Another early WAwineman classic, 1st posted on June 15, 2008:
Had a great time out in Woodinville North this weekend. Tried some new releases as well as unreleased wines from at least 7 wineries and my only regret is I couldn’t ‘touch ’em all’. It’s a wine lover’s amusement park simply for the variety of wineries offered.
Let’s start off at the Mark Ryan block…this one’s Giant Wine Co. and had their new release party for their Sinner’s Punch. Think I’ll get the 2006 ‘Evil Twin’ after Kool and the Gang’s “Jungle Boogie” was blaring off the speaker right over one of the barrels. Next stop, William Church Winery. Oh, their malbec was something else not seen around these parts (also the winner of Outstanding WA Red Varietal at the ’08 Seattle Wine Awards). Then, to Cuillin Hills Winery where I met the venerable Derek DV. Derek, you are one funny and engaging dude. Next, Arlington Road Cellars where Robin and her mom gave a terrific talk about their winery and their mindset. Dropped off my three purchased bottles at the car, then onto XS Vintners for a true pit stop. Unique approach to their wines as Michael explained why their current offerings are still from the ’03 vintage. Darren DV overslept so Des Voignes was closed so onto Anton Ville where Janiece and Andrew were such good hosts. They offered me olives to go with their cab sau and it was a dern good match. Nice crafts hanging on the wall, too. Final stop, Edmonds Winery to meet WineTraveler. Thanks for the invite! The wine and commentary were super. I was pretty darn toast by then and my bladder was filling up so I couldn’t finish the tour. All’n’all, I bought 13 bottles from my 7 stops, so everyone benefited from my travels. And these weren’t token bottles, I bought the best available (for my uneducated taste) and will be reviewing them all summer. A little bit of merlot, sau blanc, chard, riesling, red blends, and a gaggle of syrahs. And a special thank you to all the wineries that were supposed to charge $5 a tasting but let it slide. You must have known I was gonna buy at least one bottle, regardless. But, I digress.
First up is this blend from a very small boutique winery with owners that could double for most-favored aunt and uncle. Generous to almost a fault, I could feel their genuine welcome and warm coversation. In a most unique setting for wine tasting, this couple sets themselves apart with their old-time ambience. Plus, they were one of the few to offer that rare grape called a chardonnay so I just had to get one. Paired tonight was a lovely ribeye from Albertson’s pimped with a concoction of lavender, Hawaiian salt and kukui nut from Ali’l Kula Lavender Maui, finished to a crisp char for a medium to medium-rare. The steak had just enough spice to go with lots of juice and made this match very good. Add a side of buttered and peppered corn kernels to go with Cyrus O’Leary’s sour cream lemon pie and chocolate pie, and I’d say this was a boo-ya! supper.
Alcohol: 14.1%. Merlot 70%, cab sau 16%, cab franc 14%. Synthetic cork (very difficult to remove–use a Screwpull). Winery named after Andrew’s grandfather who came over from the old country so these wines exhibit good ol- fashioned hard work. Too drunk to remember what they told me about this wine.
Nose: soft raspberry and cherry. Color: dark plum. Mouthfeel: 12-pound bowling ball. Tail trail: 4 seconds. Flavors of: black cherry, blackberry, scorched earth, and heat. Value: $20. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.