Dubindil Winery 2008 Columbia Valley syrah

Dubindil Winery is a young startup winery (they call it “boutique”) located in the next great wine town of Snohomish. The owners are a young couple in David Hendrickson and his beautiful, supporting wife, Lisa Ivanjack, and their two encouraging children. David, a Tiger alum from Fridley High in Minnesota, class of 1988, is a tech geek who climbed the merciless ‘executive’ ladder at a multi-national ultrasound technology company in Bothell. While goofing around as a garagiste wine crafter for a few years, he reached a crossroads (like all passionate winemakers do) as he tried to balance grape and barrel acquisitions with major tech projects until the demands of winemaking could no longer stay a “hobby.” Unlike many other local winemakers, David chose to roll the dice high and resigned from his senior-level position to devote ALL his time to his family and to winemaking. As Lisa explained, “we were at a stage in life where it was now or never.” Now, how many of you out there, with a family, would be willing to cast off a high-paying job (and benefits) to become a winemaker? This man has some serious balls, but more importantly, he has a wife that completely backs him. This is not to say they are completely nuts, as Lisa maintains the full-time job (and benefits) at a large healthcare company in Snohomish County. For David’s part, he insists that if this venture completely plonks out, he can use the wine as a sort of ‘bartering’ instrument, similar to alternate-cash. Remember, there has to be functional brains in a family and it’s usually found nested in the woman.

David’s winemaking experience is not all glitz and glamour. He doesn’t have the UC-Davis pedigree. He was never employed as a winemaker. Typically, that’s two strikes against making good wine, but David has been an ardent volunteer at other local wineries. This type of underdog-winemaking strongly relies on healthy communications with a mentor and, I believe, he found at least one in next-door winery neighbor Micole Miller of Furion Cellars. This type of assistance used to be commonplace in Woodinville, but it appears the neighborly “can I borrow a cup of sugar?” has moved up north about 16 minutes on Highway number 9.

The winery’s label is a dandy piece of artwork that David was fortunate enough to coordinate, through Ron Hansen of Mukilteo, and have the artwork done by none other than Steve Noble of Petaluma, CA. You know Steve’s work. That Trojan profile on every American Express card…yeah, that’s Steve Noble. Dubindil’s logo is a circular encasement of a dragon surrounding the outline of a lamb.

So what’s the eye-catching label really all about? First the name: “Dubin” refers to the nickname that David’s son calls the daughter, and “Dil” is the nick the daughter calls the son. The dragon refers to the son’s birthyear in the Chinese astrological calendar’s associated animal and the same for the lamb referring to the daughter’s birthyear. Gotta love labels filled with family codes! Now, you know.

Dubindil Winery has been increasing its exposure in the community through its work with the local Chamber of Commerce, with full participation in this Saturday’s 2nd annual Snohomish Wine Festival. The town of Snohomish is seriously courting wineries to set up shop in town (“I would like wineries to set their production facilities here in Snohomish” touts the city’s economic development manager), and after casing the area, there are plenty of new buildings that are awaiting tenants like a typical tasting room that can attract a small cluster of devotees. “Downtown” Snohomish is awash in turn-of-the-last-century homes that give a feel like it’s Mayberry. The eastern side of the city is home to a wonderful kitchen store, Le Gourmet Depot, that hosts wine tastings on weekends and has a stocked wine department full of the products from truly local wineries, and is also home to Bite Me Cupcakes, which supplied a ravishing rendition of Red Velvet at Dubindil’s syrah release party. I think I am falling for this town.

So, you may have missed the inaugural release party last Saturday. Don’t worry. Oh, you didn’t miss much. Just generous plates of long-strip cured salmon, blocks of stinky cheeses, slabs of meats, and rows and rows of tasty crackers. And, family members from the Vancouver of down south who helped light up the party in the barrel room with their infectious enthusiasm. Ah, release parties of yore!

What’s in store in the future of Dubindil Winery? How about a rather unique cabernet franc, presently in barrel, that is showing more pinot noir-like floral qualities that appears headed to be a super food-friendly cab franc. Also in barrel is a cabernet sauvignon, which was David’s first wine grape vinted almost a decade ago. He sources most of his grapes from Lawrence Vineyard and Stoneridge Vineyard (home to that knockout syrah from Charles Smith Wines). The grapes for this syrah came from a vineyard east of Wenatchee, but David would not divulge where.

Food pairing was Pasta Nova! Tim’s chicken cacciatore (an Adams Bench exclusive), a triple mushroom linguine and lasagna. Throw in a dandy balsamic vinaigrette salad and thick minestrone soup and this was a dinner fit for a one-man king.

Tasted at 56-69 degrees on the IR temp gun. Awfully shy below 61 degrees (only black pepper sensations). Clear, medium violet-red in the glass with delicate aromas of raw bacon, ripe black cherry and plum led to a light and licorous lift  on the palate. A moderate stay showed flavors of blackberry, black plum, cola, and black licorice. Nerdy on muscle, still youthful on fruit, decent depth, and elegant. Word of advice: best between 65-69 degrees. A wine to impress your first date on a cold, rainy March evening that will convey you are a cool dude and believe in a long-term relationship.

Alcohol: 13.3%. 97 cases. Love that label with the copper-colored winery name in relief. Neutral oak-aged. Rated: 90 (stay between 65-69 degrees). Paid: $24. Value: $24. Music pairing: “Save It For A Rainy Day” by The Jayhawks. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

Disclosure: I was in no way whatsoever PAID or given anything of value in return for this review by any business in this review. No free tickets. No free wine. Nothing free. I wasn’t even personally invited! That’s why you can trust my reviews over anyone elses currently.

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2 Responses to Dubindil Winery 2008 Columbia Valley syrah

  1. Scott Abernethy (@wino4ever) says:

    Oh, you’re tempting me to make the drive north from my Dad’s on my next trip over the pass. I’m not familiar with any of these little boutique wineries on the west side. They don’t get any press over here. But with over 700 wineries in the state, I don’t think I will ever hit them all! There are still over a hundred in Walla Walla I haven’t tried yet. So many wineries, so little time – even in retirement.

  2. wawineman says:

    So true! So very, very true…
    Next time you visit your pops, you have a new project to visit the growing number of wineries up in the Snohomish-Monroe corridor.
    Is it coincidence that Woodinville’s wine community centers around Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Winery, and that Snohomish will rally around Quilceda Creek Vintners?

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