Columbia Crest 2006 Reserve Stone Tree Vineyard zinfandel

Another WAwineman classic, 1st posted on May 15, 2010:

Another reason why I am not a cop: Milwaukee police were called to a residence to investigate an alleged assault when they stepped into a crime scene literally crawling with hundreds of alligators and snakes. At least five anaconda snakes, 20-30 feet long, were found. Let’s just say this was a sssss-sizzzzling discovery. Cops in southern New Joizee were summoned to a find a man who claimed to have been robbed at a convenience store. After interrogating the 24 year-old man, the cops learned he had purchased what he thought was cocaine, but was actually crushed sheetrock. Stupid is as stupid does. The postal service in Philly has recovered some 20,000 pieces of mail as far back as 1997 from a former postal carrier’s garage and are delivering it this week. Good ol’ Ben Franklin would be proud that when he first started the mail some 235 years ago, the delivery times still haven’t changed.

Tonight’s wine is a tribute not to a fellow blogger but a fellow Tweeter, @NWTomLee. Never met the guy but based on his 1,000+ followers and his being a man of a hundred lists, he exerts quite a social media presence. That, and his bottomless spending on exotic and esoteric tastes in wines largely from the future nation of California. Tom’s from the self-enamored “city” of West Seattle, likes to take long runs, and is a frequent visitor to the e-bob wine website. He’s probably on at least twenty out-of-state customer lists and keeps the rest of us birdies up-to-date on the latest releases of “that other wine state.” Tom is currently the “senior” online account manager at the local newsie (Seattle Times) so we can joyfully heap loads of blame of him for the totally ANNOYING pop-up ads when I check on the latest murders in our fair city. Bajeezus, he’s been doing that for some 12 years now. Tom was previously…gawd, I cannot believe this, a “personal banker” (aka bank teller) for Wells Fargo and a gen. man. for Aramark Refreshment Services. He’s a Husky and worn the same paths I did some 25 years ago. Unfortunately, he’s also a Greek, but his party background fits nicely in the current world of wine. Tommy is interested in new ventures, expertise requests, reference requests, job inquiries, and will service you for wine (j/k!). I personally had a close encounter with this horribly-fit runner at the recent Quilceda Creek release party when he was scrutinizing the cheese and fig table. He ignored my pleas for an autograph and spit his fig stem on my plate (embellishment) while Paul G. saw me across the room and ran over to ‘squeeze cheese’ on my cracker (also embellishment).

Anyway, you must be asking yourself wtf does this have to do with the wine? Well Jones, let me say that @NWTomLee recently humiliated my monkeyass when he asked if I had tried some zinfandel, mentioning a couple of wineries that I thought were Cali. After all, Cali is thee place for zin, right? That’s what I thought, too. After researching his comments, I found that those wineries were located right here in the Northwest, and one of them in the armpit of Seattle, namely Tukwila. Suffice to say, I was served a slice of humble pie. After all, I yam the Washington wineman, not Woodinville wineman. So, I made myself enjoy some pie but I vowed to make amends and this is the amends.

Zinfandel…California made it famous, not just as a red, but also as white zinfandel, the choice of hicks and trailer parks around here. Even my dad, at the mention of wine, preferred only ‘white zinfandel.’ Ick! For me, just the name conjured up less-than-pleasant memories of high school, getting shitfaced on what I referred to as “Pickle Me Tink” wine. Ah, but I was determined to blow Tom’s house down by laughing at his fervent preference for zinfandel, so I purchased this local version at a Fred Meyer. Well, after tasting this behemoth, I can honestly call this ninja attempt a draw, as you will read on.

Stone Tree Vineyard is located in the Wahluke Slope AVA, east of Mattawa, and is well known for growing some terrific wine grapes. Check their website. If you’re a geologist, get a wet napkin because the information is so technical, it’s like viewing a, um, restricted website. Call it soil porn. As for me, I got turned on by the listing of the vineyard’s block inventory. Block 6A, zinfandel clone 06, 4,81 acres. Block 6B, zinfandel clone 06, 4.71 acres. Oh yeah, baby! Then, there was the picture of hardpan caliche…the stuff that makes geologists scream! Damn, I need a smoke.

Tonight’s food pairings were: aged beef stew (nice!) and a rainbow of Theo Chocolates. The best match was the 84% dark chocolate. The wine is deftly passionate with bloom and double-black fruits. A macho wine.

Deep garnet in depth with nice legs, the aromas show firm scents of blackberries, black plum, boysenberry, and black peppers. Not too heavy in the mouth, which belies the weighty flavors of black fruits, soft wood, chocolate, koge (koh-geh), warm leather, and cigar box. A noticeable alcohol bloom throughout. Enjoyed with chocolate, the combination leaves a slick feeling. 300 cases.

Alcohol: 14.8%. Labeled Columbia Valley but is really southside Saddle Mountains of the Wahluke Slope AVA. Hand-picked. Aged in American oak (50% new) for 18 months. pH 3.75. TA 0.61. 12% primitivo, 12% petite sirah (aka durif). Music pairing: “Girl of 100 Lists” by the Go-Go’s. Rated: 88. Value: $16. Paid: $20. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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