to promote their wines. It takes great wines to make the WAwineman smile and this guy’s got it across the board. And, (2) a man with his God-given gifts could easily be cocky and snooty like some others I have come across assuming they also had such gifts to justify exhibiting their dried snot to me and my buds. Jon’s a humble, family-first gentleman and we really miss him in Woodinville.
To the wine. What the hell is marsanne in Washington State? It’s not listed in the top 7 white wine grapes, nor even as one of the grapes in the “other” category in last year’s harvest report. Marsanne is a northern Rhone grape in France, commonly blended with roussanne. This is my first marsanne varietal wine so I won’t fake it and try to compare it to other marsannes; however, I have another one waiting in the wings, so this marsanne-ization ain’t over yet.
Tonight’s food pairing was chicken marsala and the nutty, oakiness of the marsala wine reduction sauce paired dreamily with this marsanne. I guess it helps that I get the name confused with Marianne, who is one of my longtime buddies.
Tasted at 53-61 degrees on the IR temp gun, the in-glass color is of a gently buttered-up chardonnay and carries glass-filling aromas of peach almondine, honeydew melon, and spicy orange reduction sauce. Full and dense on the palate with an enduring finish of exotic nut liqueur, dried peaches and apricots, marzipan, and almond extract. The choice of armchair-weekend hikers. Also a great choice for Thanksgiving (hint).
Alcohol: 14.5%. Although I miss the old artwork, the new label looks sharp. 100% Boushey Vineyard marsanne. Harvest: Brix 24.5, pH 3.45, TA 0.63%. Bottling: pH 3.5, TA 0.60%, RS 0.07%. 20% malo. On the lees for seven months. Bottled April, 2010. Released: July 13, 2010. 119 cases. Rated: 93. Paid: $30. Value: $35. Music pairings: “Kansas City” by Little Willie Littlefield and Wilbert Harrison, and “Like A Virgin” by Madonna. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.
Answer (easy): Topeka. Did you think it was a trick question?