Washington Hills Winery 2007 gewurztraminer

Here in Washington, there is no shortage of free-and-clear dumbass idiots posing as wine bloggers in an effort to score free wine as compensation for juiced write-ups about the winery that supplied these morons in the first place. Consider such bloggers as the gasoline that was in Josh Powell’s gas cans and the foolish winery tasting room suckers, err… employees/volunteers, as the clowns who lit up the Bic. Now, we all know the results of that fatal attraction. However, as asinine as our local wine bloggers are, they pale in comparison to other states’ wannabe-wine bloggers mimicking our own. Cases in point: (1) a white male appearing like Ben in a balaclava walked into an Iowa sex shop at 3am, robbed an employee at knifepoint and stole a $250 sex doll from the premises. I couldn’t tell if the report was talking about Ben or the sex toy (a “Fuck Me Silly” 20 lb. sex doll) when the description stated, “the most realistic piece of ass…” (2) A little farther down the continent, a 21 year-old Alabama man looking like Josh’s illegitimate bastard kid (I could tell from the weak, patchy facial hair) and wanted on a charge of forced rape taunted the county sheriff’s office on its Facebook website where his mug was featured in a “Creep of the Week” post. It didn’t take long for U.S. Marshals to track where the creep was posting from and arrested him in Ohio. Welcome to Catawba country, or really, was it shit like this that led to Ohio’s downfall as the country’s leading grape producer? Seems like Colombia is getting into the wine business…  After getting inspired by Greg P. Utt’s ‘top 100 wines’ list, a chicken laid an enormous egg that was four times the size of Sean’s me-too ‘top 100 wines’ list… oops, I meant an average egg. The farmer said, “Heck with the egg, I’m keeping the ridiculous ‘top 100 wines’ list in a glass case for score-chasers to ogle over and everyone else to laugh at.” Back in Florida, a mildly psycho hose-bitch 24 year-old tried to run down her boyfriend when he got a ride to a diner from someone else because she was late. The man alleged when she arrived at the restaurant, she yelled at him then tossed a car jack at him, followed by a chair and rocks before trying to mow him down.

And that leads us to Barbara Winegal’s recent shotgun wedding. At the paper plate and red solo cup reception, fellow wine bloggers were asked by the recently paroled emcee about what kind of advice to give the newlyweds. This is a transcript of the Q&A session.

Q: “What is the right age to get married?” (fyi, Babs is 32)                                                 Sean: “No age is good to get married at. You got to be a fool to get married. Besides, it’s still not legal for my situation but I’m glad they overturned Prop. 8.” (Hey Sean, buddy, the State legislature just passed it 55-43 so change your tune like you normally do. Agreed! ~Derp)

Q: “How can a stranger tell if two people are married?”                                                     Josh: “You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids or each other.”

Q: “What do most people do on a date?”                                                                                     (still single) Shona: “On the first date, they just tell each other lies, like I do on my blog site, and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.”

Q: “What would you do on a first date that was turning sour?”                                              Jen: “I’d run home and play dead. The next day, I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns.”

Q: “When is it okay to kiss someone?”                                                                                     Evelyn Maria: “When they’re rich.” (Sooooo, that’s how you did it, eh Scott??!!)

Q: “Is it better to be single or married?”                                                                                    Dave: “I don’t know which is better, but I’ll tell you one thing. I’ve never had sex with my wife. I don’t want to be all grossed out.”

Q: “What would you tell Bab’s husband to make their marriage work?”                                 P. Gwine: “Tell your wife she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck.”

Washington Hills Winery was originally named Washington Hills Cellars (the 171st bonded Washington winery) back in 1988 and also included Apex Cellars and W. B. Bridgman wines. Owner Harry Alhadeff ran the wineries out of an old Carnation dairy in Sunnyside that was also producing Cascade Crest Estates wines where the equipment was purchased from the also-defunct Haviland Winery, whose location is the current Columbia Winery in Woodinville. As a side note, Cascade Crest Estates first wines were produced by winemakers Mike Wallace (Hinzerling Vineyards) and Mike Januik. Washington Hills’ first winemaker was none other than Brian Carter. By 2003, the winery was producing an output of 60,000 cases/year when Mr. Alhadeff sold the winery to a new upstart in Andrew Browne’s Precept Brands for about $3 million. This sale also included 232 total acres (about 100 vineyard acres) of Outlook Vineyard that is currently owned by David O’Reilly of Owen Roe Winery fame and can be yours for a bid of $1.625 million. The following year, production doubled while maintaining the Precept goal of offering quality wines in the ultra-hot under-$15 category. Current production is closer to a million cases/year, which I find befuddling as I have not seen too many of this bottom-shelf dweller in local stores.

