Trouvaille Winery 2006 Columbia Valley cabernet sauvignon

Another reason to f*ck the Brits. Their government recently announced changes to serving booze to patrons by allowing the “schooner,” which is used in Australia to measure two-thirds of a pint. A glass of wine would be measured at 75ml, instead of the current 125ml. Perhaps the rulemakers were facing the wrong way in their spanking machine? Bunch of skanky, bladdered camps imitating cheap Americans. A 50 year-old Florida ‘bater was recently arrested for choking his chicken next to a 17 year-old girl on a flight from Salt Lake City to Lewiston. The imbecile blamed his violent rubbing to spilling Tabasco sauce on his unit. Anyone even vaguely familiar with the Tabasco bottle knows it only releases a drop at a shake. The “hot…dog” excuse ain’t gonna fly with the judge. Christianity fanatics have gotten a jump on the Mayans by declaring May 21 (of this year) as that “day of reckoning” when that former hockey standout, Jesus Christ, makes his appearance on Judgment Day. A 32 year-old woman passed on starting a family in order to “spread the word” as “we’re commanded by God to warn people.” Bitch, the only thing you need to warn us about is that you’re still roaming the streets unmonitored. Sick phrrrrrrreak.

Trouvaille Winery is the wine child of Attila Karoly Kovacs-Szabo. Born in Holland of Hungarian roots, his family visited his uncle, who resided in Kirkland, and they never returned. It was then he met Micole Miller of Furion Cellars, and the two have been best friends ever since. Attila’s first taste of wine came when he was 8 years old (1972) and it was NOT Boone’s Farm. More like Chateau Mouton Rothschild. After Attila (not to be confused with “the Hun”, he died in 453) completed flight school and witnessing the lifestyle of commercial pilots, he ditched the plane-driving business and became a paralegal for a couple of big-time law firms in Seattle. He met his spunky wife, Laurelee, at an after-Christmas party while she was working as a benefits coordinator. Now, this is really cute… on their first date, he discovered she had an open boxed-white wine in her fridge. Attila was already deep into wine, but he was intelligent enough to mind his manners. Over a decade later, they are happily married with two “underachieving” brilliant children. Laurelee, who grew up in Woodinville, has kicked it up a notch and is now a bookkeeper, involved with Silver Crest Investments LLC, and home schools their children. Attila accepted an irresistible offer with a company (you can ask him, but I know) specializing in patents and licensing.

Their 10 year-old son is an avid reader and has quickly developed a nose for wine. He is known for being brutally honest (to other winemakers) when giving his thoughts on wines that are too oaky. His 13 year-old daughter has written two books while waiting for an acceptable offer from a publisher. I can’t make this stuff up, folks.

Attila primarily enjoys red wines but has admired a few bottles of Hungarian Tokay and Sauternes and is reputed to have paired wild-caught crab from San Juan Island (from a well-reputed fellow winemaker) with viognier.

Attila’s influence in the wine industry is larger than you know. He has volunteered at some fun wineries such as Willis Hall and Horizon’s Edge and even got Micole bit bad by the wine bug. Here’s a bit of trivia: Attila encouraged Mike Reynvaan (now of Reynvaan Family Vineyards) to develop a Wine Industry Practice Group at Perkins Coie law firm. Note to wineries, if you need legal guidance and have the cashola, Mike’s the guy to see.

After four garage vintages, Attila bonded his winery on August 4, 2005 and held a naming contest at work. The first reply out of over 60 nailed it. Trouvaille (think Austin Powers and say ‘groovy’…(groo-vay), then sub in true…troo-vay (roll the ‘r’), you got it!) is loose French for “lucky find” or “discovery.” If you pronounce it ‘Troh-vai-lee’ like I did, he’ll kick you in the nards, so you’ve been warned. His current annual production is 150 cases…total. Don’t laugh. This isn’t conglomerate wine.

Nothing great is achieved without a fierce struggle. Within a span of a couple weeks, Attila: (1) moved into his current home; (2) crushed his foot, ankle and heel in a bicycling accident; and (3) began participating in harvest. Touring the vineyards became absurdly painful with a casted leg riding on a golf cart over the rocky soils of the vineyards so he ended up cutting production in half (80-85 cases).

The following year (2007), construction of a dedicated addition for the winery alongside their residence began; then in 2008, he installed a gravity-flow crushpad. In the “freeze vintage” of 2009, he saw firsthand, a semi-truck backing up at Klipsun Vineyard to quickly haul away the grapes. He realized the urgency and picked up River Rock Vineyard (Walla Walla) fruit the following day. Syrah was restored to the portfolio. For his 5th vintage (2010), he described harvest as “compact,” meaning he crushed all his fruit in October, from merlot to cabernet.

Wine pundits will notice that Trouvaille Winery has been picking Klipsun Vineyard fruit since 2005 (Julia’s first year). How’d that happen? Attila’s 2003 River Rock syrah was sampled by Patricia Gelles and she noticed the deft touch of his winemaking skills and gave him an acre-plus of merlot and cabernet initially adjacent to that of Quilceda Creek’s. Skilled winemaking isn’t “luck” in these parts, my friend.

Attila prefers to age his wines for 20-22 months in primarily new oak from Taransaud, Boswell, and Demptos (USA). His key is in the gentle handling of the grapes as they pass through the destemmer, crusher, and pump. Sounds like what Corliss Estates does in that part of the State.

Attila’s goal in winemaking (btw, he has only minimal “formal” training in winemaking) is to craft approachable, full-bodied wines that are unfined and unfiltered, and made to be paired with food. He also believes in blending to add complexity to the final product, as evidenced by his utilization of multiple coopers.

Attila’s best wine he tasted in 2010 was a Mount Veeder 2002 cabernet. His thoughts on terroir were fascinating—Walla Walla Valley was “fruit-forward;” and Red Mountain was “power, structure, and balance.” He dismissed the “dusty” term, so claimed by many non-winemakers. Gotta love his straightforward personality and honesty!

Trouvaille’s wines are easily decoded from their soft-wax coverings: black (cabernet sauvignon), yellow (merlot), red (blend), and blue (syrah).

To the wine…

Tonight’s food pairing was from that venerable “bulk food” restaurant, Buca di Beppo. The plating was spag with 1 lb. meatballs and chicken cacciatore. Wow! Not so much the food as was the food-wine pairing. The malleable flavors of the wine complemented the mild herbs and spices that is “corporate” Italian. There was no jousting for the front-row; instead, they danced a beautiful balli. Attila nailed it.

Tasted at 56-62 degrees on the IR temp gun. Clear, dark ruby in glass with low-to-medium notes of soft, room-filling black currants, Schilling black pepper, and dark plum. Smooth, full-bodied, and fluid on the palate led to an adagio of flavors of black fruits (cherry, raspberry, -berry, and plum), dried tobacco leaf, mellow oak, dark spices, ebony chocolate, and red currant. Depth, elegance, and finesse are emphasized on a wonderfully long finish. Bellissimo!

Alcohol: 12.0%. Vineyards: Klipsun, River Rock, Milbrandt. 87% cab sau, 9.5% cab franc, 3.5% merlot. “The finer things in life are always more enjoyable when shared with those you care about.” Drink now but has the stuffing to age many years. Rated: 93. Value: $35. Paid: $24. Music pairing: “Joy To The World” by Three Dog Night. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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