Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2006 tempranillo

Another WAwineman classic, 1st posted on September 9, 2009:

What’s going on in Washington State these days?? Crush is on! Release parties galore! Microsoft’s annual employee is on Tuesday at Safeco Field. And Referendum 71 will finally be put to a vote. Kinda reminds me of the old days so think I’ll be going to the Bravern’s opening on Saturday…oh, but wait!, Betz, Gorman, and many other Woodinville wineries will be throwin’ so guess I’ll pass on that $3000 Gucci suit for now. Another reason Tacoma hates Seattle…Russell Investments iz a moving to WaMu Center next year. If the recession is over, then why ain’t I buying a case of Quilceda Creek? Recession ain’t over for that last 10% of unemployed folks. And, Ellen DeGeneres is named “American Idol” host…yeah, uh I bought her top ten single wayyyy back. Oh yeah, she’s qualified to judge musical talent.

9-9-09! Only one winery celebrated this phreaky event by putting their white wines on sale today. Word got out on Twitter so I researched and figured it was basically a 50% off sale so I bee-lined it to the warehouse district. Nobody was around when I strutted into the tasting room but a crowd followed close behind. I sampled their lineup then grabbed their white wines for $9.99 a bottle (half price). Now, that’s a deal, folks. Premium, single-vineyard wines for a value price. Kudos to Kathy for conjuring up the splendid marketing idea!

The winery is named after the winemaker’s wife, Ali Boyle. The first vines were planted in 1998, a full 7 years before the Horse Heaven Hills was officially recognized. There are now 15 Vitis Vinifera varietals planted, one of the most diverse in the State. A gentle south-facing slope situated about 800 feet next to the mighty Columbia River, Destiny Ridge is ideally suited to growing wine grapes without worry of suffering from extremes in temperature. For me, I’ve seen only a few of their wines for sale in markets so I would still classify this winery as a “boutique”. They currently offer 15 bottlings, mostly reds, with a comfortable tasting room in the Woodinville North warehouse district. What’s unique is their club area, which is hidden behind a wineshelf next to the counter. I must say this… that room is a biiiiiig incentive to join their wine club, and if I wasn’t already attached to Betz, DeLille, Quilceda Creek, L’Ecole No 41, etc… then you could safely bet I’d be signing up. Tasting room environments do have a major impact on enrollment, for all you winery owners out there!

Say hey, so tonight’s happy hour was almost as diverse as AN’s lineup. I lacked salsa in the fridge so I threw: Beecher’s Smoked Flagship (gold standard) cheese, pickled ginger!, Kettle Brand spicy Thai potato chips, Korean-style kettle popcorn, and Ruffles Light potato chips (think styrofoam…). Good matches all around. The wine brought out the sweetness hidden in the spicy Thai chips and I was pleasantly surprised at the match with pickled ginger…of all things. Folks, when you try new combos, there’s a mega-surprise waiting to reward you.

Color: magenta-purple. Nose: blackberry, dark plum. Mouthfeel: Usain Bolt for a red. Tail trail: 4 seconds. This is a terrific red wine for those averse to the explosive cabernets.

Horse Heaven Hills AVA. 72 cases (less than a case left at the tasting room and you can no longer get it on their website). Aged 18 months in French oak. pH 3.76. TA 0.65%. Residual sugar: 0.1%. Alcohol: 14.5%. Rated: 92. Value: $50. Paid: $55. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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