I bought this bottle with the intent of understanding what an “aged” Washington gewürztraminer tastes like. Heck, it was a cheap seven bucks to find out so why not? Let’s just say there’s a clear reason why (1) over 90% of wine produced in the world is not made for aging (this is one of them), and (2) that percentage approaches 100 when we’re discussing wines under a Hamilton.

Food pairing was my semi-homemade SEXY beef curry deluxe. A good pairing that would have been better with a more recent vintage.

Tasted at 48-56 degrees on the IR temp gun. Color: bright pale straw. Nose: peach, white rose. Mouthfeel: light and syrupy. Tail trail: 4 seconds. Flavors: pineapple, pear, spice, a little heat and rancidity on the end. The wine was in decline.

Alcohol: 11%. Washington State appellation. Stelvin cap. pH 3.01. TA 0.69. RS 2.2 (sweet). Moral: drink gewürztraminers within two years of release.  Power: 2/5. Balance: 1/5. Depth: 1/5. Finesse: 0/5. Rated: 84. Value: $4. Paid: $7. Music pairing: “Party In My Head” by September. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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4 Responses to Washington Hills Winery 2007 gewurztraminer

  1. Scott Abernethy (@Wino4ever) says:

    Man, you’re having to dig pretty deep to get a rise out of me. No, it wasn’t money – it was the fact that back in the 60’s, I could not only swallow a flaming book of matches (I guess Ev liked the taste of a combination of sulphur and burnt palate), I would spring for a bottle of Blue Nun or Lancer’s Rose instead of a 6-pack of PBR on date night. Actually, I switched to wine to give my teeth a rest after demonstrating my ability to bite the caps off of a case of beer bottles at a bonfire party. Those were the days…

    I haven’t had the courage to try to age a Washington white wine. I’ve had bad luck keeping them more than two years after their release (however, I did taste a very nice ’04 Riesling from Tsillan Cellars last week). Very disappointing in general, since I have tasted a couple nice older German Rieslings. I must admit that although I enjoy a good Gewurztraminer, I don’t have a singe bottle in my stash – I must correct that!

    As for Washington Hills – I was rather impressed with them as the lower tier in the Apex line but haven’t tasted their wines since the sale. In fact, the whole Apex line is falling into oblivion right now. Lastly, I hate Stelvin caps.

  2. wawineman says:

    Spoken like a true ex-lineman.
    I give you props for gargling Blue Nun over PBR. The only time I overlooked Milwaukee’s Best during a date was a preference for Courvoisier XO. Added a few more hairs on my chest as she later discovered that evening.
    I am experimenting with several Washington whites in the cellar. Try DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate blanc, Eroica riesling and Trust Cellars riesling. I also have one more Abeja 06 chardonnay. Interestingly, the Cooper 08 pinot gris is evolving into my favorite white. I thought it was ok on release, but it has blossomed into a lovely Miranda Kerr/Mila Kunis/Adriana Lima combo.
    I had a German riesling from 01 and it was ok. I do believe Washington whites are so vibrant and fresh upfront that it’s not worth the gamble to hold them back. Us young’uns like the high voltage on the palate with zesty knockout fruit.
    Yeah, Apex and Apex II and those other Precept wines have kinda lost the vibe. That’s expected when they become just another label in what is more of a distributor’s portfolio than a winery’s.
    I like Stelvin caps on wines that are not made for aging. Great for short hiking trips and I never have to worry about being close to a waiter’s best friend. It is only usurped by the bladders of boxed wines, which are for long hikes in a group. However, I hope corks remain because there’s no replacing that ‘pop’ sound during a nice din-din with your sweetie.

  3. Scott Abernethy (@Wino4ever) says:

    Woops! I got my nomenclatures confused. I was thinking that Stelvin was that rubber butt-plug they put in cheap wines. Mia culpa – I don’t mind screw caps at all! The other closure I find intriguing is the glass stopper used by Syncline, COR and a few others. I’ve saved myself a couple corking fees by wagering that I could open a bottle without their wine key – before removing the foil, of course. I tipped her well anyway… For hiking, have you found a decent Bota bag that does not impart a plastic taste to wine? That would be the way to go.

  4. wawineman says:

    I didn’t think you were THAT old-fashioned but I respect it!
    Yep, those rubber buttplugs are phreakin’ annoying (note to Columbia Winery).
    I use the glass stoppers from Syncline to cap other wines (note of thanks to Jam-Man).
    Dude, you are an animal! A caveman of strength. Don’t mess with Jaws!!!
    I like the Black Box wines. Of course, it helps to keep the bladder out of the sun/warmth and minimize shaking by packing it tight. Use a blue ice/frozen juice pack and wrap with a towel. The colder the wine, the less noticeable the odd flavors.

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