1st posted on December 25, 2009:
Welcome to the 92nd annual Woodinville Wine Honors! Oh wait…sorry, I’ve been told this is actually the 1st annual Woodinville Wine Honors! Let’s get started with the prelims:
WAwineman’s blog of the year: Lodmell Cellars! Omg, the dark-horse candidate wins! A combination of creativity and basic journalism, how scary the thought!
Alexandria Nicole Cellars: best Twitter presence, best benefits of a wine club, and best overall lineup of >10 wines, in Woodinville, for variety.
Betz Family Winery: another great release year with high expectations surpassed yet again. Hey Bob, where’s that Puget Sound AVA “estate” gruner veltliner you promised?
Celaeno Winery: anticipating that dry gewurztraminer and Minick Vineyard syrah! Hurry and bottle them thangs!
Columbia Winery/Chateau Ste. Michelle: can never thank you enough for being the two “feet” of the local wine industry that Woodinville (and the entire State) now run on. Without “u”, there is no “us”!
DeLille Cellars: for maintaining the eloquent, refined, and enriching experiences that a lineup of wines can bring to an event! Not a salty dog in the lineup.
Edmonds Winery: wishing you happy beginnings with CZ Cellars!
Efeste: best kept secret is the food made there! to go with the stellar wines! Best place to watch a game.
Guardian Cellars: if you really know how good your ‘Angel’ is…then make MORE!! State’s best sauvignon blanc.
JM Cellars: best location to fall flat on your face in the woods and no one notices! Personally attested. Hey, and the wines kick a’, but you already knew that.
Maison Bleue Winery: I’d kill to have the studly looks of Jon Martinez but he happens to be a nice guy, too. Best label for a wine…almost VanGogh-esque!
Pepper Bridge Winery: most anticipated opening for 2010! Can the local market absorb another uber-premium winery?
Robert Ramsay Cellars: most under-appreciated syrah. Gang, do NOT bypass this tasting room or you will miss out on one man’s amazing creation of a effin’-good syrah. We love Sparkman’s syrahs, but this is not only Robert’s bread-and-buttah, it’s also his ONLY offering!
Gard Vintners/Smasne/Farm Boy/Alma Terra: nice tasting room but we’re still waiting for a wine that pairs with head cheese. That is, if anyone dares try head cheese to begin with.
Sparkman Cellars: what is it about Chris? Is he average in anything he does? Criminy, think we have to go to his restaurant and make him sweat for once.
William Church Winery: best place to blog about wine. Best following for a winery’s malbec.
Woodhouse Family Cellars: biggest barrel room.
Woodinville Wine Cellars: best declassified wine–Woodinville Red.
“Geek” test: if you’ve tried–Coyote Canyon’s albarino, Syncline’s gruner veltliner, Hollywood Hill’s regent, and Chateau Ste. Michelle’s souzao/touriga…you’re a geek’s geek.
Best place (in the Puget Sound area that’s not Esquin) to buy a Washington State wine: Olson’s Food Emporium in Mukilteo. A dazzling array of choices greets the customer upon entry.
Best in white for 2009: JM Cellars 2008 chardonnay! Chardonnay will make a comeback and this wine will be the reason why.
Best wine for the money: Woodinville Red. $11.49 gets you a $27 wine. No contenders.
Number one wine for 2000-nine: tough call but it’s…Cote Bonneville 2006 cabernet sauvignon! Yes, it’s $200 now, but this is the wine everyone will talk about in the middle of the next decade. The winner beat out some impressive candidates in: Quilceda Creek 2006 Columbia Valley cabernet sauvignon, Charles Smith 2006 Royal City syrah (once in a generation syrah), and Betz’s 2006 Pere de Famille cabernet. Now, THAT’S competition.
Welcome to the Woodinville Wine Honors! Stop watching ‘Caddyshack’ on Versus!
The winner of Rookie of the Year 2009 is…Maison Bleue/Isenhower Cellars tasting room! Beautiful lighting, smart setup and Isenhower’s gorgeous lineup of wines on the shelf make this an easy choice!
Best tasting room in Woodinville 2009 goes to…Januik Winery/Novelty Hill Winery! Wow! Check out the bountiful parking, the ultra-modern interior, bu-ku space for big parties, spacious kitchen with fresh pizzas, and pedal-to-the-metal lineup of wines with a view of the barrel room makes this another rollover choice!
Ogod…here we go, Hottest Winemaker of 2009. Just what exactly is the scientific criteria of this category, I don’t know. Apparently, the lovely ladies who replied knew the answer. The winner is…Chris Gorman of Gorman Winery! Whatever “it” is, Chris has it…in spades, and not just his wines!
Final category: Best Wine of 2000-nine! What a fun decade it’s been. And to think, when the decade began, there was no ‘Woodinville Warehouse District’. Like that Virginia Slims slogan…”You’ve come a long way, baby!” There were many candidates, but only one could be chosen…and your winner is Columbia Winery 2007 ‘Lapis’! Oh my goodness, how can a “club” wine be a winner? Hey, any wine made or sold in Woodinville was eligible. It’s not my fault anyone missed out on a superb and open opportunity to try a “sculpted” wine from a deep-pockets winery that has access to the best grapes from many, many vineyards. I am not alone in this opinion. And, yes!, it’s a blend. A blend done to the highest standards such as this one is pure artistry in a bottle! Think of varietals as mono and blends as surround-sound, baby! Add to that, a newly remodeled tasting lounge with a flatbread oven and a sidebar and you have the recipe for a super, duper fun time that won’t be soon forgotten at a maginificent winery chateau. You owe it to your palate!