Steppe Cellars 2006 Artemisia red wine

Welcome to the medical issue! A 49 year-old Shanghai man died on the operating table but not from the operation, per se. A fire broke out in the neighboring room and the surgery staff abandoned the patient. They found the cause of his death was from smoke inhalation. Kinda reminds me of all those ‘sunny day’ wine bloggers who are nowhere to be found when asked to pay for wine. Also overseas, a corpse transport truck in Thailand overturned, sending 23 steaming corpses all over the highway. The dead bodies were all victims of various accidents such as drinking wine, then proclaiming “such a fine wine,” “umm, fizzy,” and “woot!” Back home, a Minnesota woman went fishing for walleye and ended up hooking a prosthetic leg that was lost three years ago. The owner later claimed the leg after being contacted by the manufacturer. This reminds me of the many times I have discovered some great wines and shared them with a friend, only to have bottom-feeding scavenger Sean take a few sips from the bottle and declare the wine “one of Washington’s finest!” even though it was from Oregon. This is the same screwball that begs for free wine and makes some jackass ‘top 102’ wines for a lame magazine (hint: he likely screwed the editor) while pulling down a measly $30k this year working two jobs. I sure do miss Conde Cox and his thousand wines competition.

Do you know someone who is a so-called ‘cult wine’ “leader”? This colostomy bag often tweets about wines he never buys but happily bums off of others. He tells other soul-less followers to buy his recommended wines and join in for some virtual drinking session on a weeknight. Can you imagine anything more asexual than a bunch of losers tweeting about what a cheap wine tastes like? Oh well, anything to suck-up to the wine commission and hope they get picked to tweet about some wine from a desperate winery that needs to unload their inventory.

Why would anyone attempt to form a ‘cult’ wine following anyway? For one, such limp personalities tend to originiate from the east coast and root for the Boston Celtics while cultivating their passive-aggressive emotions that arose from a daily beating by fellow Irishmen in south Boston. Here are the other rituals these cultish personalities practiced, as declared by a website specializing in satanic ritual cult abuse (warning: NSFW): (2) his ‘family time’ is spent defecating on his girlfriend; (3) he dreams of ‘tubing’ his mommy… wtf does that mean, Patti?; (4) he sacrificed the dog! (mf, how dare you abuse a canine!); (5) he practices stretching his 2 inch prong and…okay, I am done with analyzing this phreaking phagmaster.

Let’s neutralize that garbage by asking this: how does a rater use a 100-point scale when he doesn’t regularly grade wines using such a method? The rater, again, was only able to score 700 wines from wineries…hint, Conde Cox evaluated over a thousand a couple years ago and he was actively pursuing a Master’s certificate. There are well over 5000 wines produced by Washington wineries every year so this asswipe-with-a-severe-Walla-Walla-bias loads his list with, duh, Walla Walla wines. Part of that deal is dissing Washington’s only true ‘cult winery’ in Quilceda Creek like it’s de rigeur to be taken seriously. Hmm, that’s funny. Cayuse wines do not command more than twice its value, like the recent vintages of Quilceda Creek Vintners. Don’t get me wrong…Cayuse has a great following, BUT, it ain’t QC. Not. Even. Close. Besides, how can anyone take a reviewer seriously when he cannot even afford a wine from Quilceda Creek in the first place? Yeah, he can only afford Bunchgrass, which is good stuff, but seriously… Bunchgrass or Quilceda Creek? QED. As if that wasn’t enough, the little cunt cannot even afford to buy a real infrared thermometer gun to measure the real temperature of the wine he drinks. Sucks to be broke, eh? Loser.

As an addendum, how can any so-called ‘top 100’ list of WA wines not include this wine from Steppe Cellars? The winery opened in 2005 in Sunnyside and is the birthchild of proud parents in Tom & Susan Garrison (WSU) and Mike & Gabrielle Seibel (UW). The winery is named after the native environment of semi-desert grass and shrubs. The ‘Artemisia’ name is Latin for the ubiquitous shrubs that inhabit the area. Not so coincidentally, absinthe, the wormwood aperitif that is outlawed here, belongs to the genus.

As for Steppe Cellars’ wines, they are crafted by Anke Freimuth-Wildman. Two things of note here: (1) Anke received her wine training in Germany at Geisenheim Institute (trivia:
who was the first Washington winemaker to receive training from Geisenheim?);
and (2) Anke is the wife of that savage vineyard savant from Stone Tree, Tedd Wildman. So, it’s kinda common sense to know that a lot of the grapes used for Steppe’s wines come from, duh, Stone Tree Vineyard.

A side note: this wine came to me courtesy of a dormant Yakima Valley wine blogger who wanted to share the wines he enjoys. I do not speak for him, but it’s safe to say that he no longer actively blogs about wine because (1) it takes too much time without compensation; (2) he is true to the Yakima Valley, which means he does not like to polish turds—if a wine sucks, he will say so, unlike fake-ass liars who write for wine, provide useless wine updates, or worst of all, claim to be some authority on his pay-to-play wine report; and (3) he understands how cheap wine bloggers are in that they gladly take wine paid by him but do not reciprocate in kind. Punkass pricks.

I promised my boy, Chris, that I would open this for a special event, and today is that day. Food pairing was another body-licking session of grilled USDA Prime ribeye given the oily massage and with dimples of red sea salt, along with Walla Walla onions (what that area is really known for, aside from the penitentiary), portabellas, Brussels sprouts, and corn and all given the hickory smoke finish. Divine.

Tasted at 54-68 degrees on the IR temp gun. Light black cherry in the Riedel with aromas of black and red fruits. Similarly light and bright on the palate but with a decadently long follow-through (8 sec) and expressing flavors of black fruits, smoky plum, dark cherry and cedar.

Alcohol: 14.2%. Guessing on vineyard sources: Stone Tree, Airport Ranch, Lonesome Spring Ranch. Columbia Valley AVA. 38% cabernet sauvignon, 33% merlot, 14% malbec, 10% petit verdot, 5% cabernet franc. Batik (front label art) by Cecile Cuddihy. Rated: 91. Retail: $32 (sold-out but Chris still has about 20 bottles; the 2007 version is available at $27.50 on the winery website). Music pairing: “Good Life” by One Republic. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

Trivia answer: Erich Steenborg (1930s).

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3 Responses to Steppe Cellars 2006 Artemisia red wine

  1. I need to get a hold of Chris and see what he is doing to keep busy these days. He owes me a dinner invitation, and I could supply some freshly molested salmon and maybe some crabs I caught on the west side this week. Dungeness, not the other kind. I would also love to go visit Phil Cline and the Naches Heights area just up the road from Cowiche. September would be a lovely time to hit the foothills.

  2. wawineman says:

    Is Christophe really AWOL?
    He always owns up to his commitments, so I would call him on it.
    I’m glad you clarified your crabs. But damn, grilled salmon and steamed Dungeness and I’M NOT INVITED??? Whatever dood!
    Let me guess what wine he would be popping, hmmm…
    I wonder about the Naches Heights area. Is it scenic enough for a photo representing March or April when I think that AVA will be approved? That would be a hella catch for the calendar.

  3. Chris says:

    I do indeed owe Scott and Ev a dinner. He rarely ventures past Prosser though and if he looks at a map, he see Cowcihe is on the mountain side of the Yak. Thanks for shining a light on this fabulous wine by my friends at Steppe.

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