Doyenne 2009 Rosé

Another WAwineman classic from Sept. 19, 2010:

I love Seattle. But, I love Woodinville more…so stick it! Highway 99, aka Aurora, aka home to identical twins-Seedy and Sleazy, was the scene of yet another car chase where police chased a stolen vehicle until the thieves t-boned an innocent truck. Now I know why we don’t need a NASCAR racetrack in Marysville. Typical September day in Seattle: rain in the morning, sun at lunch, rain in the afternoon. Also typical Seattle in September: another meaningless Mariners win, another meaningful Seahawks loss, another overhyped Husky football team, and another sham political commercial—this one featuring Darby English of Darby Winery using scare tactics to make you vote against I-1100 and I-1105. Darby, I agree you are a small winery. You even have a “hot” assistant winemaker. But, you fabricate illusions of doom based on fear. You got it half right: vote no on I-1105. And, spend more time on updating your sad winery website. Everyone thinks it, I say it. And yes, that was me that called the cops on those rogue wine bloggers that disappeared over the weekend after leaving me a letter that they were awaiting “an apocalyptic event and would soon see Walter Clore and William Bridgman in wine heaven.” ‘Sulli’ (Sean S.) was placed under a 72-hour mandatory hold after it was determined he was not able to write fathomable focus reports from a weekend of “improprieties,” which included “strippers with flaming pasties.” I didn’t know Steve liked to wear pasties. But, I digress. (j/k, folks!)

This segment should be retitled, “The Anatomy of Bullsh*t.” Quite frankly, I am fed up with these uncredentialed bullsh*t wine reviewers and their gay reviews of wine. “Candied lemon, sweet papaya and a squirt of fresh lime”…what a f*ckin’ bunch of horse hockey. All my wino allies think these old-fart wine reviewers are full of it. Liars. Anything to sell a bottle that they did not purchase. It’s like pullin’ down the pants on Maria Sharapova, kissin’ her poopshoot, and tellin’ everyone she’s the queen of tennis. F*ck you! I’ll bet the inheritance these losers couldn’t duplicate their tasting notes in a truly BLIND tasting. That means using a “blind bind” Riedel glass (pure black, $44), unable to view the bottle, then have 2 minutes to duplicate their original tasting notes of ten of their wines out of a palette of twenty wines. Cannot be done. Why? One, because their wine notes are bullsh*t. And two, the wines constantly “evolve” (true). Which leads to…

Everyone’s tongue contains roughly a few thousand taste buds. Each one supposedly lasts a couple of weeks until it is replaced. And, the older you get, the less the replication. That’s why old cronies prefer high alcohol oak bombs (and why you shouldn’t). The tongue can only sense five perceptions: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and savory (umami). That’s it. The real money is located in the olfactory bulb, which is located in the nares, and there are an estimated ten million receptors there to assist in enhancing the discrimination of odors. You can taste acid but you can’t smell it. You can smell leather but you can’t taste it. Anyone have their olfactories insured or credentialed? Didn’t think so. Now, you know.

What is the best resolution? I say this time and time again: find a reviewer who has consistent notes with yours and stick with it. Why, oh why, do score chasers continue to seek wines from two-faced wine reviewers who tout the next big thing when (1) the wine is prohibitively expensive; (2) not readily available (note to reviewers: list your sources so others have a chance to buy the wines); or (3) not even ready to drink (too tannic). In that case, it is not the wine reviewer’s fault that the reader wasted good money and time to obtain said bottle; the disappointment lies squarely on the purchaser. Caveat emptor.

Doyenneis a “sister” label to DeLille Cellars. Do not insult the integrity of Doyenne wines by calling it a “second label.” The Doyenne lineup is, in reality, the Rhone interpretation based on Christopher Upchurch’s winemaking skills. Doyenne is French for “a woman who is the most respected or prominent person in a particular field.” Don’t call it the ‘old lady.’ Doyenne’s wines are sleek, sultry and impart a character of “sexiness,” akin to the dopamine-rush of viewing a Paulina Porizkova in a sleeveless Burgundy dress slowly making her way down a red-carpeted oak stairway.

What’s equally scintillating is this rosé is made from 100% Yakima Valley AVA fruit. Yakima Valley has long been known as the fruit basket of the State, and while other AVAs have been getting biased support, the simple fact is—Yakima Valley remains the source of the majority of Washington’s best wines. You love Red Mountain? So do I. It is nested within the Yakima Valley AVA. So is Snipes Mountain and Rattlesnake Hills. Aside from the mother lode Columbia Valley AVA, no other Washington AVA can claim a preponderance of nested AVAs. Walla Walla wineries will be hurting for cabernet grapes from their own AVA this year, so where will they go? Yakima Valley!

Tonight’s food pairing was good ol’ lasagna with buttered brussels sprouts. At first, I designated the wine to accessorize the food, but it ended up the other way around. This wine was the pinnacle of a great year for Washington rosés.

Tasted at 34-51 degrees on the IR temp gun. An eye-candy of salmon-orange-pink, this wine boasted of strawberry fields in the glass, with a surprisingly dense mouthfeel. Flavors of strawberries, raspberries, citrus peel and a smooth appearance of heat and black pepper on a 2 second tail make this a picture-perfect rosé wine to end a sunny summer evening.

Alcohol: 14.6%. There’s a label versus website discrepancy: grenache 51% (website 49%), mourvedre 39%, and cinsault 10% (12%). Vineyards: Ciel du Cheval 57%, Boushey 43%. No perceptible sweetness. “This style of rosé exhibits lower alcohol…” (uh, no not really). “Crisp acidity”? Yes. Rated: 92. Value: $25. Paid: $20. Pre-purchased on the winery website. Music pairing: “Strawberry Avalanche” by Owl City. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

5-17-11 note: This was my vote for top WA rosé for 2010. The 2011 version is available for $23 and will be released Sunday, June 12.

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