Facelli Winery 2005 Bacchus Vineyard syrah

Celebrities acting like wine bloggers, chapter 11. This one’s for all you Giants fans. A 17 year-old Connecticut girl claimed, in an interview, that she enjoyed sex-filled romps with 24 year-old New York Jets quarterback, Mark Sanchez. This, after the head coach’s foot fetish was exposed and ex-qb Brett Favre’s pic of his schlong ending up on a Jets’ staffer’s phone. Apparently, now-former U.S. Rep. Chris Lee (NY) auditioned for the team after “mistakenly” sending his Chippendale’s pic to a Craigslist admirer. Speaking of Brett Favre, the next set of D-list actors is slowly being revealed for ABC’s “Dancing With The Losers” and Brett is reported to be joining, among other old-news has-beens, Mischa Barton, Jodie Sweetin, Vince Neil, and Kendra Wilkinson. I agree… “who”? What is surprising is that Vanessa Hudgens is not rumored to be joining the cast. As if her accidental nudie pictures to her gay ex-bf, Zac, didn’t kill her High School Musical career, the 22 year-old will have a chunky bikini spread in the upcoming Details mag, out Feb. 15. And speaking of cradle-robbers, “Milk” Spicoli is rumored to be dating Scarlett Johansson. He’s 50, she’s 26. Gnarrrrly, dood!

Four quandaries for you readers—if wine makes you intelligent, you’ll know here.

(1) What is black when you buy it, red when you use it, and gray when you throw it away?

(2) A woman shoots her husband. Then, she holds him under water for over five minutes. Finally, she hangs him. But, 5 minutes later they both go out and enjoy a wonderful dinner together. How can this be?

(3) A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires, the second is full of assassins with loaded guns, and the third is full of lions that have not eaten in three years. Which room is safest for him?

(4) This is an unusual paragraph. I’m curious as to just how quickly you can find out what is so unusual about it. In fact, nothing is wrong with it! It is highly unusual though. Study it, and think about it, but you still may not find anything odd. But if you work at it a bit, you might find out. Try to do so without any coaching!

(answers below)

Just a little on Bacchus Vineyard, which along with Dionysus, Weinbau, and Sagemoor Farms form Sagemoor Vineyards, which was established in 1971 kissing the Columbia River north of Pasco. The Block 9 cabernet vines are over 30 years old, while the syrah vines hit the tweens. Sagemoor Vineyards’ almost 500 total acres are notable for their lack of a “company winery.” Their wine grapes have been nurturing the State’s wine industry that is not named “Chateau Ste. Michelle” or “Associated Vintners/Columbia Winery” (ironically, they both also use Sagemoor’s grapes) all through the dark ages of the 70s and 80s. Today, over 60 wineries contract with Sagemoor Vineyards, from Pend d’Oreille Winery to Corliss Estates.

Why should Bacchus Vineyard be considered an “A-list” vineyard, like Klipsun, DuBrul, and others that produce outstanding white and red grapes? Try Januik’s Bacchus Vineyard riesling. It’s a killer. When I need the clothes to come off…that’s my wine.

And, if you haven’t read my recommendation to pay a visit to Facelli Winery for a tasting, this is the wine you are missing out on because Lou Facelli’s wines are no longer distributed. That’s right, just like Isenhower Cellars, he cut back on production and chose to sell only out of his tasting room (or the winery’s website).

Facelli’s tasting room is well hidden in a business park, but it’s been there since 1988. Open only on weekends (noon-4), an initial peek into the closet-sized tasting area made me wonder whether Lou was selling ice cream instead. After a hearty greeting by Lou, I paid my refundable $5 tasting fee and dug into the menu to find four wines to indulge. He offers four whites and eleven reds, mostly made with grapes from vineyards Lou has longstanding contracts with. What makes Facelli’s tasting room so special is Lou’s depth of knowledge of wines and the history of the industry, and he readily shares that with his guests in addition to the background information of the wines he is pouring. I have passed through his tasting room every year and, honestly, this is his highest-quality set of wines across the portfolio he has displayed. In the past, his barbera and sangiovese (mama mia, he’s a Fah-chelly) consistently led the pack while the pinot grigio and Pescaia lifted the whites. Not so today. Of course, it helps that most of his wines present from the magnificent 2007 and 2008 vintages while showing off the last of the fantastic 2005 in this bottling. If you want to sample (or take home) what Washington wine history tastes like, then a selection of Sagemoor Vineyards is de rigueur to fulfill your 1970s and 1980s chapters. And a visit through Facelli Winery is the place to do it. But, hurry. And, forgot to mention that Lou happily signs all his bottles if you wish.

Food pairings were Beechers Flagship Reserve and Smoked Flagship (best) cheeses, salami, chicken marsala, and Fran’s dark chocolate nibbits. Delightful!

Tasted at 54-62 degrees on the IR temp gun. In the glass, garnet-dark ruby edges surrounded the light-black pond of syrah-goodness, with aromas of plum, cola, blueberry pie, and fumet. Silky on the palate with mellow essences of dried cherries, cola, red currant, black licorice, red rose petals on a moderate 6-second finish. Power: medium. Balance: centered. Depth: pleasing. Finesse: a master’s touch.

Alcohol: 14.6% (14.1% on tech sheet). Hand-harvested 100% syrah. Columbia Valley AVA. TA 0.66. pH 3.6. No detectable RS. A few hundred cases. Single-vineyard, pure varietal, best vintage of the decade (and perhaps, EVER), twenty bucks. Rated: 92. Value: $30. Paid: $20. Music pairing: “My Way” by Frank Sinatra. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

Answers: (1) Charcoal, as it is used for grilling; (2) the woman was a photographer (shot a picture, developed under water, hung to dry); (3) the third room—lions that have not eaten in 3 years are dead; and (4) the most common letter used in the English language is the letter “e”, but it does not appear once in the paragraph.

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