Rotie Cellars 2007 Southern Rhone blend red wine

Another WAwineman classic, 1st posted on January 14, 2010:

Everyone send Paul Z. of FullPullWines a happy birthday! He’s turning a glorious 30-something, even though his palate is far more advanced in age. Paul, on your final night as a 30-something-minus-1, this blog’s dedicated to you, brother.

How appropriate…Canada’s second-oldest magazine, est. 1920, is changing its name due to its double-entendre name…The Beaver. The magazine was originally derived from Canada’s illustrious fur trade, but it has recently become ensnared in the internet’s search filters due to its modern slang definition of a woman’s privates. However, as your hip-wine-blogger, I must intercede that today’s women have foregone the…uh, impression due to the re-invention of that other 1920’s (or so) invention called the…razor. Next report! A Polish prostitute was fined over $800k for back taxes. She said one of her customers paid her almost $2 million over a recent 5-year period. Okay, Sean, I know you have a lot of money due to your “now drinking” ultra-super, only-Sean-can-afford premium wines tweets and your latest trip to Napa Valley, oh and your chummy associations with that real-estate mafia at Corliss wines, but ya gotta cut those trips to the old Eastern-bloc nations, dude!

First, a nod to Paul, who started Full Pull Wines in October, 2009. A lot of hype in the local wine blogosphere initially got me signed up, then the emails of Paul’s offerings got me hooked. His business plan is quite unique, and quite adventurous for someone with a freshly-minted UW MBA. Isn’t the first rule of business success…diversification? Paul is doing what a growing number of locals dream of…focusing a business solely on Washington State wines! “Rocky” Zitarelli, since he’s originally from Philly, was originally a “foodie” before getting in touch with his inner “wine geek” and moved to Washington in 2004 and worked for the State as an economist before giving up the stable life for the “good life”. He was an original wine blogger before delving into the retail side of the wine industry. Paul knew a lot of the wines he was blogging about had no serious distribution so those wines never had much of a chance outside the local inner circle of winos. Being the genuiste that he is, he drives the miles to personally discover the wines he offers to his clientele, visits the vineyards and interviews the winemakers to ensure the products he offers is true to his beliefs. What’s most appealing to his customers (I am one of those originals) is that he secures pricing that is extremely competitive, and more so if your order is picked up on Thursdays. He does mailings but that defeats one of Full Pull’s unique treats and that is his Thursday tastings, which include a “blind” tasting. It’s quite a humbling experience, especially for wine bloggers who think they know their wines. Thankfully, I’m not one who admits to such but have been lucky to guess this week’s blind correct, albeit varietally only. Most important, spend some time with Paul and you will know what a humble and interesting character he is. If you rate wines 96-100 as a “classic”, then, my friend, include Paul in that section as a person.

As for Rotie Cellars, go read his take on it, as I have nothing better to add to that.
Tonight’s pairing is homemade chili with BallPark Deli-Style Beef hot dogs. All the condiments came from cans from QFC with a pound of ground beef. I like my food simple, as you know from my lunch today of spaghetti sauce on Top Ramen noodles! As a “charming” note–I had my bowl ready on the table, I had just poured the wine into my Riedel stem, and whadda ya know…I ended up smelling the bowl of chili, thinking it was the wine. Totally retarded. But!, a most wonderful pairing for us cheap-eats folks. And, originally, I wanted a Coke, but knowing Paul’s birthday…hey bud, this one’s for you.

Color: purple-black right to the rim. Nose: strawberry and plum notes. Mouthfeel: middleweight and unassuming. Tail trail: 5 seconds. Flavors: plum, black cherry, smoke, black licorice, black pepper in the mid (oh syrah), grilled ribeye on the tail, and some dark earth to finish. I need neck paper because there’s lots of delightful crap going on in my throat. Balance: smooth like gluteus maximus. Power: subdued but not muted. Dimension: goes deep to the core for a Rhone blend. Finesse: I’m thinking Kristi Yamaguchi.

Horse Heaven Hills AVA. Grenache 55%, syrah 35%, mourvedre 10%. 100% French oak, all second fills. Alcohol: 14.2%. Bottled August 22, 2008. Acidity: 0.67%. pH 3.78. 400 cases. 38 cases remain at the winery. Rated: 93. Value: $45. Paid: $31. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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