Brian Carter Cellars 2005 Abracadabra red wine

Another early WAwineman classic, 1st posted on October 20, 2008:

Puget Sound truck drivers are world-class, baby. What I would have given to have been right behind that truck on I-5 that hocked up its goodies of candy, hot dogs and ice cream (3 of my 4 food groups…with #4 being WAwine of course!). Then, there’s that jackknifed truck on the Ship Canal that got cut off likely by a techie driver (they only know how to drive in video games). And for an encore, let’s give that one-finger salute to the Alaskan Viaduct hit the concrete guardrail-and-run truck driver that sent a mammoth chunk of faux-East German concrete crashing to the sidewalk below (did you see that? It fell 30 feet and was still in one piece!). Good thing I wasn’t smoking my Cuban cigars on break this morning. Alert, alert, please turn in your ‘willy spread’ (all flavors) back to the London, uh, adult toy shops as it too is tainted with melamine. And, seriously, what was the point in Sarah Palin’s SNL appearance? I was one of the 17 million who saw that and, well, SNL is still quite boring…about as much as yours truly, but I still haven’t confirmed 17 million are reading my blogs. Oh well.

On to a nice quaff from this respected winery that’s been scoring high numbers recently. Brian Carter, another UC-Davis grad, started his vinting while at Apex Cellars back in 1997. Before that, he was ‘the man’ responsible for putting Paul Thomas on the wine map after his ’83 cab sau stomped on Chateau Lafite Rothschild on a tasting at Windows of the World. I was too busy grinding to The Knack’s “My Sharona” when Brian settled in to WA, so I consider him a pioneer in the modern rise of WA wines. Brian’s signature is his Bourdeaux blend, “Solesce”, so leave it to me to go after his second fiddle. Hey, my uneducated saying is that a winery’s strength lies in its lessest known product. (lessest? least?) I’ve tried several times to pay a visit to the tasting room which is a dinner bun’s throw from Purple Cafe in Woodinville/Redmond, but always too late as I have too much fun with those party boyz at DeLille and Betz. I’ll keep trying as Brian’s wines are getting more national notoriety.

Tonight’s enteral nutrition included Campbell’s Chunky chicken corn chowder and…what else?, 2008 Depression-style leftovers of spaghetti and Costco baked chicken parmegiana. Nothing spectacular, which is the point. This is a fine table wine for casual eating. Even though it is made with leftover wine from Brian’s bigger-named stuff, there’s still ‘stuff’ in it…not that watered-down feeling I get from the mass producers. Leftover wine with leftover food…I think I have something here. If I had to spend $7 a glass, this is the wine I would get, especially after that lightning and thunder show this afternoon.

Color: dark red. Mouthfeel: middleweight. Tail trail: 6 seconds. Flavors: violet candy, black fruit, anise, smoke box, black pepper.

Alcohol: 13.9%. Syrah 31%, cab sau 30%, sangiovese 13%, malbec 9%, cab franc 8%, merlot 5%, and petit verdot 4%. Vineyards: Stone Tree, Solstice, Snipes Canyon. Yakima Valley/Wahluke Slope. 24.2 Brix. TA 0.63%. pH 3.66. Residual sugar 0.2%. 578 cases. Interesting scribe on the cork. Label artistry by Stephen Black to reflect the nuances of the wine (a white wabbit, a sideways filled glass of red wine, and a suspended bottle…huh?). 88 WE. Nose: blackberries and cedar. Rated: 86. Value: $17. Paid: $16. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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