Envious Winemakers NV Woodinville Red wine

Another WAwineman classic, 1st posted on October 5, 2009:

Median house price in Seattle is a paltry $382k, including that generous federal credit. Aside from the computer nerds, I’m wondering who the heck can afford a “median” home in this area? We’re talking some 1950’s rambler that was originally a “walk-in” closet by today’s standards, with lead pipes and single-pane insulation. Western WA has its own “X Files” going on in Granite Falls with a suspected “Airplane Cowboy” hiding in the woods. Seems authorities cannot catch a suspected 18-year old Camano Island fugitive. D. B. Cooper lives! The U.S. Olympic Committee loves this part of the State. After their embarrassing loss of the ’16 Olys to Brazil, they took out their frustrations on a small-town daily newspaper, The Olympian. Let’s see, the city of…whoa, the capital city of Olympia was founded in 1859. The modern-day Olys started in 1896. Who was here first? Me thinks the USOC needs to take their “notice”, shine it up real nice, turn it sideways,…and shove it up their bungholes!

Onto more important issues. Okay, so I’m perusing the wine aisles at the local Fred Meyer (aka Kroger) when I come across this odd find called “Woodinville Red” comprising the entire front label (in maroon and white colors). So, I’m thinking this is some Cali winery wishing they were one of “us”, until I look at the back label. This is where the fun begins, folks. It says, “Produced and bottled by Envious Winemakers Woodinville, Washington.”

Okay, who the heck is “Envious Winemakers”?? Expose yourselves! (It’s Woodinville Wine Cellars). Well, not like that, but…who are you, these so-called “Envious Winemakers”? A Google search and WWC lookup proved fruitless. How can this band of oddfellows get away with this anonymity? I wanted to ask the Fred Meyer wino-in-charge but she was nowhere to be found. A later search revealed this…”This non-vintage wine was aged in 100% French oak barrels and includes varietals from two different vintages with fruit sourced from the best wineries in the state! The flavor profile has very ripe aromas with blackberry jam undertones. It’s full-bodied and rich with chewy fruit coated tannins and a medium finish.” That’s an accurate statement, believe it or not. Whoever the wine bottlers are, hey!, you have nothing to be ashamed of. I was skeptical at first, but once I poured this juice into my Riedel Bourdeaux glass, I sensed this was going to be a tremendous value. The bouquet reminded me of Betz’s and Mark Ryan’s wines. I wouldn’t be surprised if this had lots of DeLille “D3” fruitprints in it. The color is heavy maroon with a royal purple rim. I wasn’t even planning to open up a wine but I was enjoying my penne pasta with turkey Bolognese so much, I had to open a red, after finishing off the last of the white wine from the last review. Folks, this is a pig-in-the-blanket roasting on an open fire. And, if you watched Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” Philippines, you know what I’m talkin’ ’bout.

Nose: cassis, purple flowers, dark plum, Betz cabernet (uber fragrant), Mark Ryan merlot. Mouthfeel: middleweight warm. Tail trail: 6 seconds. Flavors: blackberries, plum, black pepper, old Spalding baseball glove, bittersweet chocolate shavings.

Alcohol: 14.5%. Contains cab sau, cab franc and merlot (Bourdeaux blend). The color of an uber-premium wine. Rated: 90. Value: $27. Paid: $12. Leading candidate for deal of the year! This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

P.S. 24 hrs later, this wine (stored in the fridge) is still going strong. Only a slight loss in the bouquet. Whoever are the real winemakers took great care in aging these grapes. I suspected this wine had aging potential. So far, we’re looking at about 5 years, but why wait? The fruit is in full expression right now. I’ll do one final test at 48 hours. While I stake my so-called wine review “reputation” with every bottle, this is one you’ll want to buy for Christmas gifts. Think–on par with Betz, DeLille, Gorman, and Mark Ryan quality but at about a third to a sixth of the price. Discard the bottle and that’s what I thought of this wine. Quite a shocker.

P.P.S. 48 hrs later, a little more fade in the bouquet but fruit still upright. Took a big whiff and that beautiful fruit still slogged me in the nose. Tail trail down to 4+ seconds with no big bloom. Fruit still forward on the palate. Only a very fine multiple trail of micro-sediment. Very impressive! So, this may have a 15+ year cellar life, after all. Is this the mythical “D3”? Or, the “Poody Tat de Famille”?                          

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