Barnard Griffin NV Cabernet – Merlot red wine

Another early WAwineman classic, 1st posted on February 2, 2008:

Ahh, there’s nothing like sampling a good wine after a beatdown session. Who says wine is not good to have after a tough workout? I don’t think so. With all the proanthocyanidins and reservatrol and who knows what else is good that’s in there, I feel my fatigued body stays loose and can recover quicker. I wouldn’t put it in my electrolyte refresher during a workout, but think of it as more a reward for ‘going the distance’, as all wines should be.
Segway into tonight’s choice from BG. I’ve wanted to try Rob Griffin’s wines for the longest of time. His wines are plastered all over the area’s wine lists at fine restaurants. Priced very reasonably, it’s easy to pass on when trying to impress the honeys. When Rob was the winemaker at Hogue Cellars back in the late 80s, I did try one at Anthony’s (used to have great salmon) in Edmonds. Nothing spectacular but nothing regretted. He is quite the respectfully opinionated one for a winemaker…a trait sorely lacking in today’s youth. Barnard Griffin officially opened in 1983, same time as one of my wine club entries–L’Ecole No. 41), and is also run by his wife, Deborah Barnard. Rob grew up in Oakville, just outside of Napa, and was destined to be a winemaker. In 1977, he was the first winemaker for Preston Wine Cellars in Pasco, WA and that’s where he started to produce award-winning wines. In the last decade, he’s averaged around 40 awards per year for his nearly two dozen varieties. In 2006, Wine Press Northwest blessed his winery as the Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year. Paul Gregutt  considers Barnard Griffin one of thirty “specialty” wineries, the cream of the crop, in the state of Washington. This is a class winery, folks, so don’t be fooled by the price. Last year, he produced over 65,000 cases…big on a small scale, small on a big scale. All I know is, that’s a lot of good wine.
With that (finally!), I pair BG’s NV cabernet merlot with….tuh-duhhh!, eggs over-easy with carmelized potatoes and carrots. What??, you say! Sunday morning meets Saturday night?! Absolutely. Everyone knows this will match a steak. Duh. This is a non-conventional match cuz I’m a non-conventional kinda dude (read: uneducated). And besides, wine on Sunday morning just doesn’t cut it…respect, remember? So, Sunday morning meets Saturday night. Here we go… I did add a healthy topping of refrigerated Heinz ketchup to the plate (red for red) and this pairing was pretty good. The cab-merlot has a mild nose of roses, but its strength is in the mouth. Several layers of red fruit (raspberries and a little cherry, but not strawberries) expose themselves and leave a tail of about 2 seconds. No burn from the tannins. Very mellow and an excellent everyday wine. It did cut through the molten savoriness of liquid egg yolk quite well and danced like a star with the ketchup and ‘tatoes. My alpha-fibers give it three quick contractions.
Alcohol: 13.2%. 53% cab sau, 44% merlot, 3% cab franc. Location: Richland (part of the Tri-Cities and near the original ‘bomb-ass’ place called Hanford). Rated 87 (WS). Beautiful label with the tulips. Value: $16. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated, but not uncouth.
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