A note from Joseph: “First, I want to say thank you. And second, most everything in this is wrong.”
With that… consider this a creative writing effort as far as the background is concerned. The wine itself remains the same– it’s phreakin’ good wine to seduce the ladies with.” (Feb. 23, 2014)
Tuesday Cellars is the second label for a recent startup winery called Martedi Winery. Both wineries are the brainchild of the Miglino family. Pronounce their heritage as “Mih- GLEEN-yo” if you are familiar with Italian verbiage. The Miglino family originated from Campania, Italy and one of its roots immigrated to New York before bouncing to Montana and landing in the present-day Puget Sound area. John J. Miglino, the 2nd oldest of four sons and four daughters, took a detour and graduated from St. Louis University before moving here and reinventing himself as a realtor in the Snohomish County area. John has wine in his genes (along with a stint jobbing at his father’s tire center) and decided to get his feet wet and volunteer at local wineries such as Liberty Bay Cellars in Poulsbo and Lantz Cellars in Lake Stevens before committing in 2007 to his own vintage. John needed some help so he called on his brother (typical Italian), Joe, who was a wine importer in NY and knew about the wines coming out of Washington State so he moved to our great State and got dead serious about the making of wine and got a position as assistant winemaker to the legendary David Lake, MW at Columbia Winery. It was there that Joe developed his contacts with the growers and learned how great wine was made. Mr. Lake was such an influence that Joe has chosen to walk the path to become a Master of Wine and is more than halfway to the “promised land.”
John and Joe’s first vintage was in 2007, producing (what else?) a sangiovese. This wasn’t the average sangiovese as the production was initially plagued with the smell of ‘wine blogger’ aka hydrogen sulfide. This was rectified thanks to John’s early post-graduate experience working in the Middle East oil fields where it was a common ordeal (resolution will not be divulged here…and yes, I do know).
Getting back to Joe, who is the winemaker for the wineries, this cat is well-known in local circles for his award-winning palate to the point where even Mr. Robert Mondavi himself personally acknowledged at a meeting. Mr. Mondavi’s advice to this young winemaker-in-training was to take everything that made Mr. Mondavi’s wines so world-renown and improve on it; otherwise, everything he had done for the wine industry would be a complete waste of effort. Most important were the words that making wine takes care, time and passion.
The lasting legacy (and link) that Joe received from his time at Columbia Winery would likely be his strong relationship with the legendary Mike Sauer of Red Willow Vineyard in the western end of the Yakima Valley AVA. For you readers who are versed in Washington vineyards producing iconic wines from its grapes, this is the wineman’s numero uno vineyard for several red wine grapes AND for the family’s generous and humble reputation among winemakers. The respect is mutual as Mike Sauer called Joe to inform him on Thanksgiving night that Mike was enjoying Joe’s riesling.
Joe currently has rows of sangiovese (piccolo), syrah, riesling, and aglianico as part of his contracts, with plans for more from Red Willow, along with that from Elephant Mountain Vineyard (sangiovese grosso). The wine portfolio includes a dry riesling (60% Red Willow, 40% Elephant Mountain), a sangiovese (60% Elephant Mountain, 40% Red Willow), a Giovanni syrah (named after his dad and contains 40% Red Willow fruit), and a Brunello-like Riserva sangiovese (hint to Robert Parker). Future additions include an aglianico and a cabernet franc.
If you’re like me, you need to know this: Martedi in Italian means Tuesday. This all came about from the family’s monthly dinners that were held on the second Tuesday on the month. It got so popular that friends were invited and became an essential event not to be missed. The “No. 11” stands for the blending trial that determined the final blend.
Perhaps the best part, and this IS saying a lot, is the design of the label for Martedi Wines’ regular lineup. Take a glimpse of their website to witness the simple, but artfully designed colored bonsai tree silhouette with a shadow background close-up of a leafless tree (branches only) symbolizing the many branches of the family tree. Or maybe not. Take my word…that’s the front label design. This was designed by Art Institute-graduate son, Johnny, who is a bartender and real-estate magnate-in-training. Italians have all the fun…
Food pairing was marinated flank steak (good). You can find a glass pour of this at Schwartz Brothers’ spazzo Italian Grill and Wine Bar at the Redmond Town Center.
Tasted at 61-66 degrees on the IR temp gun. Noticeable David Lake, MW winemaking here with added finesse. In glass, transparent black down the middle with magenta-dark ruby edges. Aromas of cocoa dust, center-toned dark fruits, ripe cherry, plums, and mushrooms. Silky on the palate with a long tail of smooth red and black fuits. An absolute stunner of a wine at this price. I asked why not charge more for this and the reply was that this would be the winery’s signature ‘statement’ wine to the masses. And, baby, what a signature this wine makes!
Alcohol: 13.8%. 600+ cases. 76% cab sau, 24% syrah. Columbia Valley AVA. All their wines are essentially “jack-free” and I believe them as attention to detail was Mr. Lake’s hallmark in his wines. “everyone deserves a good wine, even on Tuesday!” First nominee in over a year for “value of the year.” Rated: 92. Paid: $15. Value: $30. Music pairing: “Personality” by Lloyd Price. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.
FYI: Happy birthday to Lloyd Price, who turned 78 today. Mr. Price is alive and well and a 1998 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee. On March 14, Mr. Price will induct Mr. Art Rupe, founder of Sparkle Records, into the Hall of Fame at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Sparkle Records had many stars pass through its studios, including Sam Cooke when he was with the Soul Stirrers, Fats Domino, Ray Charles, and Little Richard.
Editor’s correction: the note referring to Mr. Betz could not be confirmed so it has been deleted.