Another WAwineman classic, 1st posted on November 30, 2009:
Overheard at a recent private wine party at the home of a “famous top 100 list writer” somewhere in the town of Waitsburg on a recent crisp evening…
Party thrower: “Yo’ Greg, buddy, thanks for hooking me up with that sold-out 2006 cabernet. I’ll pay ya back with a juicy rating like I do with all your fellow Walla Walla bruthas. Those Woodinville hoodies don’t know how to roll like you homeys do.”
Greg: “No problem, Scatman. Just show me a lotta love come your “Top 100″ time, ‘k? I luv tellin’ all the bandwagon hoppers that call the next day to git on my waiting list, suckas!”
Rick walks by and stops to bash knuckles. Rick: “Say blood, don’t downgrade my wine just cuz I’ve been around so long and don’t need the free ad space, there brother. I heard you might be dissing my ‘Old Vines’ in favor of a white this time. Don’t do it, home-fries! I charge large for them suckas and need to clear ’em out of my warehouse so I can sell some cheap trinkets that make me mo’ money!”
Party thrower: “Rick, you just be kissin’ my grits like the other homeys. Hey, luv that new ‘Reserve House’ tasting room you got there! That was some wild square dancing on them tables there last weekend! And you can just backup the trailer to my shed and unload all your ‘Artist Series’ holdovers cuz I’ve been Jones-ing for some fine red juice, lately.”
Chuck joins in: “Yo, I’d do it but I heard you been doing ’21 Grams’ lately. Better watch out, them Waitsburg cops be all over you!”
Party thrower: “Chucky Cheese! Yo, you need to auction off some of your locks on eBay, homey. With that syrah you made out from wherever you found that vineyard…was it Oroville, Okanogan? (laughs out loud) I say, sheeeee-ite man, everything you touch turns to gold lately.”
Chuck: “Dude, you need to double up on that gingko. The vineyard’s in Othello, man. Anyway, I got that nebuchadnezzar of the Royal City you wanted in my trunk. I better be at the top of the list this year or you ain’t gettin’ Queensryche for your backyard barbecue this summer, scud.”
So, if you want some explanation as to why someone’s ‘top 100’ wine list might have a Walla Walla-tilt to it this year…
Alia Wines is that “other” Snohomish winery (the other being, uh, think now…Quilceda Creek) that started up in the last few years. Note that I am not giving you readers much information because there isn’t a whole lot out there to begin with. The website is as lacking as there ever is, short of knowing that “John” is the winemaker. And, there’s no info anywhere on any of their supposed eight varietals as listed with the Washington Wine Commission.
This is what I can tell you…I bought this at a Wine Styles franchise store in Marysville last month for $22. What sold me was the name (I recognized it after reading it somewhere and not finding it anywhere) and the gorgeous artwork and layout on the label. I’m talking about an abstract, multi-colored painting of what I think is a field of tall grasses framed on bitter orange with four large, white free-written letters of the winery bridging the two. Quite unique.
Color: deep ruby and black down the middle. Nose: blackberries, cassis, black cherry, spice rack, Puerto Rican cigar. Mouthfeel: a bit lighter than expected. Tail trail: 3 seconds. Flavors: warm blackberry pie, burnt hamburger, a mild lift in the mid-palate to black cherry jubilee, black licorice, slight tart on the finish.
Columbia Valley AVA. Alcohol: 14.9%. No back label. Rated: 89. Value: $20. Paid: $22. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.