Columbia Winery 2008 Red Willow Vineyard South Chapel syrah

What are your favorite ‘tough’ cities? I nominate two: New York and Chicago. You see, in Seattle, we take our mums out on Mother’s Day to a quiet Sunday brunch at a swanky restaurant that we would otherwise never visit and give her a bouquet of roses to thank her. In New York, a 28 year-old mum woke up the father of her son and demanded what gift he got her. She was holding their son in one hand and a pot in the other when he answered that he would take her out to dinner and buy her candy. Not. Good. Enough. So, he got walloped up side his head with said pot and got his Father’s Day present a little early—a 4-inch gash. In Seattle, it is common to “top off” self-serve carbonated beverages at the local convenience store after taking a deep swig from a first-fill. In Chicago, a 50 year-old man bought a bag of chips from 7-Eleven, then proceeded to pump some nacho cheese topping into the bag. The store clerk informed him that the cheese was only for customers who bought a nacho tray, then got assaulted by the man before he left. Police arrested the man, then in court, when the judge confirmed that only the cheese was stolen, the prosecuting attorney replied, “The defendant was informed it was ‘not yo’ cheese.” The judge ordered the man held on a $10,000 bail. Now, that’s tough.

Speaking of tough… Last summer, I attended a wine blogger summit and during a break-out session which turned into more like a sex-therapy discussion than about the topic of “what memories does wine resurrect?” Talk about a tough living, no wonder they’re wine bloggers or groupies. Here were some of the comments made by the participants:

Ben: “A hooker once told me she had a headache.”

Abernethy: “I knew a girl so ugly that she was known as a two-bagger. That’s when you put a bag over your head in case the bag over her head comes off.”

Nishiwacky: “I went to a massage parlor. It was self-service.”

Antoine: “Sarah called me and told me to ‘Come on over. There’s nobody home.’ I went over. Nobody was home!”

Babs: “I was making love to this girl and she started crying. I asked, “Are you going to
hate yourself in the morning?” She said “No, I hate myself now.”

Clive: “My wife is such a bad cook, in my house we pray AFTER the meal.”

Bean: “My wife is such a bad cook, the dog begs for Alka Seltzer.”

Tom: “My wife is such a bad cook, if we leave dental floss in the kitchen, the roaches hang
themselves.”

Moi: “I knew a girl in Walla Walla so ugly, they used her in prison to cure sex offenders.”

Chris: “I know I’m not sexy. When I put on my underwear, I can hear the Fruit-of-the-Loom guys giggling.”

PGwine: “If it weren’t for pickpockets, I’d have no sex life at all.”

Josh: “Last night, my wife met me at the front door. She was wearing a sexy negligee. The only trouble was, she was coming home.”

Shona: “I’m so ugly I stuck my head out the window and got arrested for mooning.”

Sean: “My family was so poor that if I hadn’t been born a boy, I wouldn’t have had anything to play with.”

What is Washington wine’s most famous landmark? Chances are,
ask anyone deep into wine and they will intelligently respond, “the Chapel.”
What they’re talking about is the Monsignor Chapel, constructed from boulders
unearthed while developing the last and most difficult property at Red Willow Vineyard  to plant syrah and viognier. Named after an old friend, Monsignor Mulcahy, along with an inspired 1992 visit to the vineyards in northern Italy, Mike Sauer took three years to
complete the shrine. The surrounding rows of vines were completely planted by
1997. Columbia Winery had a virtual lock on the grapes coming from Red Willow
until the retirement of winemaker, David Lake, MW. Now, the secret’s out.

Food pairing was an old standard: chili dogs. And, of course, I only use Ball Park Deli-Style beef hot dogs to minimize the ‘mystery’ in the mystery meat. Fabulous!

Tasted at 50-69 degrees on the IR temp gun. Pretty in purple (very young), this wine exuded fragrant aromas of red flowers, black fruit, and high-toned notes of oak. A velvet blanket on the palate, the soft flavors rolled continuously from dark chocolate, ripe plum, and cedar to raspberries, dried herbs and cola. At 50 degrees, earthy aromas dominated as did the flavors of roast beef, black cherry, cola, and red plum. Best from 2014.

Alcohol: 14.7% (website 14.5%). 6% viognier. Harvest date: September, 2008. TA 0.72%. pH 3.62. Bottled: April, 2010. Balance: 4/5. Power: 2/5. Depth: 4/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 92. Value: $30. Paid: $26. Music pairing: “Chapel of Love” by the Dixie Cups. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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2 Responses to Columbia Winery 2008 Red Willow Vineyard South Chapel syrah

  1. Scott Abernethy (@wino4ever) says:

    Ahhhh, that was close. I only KNEW a two-bagger – don’t we all? By the way, I use the second bag to barf in, but I’ve got a tough stomach from years of training.

    I seem to be hearing a lot about Red Willow Vineyard. Another one I will have to look for on the label when I buy my next bottle of wine. Now I’ll go look up where the hell Red Willow Vineyard is located.

  2. wawineman says:

    You keep escaping my clutches, Scotty, but not for much longer.
    Eveyone has their own “bestest,” “greatest,” or whatever superlatives for their pet vineyard. This one’s mine for cabernet and syrah. The terroir is not in the stinky fart aromas like other places; it’s in the absolute complexity within the brooding liquid that sets this vineyard apart from all others.

    The wines made from Red Willow grapes will not remind anyone of anyplace in France. It is not supposed to. The wines made from Red Willow grapes WILL tell the drinker this is an obligate Washington wine. That’s what makes this vineyard most special, in my opinion.

    And, with all the hype of other AVAs, I find it somewhat ironic that none of them have an iconic symbol that is anywhere near equivocal to the AVA where this Chapel rests in…the Yakima Valley AVA.

    You will find the vineyard on the far northwest end of the Yakima Valley AVA.
    http://maps.mustseemap.com/member.php?site_id=630&member_id=4416&type=7

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