Hestia Cellars 2008 malbec

A belated happy birthday to one of “my boyz,” George Washington. He would have turned a sprightly 279 today, after a dominant reign as Supreme Commander of what amounted to the first 16 States of our great country. I bet he’d be equally proud that, today, some 90% of people with the surname “Washington” are of African descent, with a majority of them officially registered after the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Of less pride, let’s look to Florida, where a 31 year-old cookie monster had an insanity-moment after discovering someone ate her Girl Scout cookies. She accused her roommate, who admitted she gave it to the monster’s kids, who were hungry at 1am. The roommate offered to pay ten bucks but ended up getting threatened with a pair of scissors, so she ran but didn’t get far as she got klonked with a board then got a thorough beatdown before police intervened. I think the cookie monster slightly overreacted. After all, it was a box of Thin Mints…not the more delectable Samoas.

I luv Facebook. But, not for the reasons you think. Sure, “traditional” blogging is now becoming the “VHS recorder” for the older set (>33 yrs old), but the kids these days realized they can deliver their sound-byte much more effectively (and to a wider audience) through Facebook and Twitter. And, when we give immature runts who type faster than they think a novel (and free) internet service, we achieve a level of “failure” never before seen in the recorded history of the world. Take a look at some of the drama that YOU are missing with my fellow wine moochers…er, bloggers:

status: Cheryl is now single

Sean: woooo back on the market. What you doin tonight girl?

Cheryl: Actually, my boyfriend was hit by a car a few months ago. I just got around to changing my status but im still not over it. Sorry.

Paul: Sean, nice one, asshole.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Josh: just cut myself shaving my balls. Ouchhh

Chris: No one needed to no that.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Sean: about to meet my dad for the first time in my life

Annie: intense.

Shona: woahh

Annie: Er…are you okay?

Ken: No shit, what prison did you go to?

Sean: F*#k you.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Patrick: I hate today, lol…cant wait to go home and relax

Jancis: do you want to go to dinner with dad and I? We will be leaving as soon as I get home so we can go early—hopefully before the rush!

Paul: Cmon and join us, son!

Patrick: NOOOO…i am celebrating today and I am def not “cockblockin” dad…HAHAHAHAHAHA

Clive: omg. I can’t believe what I just read.


– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –


(mother): ???

Babs: Awkward. Hi mum.

(mother): hahaha

Babs: I’m just excited ‘tis all.

(mother): I have just checked the word “FAP” in the Urban Dictionary 🙂

Babs: Oh dear. Awkward *crickets*

Washington State malbec is an odd bucket to dip into for winemakers. First of all, the average tonnage cost of procuring malbec is the highest of all grapes here (economic issue). Then, there’s the value issue where I am specifically noting Argentina’s splendid, high-elevation quality at affordable prices (competition, value). A few wineries have ventured into making a solid malbec: William Church, Seven Hills, Elsom, etc, but no one has been able to match the prices of the Argentines. Not. Even. Close.

Regardless, when I accidentally tasted this on pre-release, I vigorously pleaded that the winemaker keep the price at 30 small, no more. The winemaker, Shannon Jones, initially acquiesced to my wishes and released what is, imho, Washington’s best malbec to date at the right price of $30. I ended up buying a few bottles. This is a deal, folks. He has since jerked the price up another Lincoln, but it’s still a fair bargain compared to anything else out there at that price range, including merlots. Consider yourself warned before it sells out.

Tonight’s food pairing was “leftover” USDA Prime bone-in filet mignon ($67) and potato pancakes. Funny, the reputable restaurant offered glass pours of other red wines (at ridonkulous prices…$23 for a glass of D2) but not a malbec to be found on the menu. (Note to sommelier: update and expand your palate.) Still sublime and an even better experience than the house wine made by Balboa.

Tasted at 60-67 degrees on the IR temp gun. If squid ink was purple, this would be it. Full and intense notes of plum, Douglas Fir, and African violets, with a dense follow-through in mouth, this wine has improved over time, with a long tail of black plum, Red Whips,  and Violet candy with slight drying. I could drink this wine all night…even bathe in it…to 2:45am.

Alcohol: 14%. Horse Heaven Hills AVA. Vineyard: Andrews Ranch. 100% malbec. Aged 22 months in 2 year-old French oak. 125 cases. Rated: 94. Value: $40. Paid: $30. Music pairing: “Quarter To Three” by Gary U.S. Bonds. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

A special thanks to Dave Palmer, Antoine Pin, and whoever referred readers to my Mosel riesling post. Thanks guys, I appreciate the new sets of eyeballs!

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