Colvin Vineyards 2005 carmenere

Another early WAWineman classic, 1st posted on September 26, 2008:

Goodbye to WaMu. These are interesting times. The Beavs just beat No.1 USC. I remember when they couldn’t even beat Portland Pop Warner but they found a way to crush UW in ’85 (I witnessed the fiasco). Thankfully, the M’s lose again to solidify their number 1 spot in next year’s draft. Cindy McCain and Todd Palin prostituted themselves at a Hunt’s Point home today, at $1 grand/plate. Let’s hope they served WA wines there, though I doubt it. All that while John McCain dissed a Letterman appearance while showing up across the hallway for a Katie interview. And this, ok, so the WAwineman was being detained by local police after getting drunk on cheap Chinese melamine-fortified wine (and listening to Demi Lovato rant about why she’s not more popular than Miley) when I decided that I needed to “exhale” before taking the Breathalyzer test, like my buddy advised me to. So, I scooted my seat toward the officer, lifted my leg, and “passed gas loudly”. Needless to say, I have pleaded innocent to charges of ‘battery toward an officer.’

On that note, it is with sadness that I do this review as Colvin Vineyards has ceased operations since late 2007. This bottling is their last, and is still obtainable at Costco. Mark Colvin was a pharmaceutical student back in the “Fast Times” days of 1982 at the U of Mork and Mindy. After tasting a ’78 Chateau Cheval Blanc, he decided to use his chemistry skills in the barrel instead of counting pills (good call). He did a Jethro and uprooted his family to the sprawling metropolis of Walla Walla in 1993. According to legend, Mark’s daughter, Katherine, on a lazy summer in 1998, showed her daddy a neat little calved rock that became the winery’s logo. Mark’s first commercial crush was in 1999 of merlot and syrah. Mark opened his winery’s own facility in 2001. Mark can be credited with ‘popularizing’ carmenere in WA. Famed Brit wine writer, Jancis Robinson, has been quoted as saying Colvin’s carmenere is one of the best she’s ever tasted. Still not widely known as to why Mark folded up, but it can be a testament to the difficulties of starting up a modern winery. All-n-all, a very untimely passage.

Tonight’s assuage pairing was with leftovers. Hey, we’re in a recession, folks. No cheese this time. Just some tangy short ribs and fermented vegetables. The meat matched well. Carmenere, to give you some background, is a Bourdeaux grape that went into obsolesence after the Phylloxera outbreak in the 1800’s in France. Its popularity never recovered there, but grew new fans in Chile (they thought they were getting merlot cuttings!). Aka Grande Vidure. A Medoc region grape. Treat this wine like a soft cab. Don’t bother ‘vin de garde’-ing this as it should be drunk now.

Color: deep red-black. Mouthfeel: heavy, weighty, goody. Tail trail: 5 seconds. Flavors: black pepper spicy, blackberries, unvacuumed backseat carpet (grit).

Alcohol: 13.9%. Morrison Lane Vineyard. Nose: green bell pepper, black pepper, and currant. Rated: 87. Value: $15. Paid: $24. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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