Gordon Brothers 2007 merlot

Another WAwineman classic, 1st posted on March 27, 2010:

I admit for the 1st time, a tie between plain odd news and local news. I’ll let you decide. A drunk 55 year-old Punxsutawney man was seen trying to resuscitate a long-dead opossum on the highway…versus…Bob Ferguson, the chairman of the King Co. Metro Council, is challenging Rob McKenna, the State attorney general, over the decision to join a lawsuit challenging the recent health-care resolution passed by Congress. “What’s the deal, WAwineman?” you ask? Both attended UW and I was on the committee that hired Bob to be the student government’s political advocate. He was my vote on that committee. Rob was the ASUW president before I showed up. Duct tape isn’t the answer this time: an 18 year-old MI man wrapped his shoes in duct tape in an attempt to conceal his shoes after robbing a store (perhaps he should have duct taped his clothes too?) …versus… more locals stealing money that ain’t theirs—a hotshot Bellevue homebuilder pocketing more than $600k in sales tax, a Lynnwood woman pilfering $76k from a youth soocer club, and a man who robbed a Woodinville bank and rode away on a bike.

While I originally planned for focusing on Woodinville tasting-room wines a month ago, crap got in the way so this deal had to be delayed some. Let me say this—there are currently three wine destinations in this great State: Woodinville, Prosser, and Walla Walla. What I mean is that there are enough wineries in those cities where any Joe Blow can run around, taste more than a few wines, and get a very good “feel” for what Washington State wines are all about. I would also go further and announce that leading candidates to join this illustrious group include: Lake Chelan, Mattawa, Snohomish, and Seattle. When Lake Chelan starts making 95+ rated wines, when Mattawa wakes up from its cozy wine-manufacturing-only plants (hint: add a tasting room to go with the taco trucks), when Snohomish steals all of Everett’s wineries, and when Seattle gives wineries a better location than SoDo (South of the Dump off), then and only then will wine become part of the fabric of this great State.

Then, there was the shocker of the month: Seattle Magazine named grenache as this year’s “emerging varietal”, the morning after I lamely tried to provide an alternative viewpoint on Sean’s “…mighty Malbec” blog by promoting grenache as superior to malbec for its elegance. My thinking was: malbec is passé just like cabernet franc. Notice no one is touting cabernet franc this year. Blah! I tasted some wicked grenaches from Betz Family Winery, Dusted Valley Vintners, Alexandria Nicole Cellars, and Maison Bleue and blends from Columbia Winery (Lapis), and Rotie Cellars. Grenache will be Washington’s version of Oregon pinot noir. Bet your Riedel on it.

By the way, I am not advocating you buy Seattle Mag. Nothing against them, other than the lack of true transparency in their procedures. Notice, these “trendy” mags and wine competitions never EVER tell you all the participating wineries in each category of judging? What is the true meaning of a “double gold” versus “gold”? What was the criteria of choosing a wild-haired winemaker for their “winemaker of the year” and just what does that mean anyway? Winemakers are chemists. They are not movies or singers. And, what of the “winemaker to watch”? Watch what? Watch what kind of fast food he/she eats? Watch how stressed out they get at harvest time when there’s no available crushers due to an early frost? “Best emerging wine region”…oh yeah, that’s ripe. Let’s see…Lake Chelan with twenty-plus wineries or Snipes Mountain that has maybe one winery and a couple of vineyards? How about Rattlesnake Hills? How about the recent rabbit-fied multiplication of Walla Walla wineries? Just what is defined as “emerging” anyway?

Tonight’s food pairing was Uwajimaya Korean short-ribs, aka kalbi. Oh yeah…QFC cannot compete with this. Anyone who is a true connoisseur of kalbi knows it takes many days in marination to make a true kalbi. The best I ever had was from the now-defunct Aloha Teriyaki in Mill Creek. The meat was marinated for two whole weeks before grilling. No one has come close since. A real tragedy for this area. Oh, and a great pairing it was.

Color: standard dark red. Nose: oakilicious, Bing cherry, geez…hate to say this but a mild scent of walking over a sewer cap. Mouthfeel: dense. Tail trail: 5 seconds. Flavors: oak, black cherry, raspberry, black pepper, heat, tannins, spice. Balance: wobbly. Power: alcohol plume. Depth: there’s oak and there’s some bitter tart fruit. Finesse: a little clumsy.

Columbia Valley AVA. Music pairing: “Tie A Yellow Ribbon” by Tony Orlando and Dawn. 93% merlot, syrah 5%, cab sau 2%. Aged 9 months in French and USA oak. pH 3.7. TA 0.538%. Alcohol: 13.7%. 5000 cases. Rated: 87. Value: $13. Paid: $20. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

On Twitter was a contest to win a ticket (with me) to attend the Quilceda Creek release party: name the song, artist and release-year for “I thirst to be thirsty in…” No winners. Earn it, baby!

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