Another WAwineman classic, 1st posted on November 25, 2009:
On this Thanksgiving, I give thanks that Washingtonians do not have that Orygun mentality. Portland’s mass transit agency fired a light-train operator after he ignored a father’s call for help after the train left behind his 3-year old son. Was he buzzed on Golden Gate Vintners?? What was that on the telephone pole in the U-District? Oh, that was a “lost” poster of Vladimir Putin’s missing…Siberian tiger. Something about a dead battery on its collar. They spend billions on national defense, but can’t afford the $1.49 to stick a dime-sized battery on a cat’s collar. No wonder half the country is drunk on cheap wodka. Rednecks cross the Mason-Dixon Line: a 39-year old Indiana fool called police to report his truck stolen and his child missing. Police figured he was too drunk to remember where he parked after entering a strip club (in a high crime area) and leaving his 5-year old in a tractor-trailer, unlocked and keys in the ignition, watching cartoons. Needless to conclude, the fool was arrested. And, how fitting for the occasion, a lardy MI man broke into an apartment and fled with the family’s holiday turkey out of the freezer. Such is the holiday spirit these days…
Vine & Sun LLC started up in 2001 by five partners who shared a common interest in wine. The result was the birth of Barons V winery in the Chatter Creek/Hestia Cellars side of Woodinville. Very little is known publicly of this winery, other than an annual members-only release party. Barons V only puts out a cabernet sauvignon which is held for three years. For the 2005 vintage, they also released a syrah. Matthew Loso, formerly of Matthews Cellars, is the consulting winemaker. There is no tasting room or store site and the website is sparse, at best. That said, I found this bottle at Costco Woodinville quite intriguing as this is probably my closest encounter I will have with a Barons V wine. That’s why I bought it. It sure wasn’t because of the cheap labeling.
On opening, the cork had the darkest “spot” I have ever seen. It is a deep black, folks. So, I had high hopes that maybe this would easily knock off “Woodinville Red” as the year’s best deal. The nose from the first pour, at around 65 degrees, reminded me of scraping the grill the day after a backyard party. Very strong aromas of charred meat to go with blackberry elixir. A first taste was surprisingly light in carriage and a very soft, transparent tail trail that truly perplexed me. This wine is way off balance. Fortunately, due to its fluffiness, it mixed well with Beechers Smoked Flagship cheese, but obliterated my other snacks: li hing soft mango mui and Almond Joy (leftovers from Halloween, so give me a break, eh!). Thankfully, the wine settled down and played nicely with homemade nachos topped with chili, fresh cut onions and tomatoes, along with a dollop of sour cream. A very puzzling bottle.
Color: blackish purple. Nose: entrails scraped off the grill, black currants that transition to violet rhodies. Mouthfeel: warm but fluffy. Tail trail: 4 seconds. Flavors: black pepper, blackberry, soft bite of tannins, licorice.
Alcohol: 14.1%. Unfiltered. Btw, the “88” rating is generous, I know. Columbia Valley AVA. Rated: 88. Value: $15. Paid: $17. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.