Lincoln, Nebraska: home of a reputable college football team, and now we can also add “home of disreputable buttnekkid asshats.” A sheriff’s deputy stopped a suspicious pickup truck east of Lincoln and discovered all four occupants (two men and two women) were unclothed. Upon questioning about what their plans were, one replied “I think we’re getting in trouble.” You think? I think none of their other friends are ever getting in that pickup, especially if they see “111” scrawled in brown on that seat. Not to be outdone, a drunk 58 year-old man in North Little Rock, Arkansas displayed his prowess by urinating on $500 worth of chicken meat while downing a large package of ham at a local Kroger supermarket. When I asked Sean, a local nutlicker who fronts as an expert on wine ratings (heee yaaaah, right), about this, he could only comment, “such a nice wine.” A 48 year-old former president of a local Florida chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) blew a .234 and .239 and had difficulty on a field sobriety test before being arrested on a DUI charge. Sean chimed in, “Sounds like me: I recommend Washington wines as long as you buy them and I drink them.” Finally, a 32 year-old Fullerton, CA man faces up to a year in jail after admitting to adding his creamy tadpoles into an attractive co-worker’s water bottle. He commented, “I saw her water bottle and I did it.” I commented that the lunk was high on cheap Cali plonk, but Sean interjected, “No no, why I do the same thing when I drink free Walla Walla wine with my guys.” …
Just as a national rag with a “wine” in its title writes more on food and spirits these days, your local wineman will give you advance notice on upcoming movies that I plan on attending. First up is the sequel to one of the classic movies of recent history, “The Hangover 2.” It’s due out Memorial Day weekend. And, what might turn out to be my ‘movie of the year’ will open June 24, “Bad Teacher.” Mark your calendars, burn a vacation day, skip your Valtrex treatment, and if you’re like Sean, postpone that appointment to fap by the hedges (and using an expired tube of AstroGlide) in front of your residence. Hey, I think I just pulled a ‘wine blogger’ and recommended you spend your hard-earned money on something I only saw a preview of.
Hollywood Hill Vineyards is the local avant-garde winery that produces a combination of solid varietals/blends while venturing far off-the-beaten-path with some daring bottlings. Visit their tasting “home” a soccer kick from Brian Carter Cellars this summer and you may be indulging in three thoroughly distinct AVA-defined syrahs. Or, you could run ahead of the pack and sneak in for a tasting in late-winter/early-spring and sip on some hidden jewels not found anywhere else in Woodinville, the State, or hell, the whole nation! Two of their wines are an estate-grown Puget Sound AVA pinot noir and a chardonnay. When I say “estate,” I do mean it is grown at the winemaker’s residence, which just happens to be less than a mile up the east hill from the tasting room. I reviewed their 25-case chardonnay last year and plan on adding the pinot later this year.
However, this is about a wine made from a grape that no one else grows, produces, and bottles as a single. Regent, the grape is the offspring of Diana and Chambourcin. Diana brings with it a Vitis vinifera bloodline (pop quiz: which grape? Silvaner or Müller-Thurgau?) along with American vine pedigree. The Chambourcin supplies its fungal resistance to the mixture, along with the obvious red pigments. Steve and Becky Snyder’s informative blog post gives the low down.
As a veteran of the Woodinville wine scene, I can say it gets a bit ordinary tasting the same wines over and over again. Good as they all are, it just gets palate-boring at times. I’ll finish up at one tasting room that serves a cab and a syrah, then go to the next tasting room and they serve…a cab and a syrah. Then, to the next winery…more cab and more syrah. Ok, I get it, ENOUGH! Then came cab franc and malbec. Oh, how novel…until nearly everyone now has a malbec and/or cab franc on their menus. Just like a Boushey Vineyard syrah, it’s kewl until everyone gets in on the act. One hundred phreakin’ wineries and very few with a “wine personality” all its own. This is one of them, and it’s best you get in before they sell out as they do not produce more than 2000 cases annually.
I did a bad thing. I compared this wine to the last remnants of that beautiful Hestia Cellars’ malbec before a bowl of manly canned-chili and Ball Park Deli-Style beef hot dogs—the perfect meal to counter all that snow falling outside my patio. What was pleasantly surprising was the color of the regent—nearly as dark as the malbec. The real shock of the evening came when I paired the regent with chocolates from Theo. Yes, chocolates and regent are an ethereal combo (note to the Snyders).
Tasted at 59-65 degrees on the IR temp gun. Deep, dark magenta in glass, the regent showed coy aromas of cherries and blackberries with a snap of soft wood. Somewhat filling on the palate, soft flavors of cranberries, tart cherries, blueberries, and a farewell stamp of black pepper completed a moderate finish. A great midweek star at the table!
Alcohol: 12.5%. Puget Sound AVA. Nelson Family Vineyards. 75 cases. The booking line says this will be gone by St. Patrick’s Day. Burgundy-style bottle. Very soft cork. Too soft, as the wine had already veined its way to the top. Doesn’t taste like a high-acid wine. Drink now. A great choice for those “100-milers”. Rated: 88. Value: $20. Paid: forgot ($25-35). Music pairing: “C’mon Everybody” by Eddie Cochran. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.
Pop quiz answer: Müller-Thurgau. It’s a Silvaner x riesling cross.