Dowsett Family 2008 Celilo Vineyard gewurztraminer

Another WAwineman classic, 1st posted on April 8, 2010:

Candidate for ‘stupid idiot news of the year’: a local so-called “wine blogger” had her website hacked and is now loaded with a virus waiting for any moron to click the “yes” button. The victimized owner claims to be an executive with some ad agency that tracks ‘social media’. First of all, I have previously DM’d this person and she’s a sincerely pleasant-sounding individual, so this is nothing personal. Next, I have been an occasional reader of her website and what I find so ironic is that while she has been writing about wine-related topics for about ten years, her posts have been nothing but superficial, rah-rah bits of pathetic information that leaves me about as satiated as walking out of a cheap Chinese restaurant. And, to think she’s a big-titled social media “expert” but obviously doesn’t have her fundamentals down…like, webpage security. Perhaps, some other wino was equally disappointed in her blog and decided to destroy it by hacking it. While I do not condone such a response (or action), that’s one less near-worthless “wine” blog in this world (and I’m not talking about myself, btw).

Time for a commercial break from my Woodinville Warehouse District of Puget Sound AVA tour. Let’s hear a word from our sponsor…Full Pull Wines! (I jest, ok?)

Hallo fiends. (Imagine Paul Z. sitting in a phat La-Z-Boy by a warm fireplace, dressed in a Marcus Whitman Hotel bathrobe, legs crossed, with a glass of Mountain Dome bubbly) I hope everyone was miserable from the long week of cold and rain. I happen to share a birthday with William Hung, and so I had occasion to spend a sunny week in cozy Lowden tasting extravagant Walla Walla white wines and hearing many compelling stories from about 850 different producers. At least, that’s what they told me.

Along with the usual suspects, I sampled Colombard, Neuburger, Tannat, Corvina, Niagra, Lambrusca and Paisano; many exciting expressions of Washington terroir that I will be offering to those who paid to get on my customer list, while those on the waiting list will just have to continue sipping their mislabeled Gallo pinot noir. Now I’m off to the Dundee Hills for two more days of “research”, but before I go, here is a tasty offering to start your miserable weekend. After all, you are not me.

Back in 1984, when I was a kid growing up in the secluded suburbs of Philadelphia, having afternoon tea with Julius Erving before I schooled him in “taking it to his house”, I used to bike around our block and pause at a house and scoff at the front lawn full of weeds as well as the shuttered front windows. Then, one day, I paused for a different reason: there were about a dozen hearses parked outside that very house. By the time I got home to tell my parents the story, word had spread that my favorite house was the final resting place of Steve Carlton, Tug McGraw, Ron Jaworski, and Darryl Dawkins. Apparently, the New York Mets, Dallas Cowboys, and Boston Celtics had collaborated to assassinate and dehydrate my sports heroes.

You may be wondering at this point what in the world this story has to do with wine. Well, after a visit by your Washington Wineman in my headquarters, I was left with a similar feeling. From the exterior of this humanoid, you would have no idea that inside of him, a man is toiling away to confuse people that he actually has a palate. After the visit (and his pathetically poor guess at the brown bag blind tasting…he said “chardonnay”…for a red wine! The big oaf.), I was struck by the thought that he was fighting an internal battle with his other personalities. Most of his stories will remain unknown, but I’m happy to have the chance to blow away his lame, wine-kook thinking that Columbia Winery makes the best gewürztraminer around these parts.

Chris Dowsett is the unofficial mayor of the Columbia Gorge AVA; and whether that’s by love or gunpoint, you just have to visit the place to find out yourself. The grapes come from a 1984 block (ahh, coincidence?!) and Chris has been vinting a gewurz since 1996. This bottling is his sixth version of single-vineyard Celilo. He ferments to a low residual sugar of 0.48%, yet steers clear of the bitter, off-flavors. Only neutral barrels are used for aging. If there’s any instant-credibility, try this: Chris has been assisting Caleb Foster with the wines of Buty Winery.

Color: shiny light gold. Nose: apricot blossoms (Paul said orange), fresh-peeled lychees. Mouthfeel: honey-thick. Tail trail: 4 seconds. Flavors: orange nectar, blood orange spice, pineapple, lychee, limon, sushi ginger. Zarelli…you nailed it. Balance: Barnum and Bailey juggling a basket of fruits. Power: substantial. Depth: fruit fight at H-Mart. Finesse: great alone or with supermarket rotisserie chicken.

Alcohol: 13.9%. Extra-long neck bottle. Music pairing: “Beggin” by Madcon (alternate version here). Rated: 92. Value: $24. Paid: $18. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

Btw…Zitarelli, you are a poet, not a negociant. Your poetry has sold me on many a wine I would have otherwise passed on by others. And, I don’t regret a single purchase.

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