Goose Ridge Vineyards 2005 Vireo red wine

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

Oh, I knew it was coming around…be glad if you are a woman, that you are a woman after you read the following. (sigh). A 20-year old Ohio man, dressed as a Breathalyzer test, was stopped by police after driving the wrong way down a one-way street without headlights on Halloween night. He blew a 0.158% with beer on his front seat and in his trunk. His next outfit is a mudhole because that’s what it will feel like when he’s in jail with “Bubba”. A TN man will not be washing his truck for awhile after he claims the face of Jesus Christ appeared in the condensation on his window. Btw, the color of his truck is red, as in redneck. An Alabama man was pulled over by police as a suspicious drunk driver, but when the man stumbled out of the car during the stop, he proclaimed, “I just stole this truck!” Ok, can I just put my XY genes on ice for a little bit?

Every once in a while, I will “express” a wine through my backlog of wines for whatever trivial reason. In this case, Goose Ridge’s owners, Bill Monson and Molly Stutesman, will be signing bottles this weekend, 10am-5pm each day, at the Costco in Woodinville. I’ve never heard of Goose Ridge or their second label, Stonecap, but the basic fact that Costco will be featuring their wines tells me Goose Ridge is on the verge of becoming a major player in Washington State. I read somewhere that the Monson family has been farming in the Columbia Valley for over 4 decades and, at the advice of Dr. Walter Clore, planted vines just off of the Red Mountain AVA and recorded their first harvest in 1998. As if one legend wasn’t enough, acclaimed winemaker, Charlie Hoppes of Fidelitas Winery, guides the vineyard and the making of Goose Ridge’s all estate-grown wines. The winery started with 3000 cases and has now grown to over 35,000 cases annually. The vineyard’s in Benton City and the winery’s in Richland. And for one weekend only, the winery’s owners will be in Woodinville. This is one winery that flew “under the radar” and is ready to spread its wings!

Following up on the DeLille Cellars ‘D2’, I chose this bottle over the estate syrah just to maintain some consistency for my weak tastebuds. At $16, I felt this was a good bet for a deal and sure enough, the winery’s website posted a retail of $30. The bottle is a sleek silk-screened design with well-spaced lettering and an outline of the Vireo bird (think wood warbler) on an olive-green bottle. Paired with the same pizza as last night. That’s what I like about my reviews…the wines are judged in its “natural” setting. Hope you readers can appreciate that like I do. No sip-n-spit, no perfect exotic food pairings, and no rush to quick judgment. And, no hangups over a ratings number. It is what it is. Take it or leave it. But, I digress. Back to the pizza, the wine was more subtle at opening, choosing to hide its bouquet and subdue its juicy flavors. As I write this, a couple hours post-digestion, the nose has fully bloomed and the tiger has been let out of its cage. I can now say the wine is almost on par with DeLille’s ‘D2’. This is a wine for those who like a smoother balance from start to finish. Quite classy in its consistency of delivery. Another piece of work from Admiral Charlie!

Color: translucent velvety purple. Nose: black cherry perfume, fluffy raspberries, Pier 1 rattan, vanilla essence, slight whiff of canned ravioli wafting from the microwave. Mouthfeel: fit like Gilad. Tail trail: 5 seconds. Flavors: black cherry, blackberries in late September, near-ripe plum, pencil shavings, a little Tijuana leather, lots of subtle flavors going on.

Think of the flute and piccolo in an orchestra. On opening, I’d rate this an 88. After 2 hours, this rose to a 91. Value: $15 (on opening), $30 (after 2 hours). Quite remarkable how well this opened up. Worth the wait if you have the time. A steal at $16 and it’s from the 2005 vintage. I’m getting more. Columbia Valley AVA (from estate Goose Ridge Vineyards). 24% cab sau, 37% merlot, 39% syrah. pH 3.85. TA 0.57. Alcohol: 14.7%. Aged 12 months in French and USA oak then blended and returned to barrel for 10 more months. Fact sheet. Rated: 88. Paid: $16. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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