Canon de Sol 2005 Meritage

Another WAwineman classic, 1st posted on April 12, 2010:

A Naples, FL deputy was reprimanded for Tazing a colleague as a joke. Now you know why I ain’t a cop. An Iowa teen made a prom dress out of  gum wrappers after hearing someone make a prom dress out of duct tape. Let me guess that her boyfriend couldn’t wait to fail at removing the foil from the wax paper as proof of his prowess. An Indiana woman driving to work lit up a cigarette then heard a “whoosh” as her hair caught fire from all her hair spray. She ended up winning her town’s “Village Idiot” crown that also comes with a $100 bar tab at a local  inn. Think I’d throw in my Franklin when Shona, Margot, or Barbara do the same thing while driving to a Woodinville tasting room. It’s just a matter of time.

Canon de Sol was birthed from a group of friends in 1999 that preferred to handcraft wines. This winery is located in balmy Badger Canyon, between Benton City (Red Mountain) and Kennewick (the “try” of the Tri-Cities). The winery annually produces 650 cases, based on information from the Washington Wine Commission. I think that’s b.s. Hell, if they can’t sell 650 cases out of their tasting room, then the wines suck, which in this case, it does not.

The winemaker is Victor Cruz, who is supposedly the first Latino winery owner in the State. My take on that is…who cares? If you make good wine, it doesn’t matter if you’re white or Ainu. Don’t play the race card. If a Latino owned a winery that made plonk wines, is that really better than an Eliseo Silva who manages a tasty vineyard? Don’t play the race card. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, how’s the quality of your wines? That’s ultimately what matters. Don’t play the race card.

Canon de Sol recently opened a tasting room in the Hollywood Schoolhouse district in Woodinville, and a mighty fine and spacious tasting area it is. The servers are equally gorgeous, which obviously clouded my thoughts of the wine…testosterone has a way of effin’ up a quality evaluation. They “share” space with Irlandes Wines. I say “share” because Victor makes the wines for both wineries. Irlandes charges more for their similar-quality wines. Irlandes is owned by Jason Sleater, who also runs 3 Sixty Cellars, which is a B&B/tasting room in southwest Kennewick, off Hwy. 395. The “360” is for the views of the Tri-Cities.

Canon de Sol’s website basically sucks. There’s no obvious link or mention about the Woodinville tasting room, and there’s no archive to their past vintages. Also missing is the technical data for their wines.

With that being the case, let’s take a look at the term “meritage”. This is a patented term by the Meritage Alliance back in 1988. The term was chosen from about 6000 entries to name a new wine category that identifies the winemaker’s art of blending and distinguishes itself from “red table wine”. The word is a hybrid of “merit” and “heritage” and it costs a pretty penny to rent the word. A “red” meritage consists of at least two Bourdeaux grapes. You know the common SIX, but also includes Gros Verdot and St. Macaire. In Washington State alone, the following wineries license a “Meritage”: Arbor Crest, Badger Mountain, Benson Vineyards Estate, Bookwalter, Canon de Sol, Chateau Ste. Michelle, China Bend, Columbia, Costco, DiStefano, Goose Ridge, Hestia, Lake Chelan, Market Vineyards, Samson Estates, Tagaris, Three Rivers, Tildio, Waterbrook, and Whitman Cellars. Why do I get the feeling these wineries just threw away marketing dollars, as I could care less about the merits of “Meritage”? It’s like saying, “it’s not a celebrity porno video unless it says ‘Paris’ on it.”

Tonight’s food pairing was good ol’ QFC kalbi (medium rare). Pass.

Color: deep purple black. Nose: oak, blackberries. Mouthfeel: soft, unassuming. Tail trail: 5 seconds. Flavors: alcohol bloom, blackberries, some black cherry trailer. Balance: not much oomph! on either side. Power: nice sting of oak and alcohol. Depth: two black fruits. Finesse: scores higher on the whiplash pour; otherwise, does not invoke a lot of analysis.

Columbia Valley AVA. Music Pairing: “Ay Caramba!” by Ska Cubanos. Deep purple imprint on the cork. Alcohol: 14.6%. Rated: 88. Value: $16. Paid: $28. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

Note to self: there’s an odd moss-like residue on the inside of the bottle.

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