Ziegler Vineyards Estate Winery 2009 tempranillo

A 26 year-old New York unemployed man was probably inspired by my writings and took it to the next level by telling jokes in Central Park for $1 a joke. No joking. He raked in a cool $140 in his first 6 hours. One of his jokes begins, “What do you call Chewbacca when he’s working with clay? …Harry Potter.” Hey, that sounds like a riff off my earlier joke—“What do you call Sean when he found out his father was the chief organizer of lemon parties out near Walla Walla?  …Bucky Larson!” Don’t honk in San Bernadino, and I’m not talking about the partying kind. A 43 year-old man honked at a patrol car that turned in front of him. The officer then turned his car around and followed Allen Kephart to a convenience store and forced him to the ground at gunpoint. The officer, and two other deputies then proceeded to Taze the man five times over ten minutes. The officers were also accused of delaying CPR and calling for an ambulance, which a lawsuit contends
contributed to the man’s death. Contrary to rumors, those cops were not Michaels and Slater from Superbad. For the win… oh the British. UK Paintball has added a further risk to playing paintball, this time to women with augmented boobies, after a British woman’s breast implant exploded upon being hit by a paintball. Sean interjects his own experience, saying he was shot in the nards a couple years ago while living in Capitol Hill and that his penis implants kept the bullet fragments from reaching his ovaries. “I don’t want to say a schlong job is the equivalent of a bulletproof vest, but I have to say that was the last time I had a measurable stiffy.” *facepalm*

I know you wine blog readers. You’re so crazy about wine that you google to find what others think about it. You think there are many others just like you who can provide intelligent insight on the nuances of wine analysis so you innocently seek those bloggers out. Unfortunately, to your dismay, what you discover is a trove of wine-mooching freeloaders who had their brains sucked out by wine-commission leeches whose mission is to replace honest, open commentary about wines with a crackling loudspeaker spouting delusional hype, implied vibe, and artificial excitement as part of their marketing platform. You know the feeling after reading some wine-commission-sponsored wine report, a wine crony who couldn’t take the “heat” of the big city, and the rest of the
meager  micro-blogs originating from the Puget Sound that only blog ‘sample’ wines. You can literally see your IQ drop as those authors attempt to dumb-you-down. And that’s when you run to this blog to have your wine IQ restored and your faith that Washington wines are really quality wines for the 21st century at a good price.

So, here’s your reward. Read the following tidbits and get smart again!

1. You are not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.

2. Five days a week, my body is a temple. The other two, it’s an amusement park.

3. Don’t drink and drive… you might spill something.

4. Reality is only an illusion that occurs due to a lack of alcohol.

5. California chardonnay…the new Ipecac.

6. Advice for wine bloggers: learn from your parent’s mistakes—use birth control.

7. How to treat a woman—wine her, dine her, hold her, surprise her, compliment her, smile at her, listen to her, laugh with her, cry with her, romance her, encourage her, believe in her, cuddle with her, shop with her, give her jewelry, buy her flowers, hold her hand, write love letters to her, go to the ends of the earth and back agin for her.               How to treat a man—show up naked, bring wings and beer, and don’t block the tv.

And finally, some marriage advice from the wine industry (to their spouses) that they may have submitted to me when I wrote for “Dear Abby”:

1. (from Shirley P.) “Twinkle twinkle little star, you should know what you are, and once you know what you are, mental hospital is not so far.”

2. (from David R.) “God saw me hungry, He created pizza; He saw me thirsty,
He created Pepsi; He saw me in the dark, He created light; He saw me without
problems, He created YOU.”

3. (from Pam H.) “Roses are red, violets are blue; monkeys like you should be kept in a zoo; don’t feel so angry, you will find me there too; not in the cage, just outside, laughing at you.”

4. (from Dave S.) “The rain makes all things beautiful; the grass, the flowers too; if rain makes all things beautiful; why doesn’t it rain on you?”

5. (from Scott A.) “I asked Evelyn, ‘Do you know the meaning of WIFE? It means Without Information, Fighting Everytime!’ Evelyn responded, ‘No darling, it means With Idiot, For-Ever.’”

6. (from Anny) “Sean asked what I would give him if he climbed Mt. Everest. Simple answer… a push.”

7. (from Ryan P.) “Madeline told me ‘I wish I was a newspaper so I’d be in your hands all day.’ I told her, ‘I too wish you were a newspaper, so I could have a new one everyday.’”

