There’s only one good thing about late February in Woodinville–March is around the corner and that means a barrage of new releases from all the hibernating wineries! Of course, some wineries play it smart and give tasting room previews on the last weekend in February, such as… Adams Bench Winery! For those 500 or so that have signed up for the mailing list, they will get a glimpse of the latest “Picato Baca.” So, as Adams Bench closes out the 2008 season (only the glamourous ‘Reckoning’ remains for sale, and a miniscule few cases at that), we will close out the current version of this astounding cabernet series with a review.
But first, some history. As you know from my previous reviews of this relatively new winery perched high on the east hill of historic Woodinville, winery owners Tim and Erica Blue, both high achievers in academia and in the workplace, have taken their mastery of professions to a new level with the addition of winemaking to their life portfolio. And, mind you, they did not just start off experimenting and producing bottom-shelf “winners.” No, my little platypus, they did the research. They drove the miles to UC-Davis. They walked in the clouds through Napa Valley. They followed the patterns of a reviewer they admire and who correspondingly admired some of the great wines of the world. They developed a blueprint of what style of wine they wanted to make and minimized any straying from their chosen path. This explains why every wine they have commercially produced thus far has received rave reviews while establishing a specific style of ultra-premium wine found nowhere else in the State, and especially at the price point the wines are offered at.
Of course, it wasn’t always that way. I remember way back when, Tim was a coach for the local AAU basketball team with his son on the team. I played for an opposing team that had some of the Sikma boys as teammates and our worlds collided that one hot summer day in that steamy, un-air conditioned gym. Of course, I must mention that I was not a starter; however, I did get in some minutes similar to when today’s “human victory cigar” gets airtime. But, for that game against the Blues, we were getting our shorts cleaned, so to speak. We did claw back to make it a close game but our starting guards got into foul trouble, so my coach had no choice but to insert me late into a close game. I remember waiting at the timer’s table to get in. Coach Tim Blue looked at me with his typical game sneer and it looked like he let out a snicker and shook his head then walked away. When I entered the contest, they had the ball and I had the assignment of guarding Tim’s son. Maybe it was pure luck if you listened to Tim’s version, but I swiped the ball and took it the other way for a layup and a 1-point lead! Coach Blue immediately called timeout and you should have seen him. His face was redder than his Indiana Hoosier sweater as he approached his son, who was walking toward their bench. He forcefully grabbed his son by the arm then waved his hands at him like he was falling off a log in the river. I felt sorry for the kid but I had a job to do. After the break, sonny brought the ball down the court again and called a play for himself. After a few passes, he had the ball and broke for the basket but I slid into his path and, taking a page out of Bobby Knight’s playbook, I planted my feet and took the charging foul. Coach Blue was furious and yelled at the referees. He got assessed a double-technical and was ejected from the game. As Coach Tim Blue left the floor, he literally tossed his chair across the court! When he walked by me on the way to the showers, he glanced at me with his raven eyes and said “Don’t lose your day job, you little grunt,” like he somehow knew I washed dishes at the old Schnitzelbank. We ended up losing the game on a last-second 3-pointer by his son, but alas, we got a first glimpse into the fury and angst of the man that is… Barrister. Tim. Blue.
To the wine…
Food pairing was…what else? Tim’s chicken cacciatore from Woodinville’s finest Italian restaurant, Pasta Nova. It’s a special order, not on the menu. Ab-fab, baby!
Tasted at 65-69 degrees on the IR temp gun. Mystic black with garnet rims, dishing hypnotic aromas of signature-violets, char, dark chocolate, a dash of Arabica, and black fruits. Dense on the palate with more flavors of toasty espresso, velvet tannins, plum, sweet oak, cayenne, and black pepper on an endless trail. With those classic tears sluggishly dripping down the side of the Riedel.
Alcohol: 14.5%. Columbia Valley AVA. Sold out, but retail was $49. 249 cases. Power: 3/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 4/5. Rated: 93. Music pairing: “Love Hangover” by Diana Ross. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.