Ziegler Vineyards winery formally opened their tasting room in late July after occupying part of the Dickey Farms store out in the Columbia Gorge AVA at Bingen. Nathan, in his mid-30s, is part of the fifth generation in his family to farm the land at Underwood, and surely the most winebug-bitten among them. Although the estate vines are eight years old, this 2009 tempranillo is the first release (along with a 2010 pinot gris) from the estate. He has two sons with his wife, Sarah, who will become generation-six (G6) caretakers of the land that was originally homesteaded. Their genes have seen the origins of the Washington wine industry, back when Sam Hill was building his glorious estate at Maryhill and William Bridgman began growing vinifera grapes. The area’s climate is thought to be cool, being in the shadow of the Cascades, but the facts reveal the Gorge (at least the eastern end) is actually the 4th warmest AVA in the State (avg. 2973 GDD), warmer than even the Rattlesnake Hills. That statistic continues to hold true for this vintage year. It should be only a matter of time until warm-weather grapes like cabernet and zinfandel make their magical appearance on Washington wine shelves from this grossly misunderstood region.

To the wine…

Food pairing was spicy, marinated short-ribs. Not the best.

Tasted at 62-69 degrees on the IR temp gun. Nose: soft plum. Color: diluted black cherry. Mouthfeel: soft. Tail trail: 4 seconds. Flavors: blue plum, some heat. I sense this will be a good wine to disrobe the vintage variations of the area.

Alcohol: 14.5%. Columbia Gorge AVA. Around 200 cases. 25% new US oak. Rated: 87. Value: $11. Paid: $25. Music pairing: “Magic” by B.o.B. This is WAwineman…uncorked,
uneducated but not uncouth.

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4 Responses to Ziegler Vineyards Estate Winery 2009 tempranillo

  1. Well, I only recognized one other name besides my own among the pieces of “marital advice from the wine industry”. I think that is a good thing, right? I was going to correct what WIFE stood for, but in the remote event that Ev would actually every read this, I decided to refrain in the name of self-preservation.

    I don’t know if your research on my past uncovered the fact that I chaired a wine society event on wines of the Columbia Gorge two years ago, which included wines from outside the actual CG AVA. I was surprised to learn that the AVA only included the western extent of the Columbia Gorge, but the climate and growing conditions withing the AVA were still very diverse! Our speaker for the event was Peter Brehm, one of the prime players in establishing the AVA. Although I was looking for a good Pinot Noir for the event, the biggest hits turned out to be a Domaine Pouillon white blend, a Barbera from Maryhill (with heavy Brett), and an Old Vine Zin from the Pines 1852. There was such a diverse selection of wines that I could only scratch the surface with the 8 wines I selected.

    Since I occasionally do get down through the Gorge and travel on the WA side often, I should be able to hit Ziegler one of these days. I’ve not tried too many tempranillos, but I understand it is an up-and-coming varietal here.


  2. wawineman says:

    Ab, yes, it’s always better to plead the Fifth and still be friends with the rolling pin in the baking drawer.
    The CG AVA is an oddity. Some 40 miles, east-west, and the rainfall varies from 35+ inches to less than 10 inches. That extreme in variability, I’m sure, will lead to sub-appellations far down the road. I’m also sure Peter Brehm of White Salmon Vineyards was one of the prime players, but I believe it was Mark Wharry of Swift Water Vineyards that filed the petition with the TTB.
    The cool-weather grapes are the standard-bearer for the AVA for now, but should any of the ‘big three’ (cab, merlot, chard) start getting notoriety, this AVA will be the next big thing.
    I do love the history of grape growing there. It’s probably the second-oldest area of all the AVAs to have documented wine grape farming.
    Tempranillo…sigh. It can only go up from where it is now. Goes great with Mexican/Spanish fare. But, it’s just too thin to stand up to a robust steak. Consider it part of the Spanish grape wave, along with garnacha and albarino. A good starter wine or theme-wine, but it just doesn’t fit the profile of native foods here. Salmon? Geoduck? Lamb? Crab? Mussels? Oysters? All do better with something other than tempranillo. And, it also has that malbec-complex where it’s grossly overpriced compared to other emerging areas. In time, only a few producers will deal with this grape. Gramercy Cellars is the only winery that impressed me with their tempranillo, so far, and that was $40! A good tempranillo should cost around $20, like Abacela’s.

  3. Scott Abernethy says:

    Funny you should mention Abecela. That’s one of the few decent Temps I’ve tasted! The other is Gordon Brothers, but they added 20% Cab for a little complexity and it was $60! ANC (members only and spendy) and Thurston Wolfe ($25) also make decent ones but not for $20.

  4. wawineman says:

    You like Abacela’s tempranillo also? Kewl. I’m on the right track then.
    Thurston Wolfe has a lot of wines that don’t make it to this side and it doesn’t get a lot of press (oh yeah, it ain’t in Walla Walla) but they make good wines across the board at the right price, most of the time.
    ANC… I gave up on them. I’m glad they have a strong wine club. When they give away hundreds of dollars in wine to useless wine blogger jerks while we consumers have to pay $55 for their tempranillo…well, fuck ’em.

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