Ad: Adams Bench Winery 2009 ‘Ursula’ Red Willow Vineyard sangiovese

In honor of Dr. Erica Blue, we dedicate this post as the health issue. Lately, the news has flooded our feeble minds with more misleading information of “eat this” or “don’t eat that or else” so we decided to clear up the consequences of your inadequate dietary consumption.

First off is the ‘felon penalty.’ A 30 year-old Iowa man will be spending an extra six months in the ‘pen for stealing a fellow resident’s Girl Scout cookies at a halfway house. Of course, it did not help that he was still on federal probation for a previous crime and that he did not report to his probation officer that he lost his factory job. Rumor has it the criminal bought a box of Thanks-A-Lot cookies for his roomie as a parting gift.

Remember the mantra of “Ya gotta go to college to get ahead?” The nerds at Harvard warn us that eating even a half-serving of red meat (1.5 oz) daily resulted in a 6% increase in death. Those same pencil-necked geeks also warned that men who drank one sugar-sweetened beverage a day had a 20% increased risk of heart attack. Leave it to the locals at Montlake (UW) to correlate male circumcision with a 15% reduction in contracting prostate cancer. Huh? Now, that’s a head scratcher. I wonder if similar benefits can be attained if my local banh mi sandwich maker would just omit adding head cheese to my order… Seriously, is this how universities are spending federal research dollars? Is it any wonder we are $14 trillion in debt? I guess if you go to UW, you go to get a head.

Speaking of… hey readers, heads up! Every now and then, I come across a purdy darn exciting discovery (of sorts) that revises the current reference standards of truly great wines. For such discoveries this year, we shall give due acclaim as “Great Discoveries of 2012.”

Here’s the inaugural bottle.

Adams Bench Winery last produced a sangiovese with the 2006 vintage (and a mere 49 cases at that) so it was quite a surprise to see this back on the marquee during a recent visit. While the 2006 version was sourced from grapes in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA, this stunner was picked off the former Cavatappi block at the legendary Red Willow Vineyard in the western Yakima Valley AVA. However, only one barrel was produced, and the subsequent 25 cases squeezed from it went straight to allocation for their wine club. The official winery line is the wine is “sold out,” but word on the street is if you “off” a club member who has yet to pickup their spring shipment, then one bottle is freed up for sale. My security detail came through and there are now TWO bottles in the wineman’s shed and we’re looking for more. Just sayin’.

Food pairing was the wineman’s masterpiece spaghetti with the red sauce hand-crushed from 20 Roma tomatoes, a special blend of herbs and a generous dollop of Cooper Wine Company’s olive oil. Bellissimo!

Tasted at 59-65 degrees on the IR temp gun. Heavenly aromas of dark cherry chocolate, espresso and black licorice emanate from the squid ink core with dark magenta rims in the Riedel. Full and robust on the palate with flavors of willow bark, bright red berries, red rose petals, allspice, cinnamon, and roasted cocoa nibs that fan like a male peacock’s train ignited from a long fuse.

Alcohol: 15.3% (will be felt). Pure. Red Willow Vineyard (Yakima Valley AVA). Neutral oak. 25 cases. Sold out. Retailed at $52.50. Named after Ursula Peavy, beloved sister. Sounds like she’s dead, but no, she’s alive and well and guarding the register. Dear Leonetti, you make a great sangiovese but, I regret to inform you, there’s a new “Best Sangiovese in America” on the block. Power: 4/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 4/5. Finesse: 4/5. Rated: 95. Music pairing: “Shake The World” by Melissa Molinaro. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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7 Responses to Ad: Adams Bench Winery 2009 ‘Ursula’ Red Willow Vineyard sangiovese

  1. Crap! I wrote a nice reply and it didn’t post! Now I’m in a bad mood. First, if that bottle retails for over $50, it had better be good. If I’m eating spaghetti, I don’t like to drop $50 on a bottle of wine. I would rather spend the money on a good Cooper Cab and have it with a steak. Do you know of many wineries that sell a decent Sangio at under $20? I know of several that go for 20-30, but few under that.

    Rob Griffin once stated that we could not produce a premium Sangiovese in WA, but he uses Sangio grapes to make one of the best Rose’s in the state. His grapes come from the Columbia Gorge area near Maryhill where water and winds temper the climate and the varietal seems to thrive.

    I may be re-entering the wine world on March 26th, as we taste Cab Franc in our next brown bag session. We will be sipping at the new Walter Clore facilty in Prosser. It is not complete yet (being built is phases) and I am anxious to see it.


  2. Did you or WordPress change a setting? I now have to log in with either my twitter or Facebook account to leave a post.

  3. wawineman says:

    Sorry about that, Scott. I did not change any settings so it must be a WordPress thing but I really hope it’s just a fluke. No one should have to go through a non-Wordpress site to get to a WordPress site. Doesn’t make sense.

    I’m with you on that. For me, any bottle over $35 gets the Cooper Test. Do you know how lucky you are to live so close to a winery that over-delivers on quality and price? Plus, the guy attracts some darlin’s to the toolshed.

    Every now and then, I like to explore the non-sexy varietals and put it in play. Sangiovese is a perfect fit for what I like to cook as it represents a major cuisine country (Italy) and is not primarily known as a blending grape.

    Washington-grown sangiovese has arrived, my friend. I respect Mr. Griffin’s opinion as I believed him, up until a few years ago. What I find so humorous is that people find no issues with dropping $70 for a Brunello, but won’t go past a Jackson for a Washington sangio. That paradigm has shifted with this wine.

    I will personally guarantee you will enjoy this wine (if you can find it) or I will send you two bottles of AB’s Red Willow cabernet. Mind you, this is a BIG wine. This is not some weeknight blind pick. Pair it with your heartiest red-sauced dish. Give it a couple hours in the jar to fully open.

  4. wawineman says:

    Best sangioveses $20-and-under: Martedi Winery and Tre Nova (Gino Cuneo Cellars of Oregon). These two will not disappoint. You will be happy. I was.

    Very happy to hear your return to active duty on March 26. Think I will join you with a cab franc that day. And thanks for the #bbwn updates. Take pics of the new Walter Clore site. That’s a great place to taste Washington wines!

    • csabernethy says:

      Actually had a pretty good Waving Tree Sangio a couple years back – featured it in a Wine Society event. Only about $10, too! If you are unfamiliar with them, their tasting room is the tourist shop at the base of the Highway 97 bridge that crosses the Columbia at Biggs, OR. A “Ma & Pa” operation. Their tasting glasses suck! I’m going to keep my eyes open and will let you know if I come across any other less expensive Sangios.

      My more immediate mission is to find a decent Cab Franc by the 26th. The only one I have on hand is an ’06 Cowan. The last one I opened was corked. I’m not sure I want to put them up to public humiliation in a blind tasting, especially in Prosser. I guess I’m off to Yoke’s, or maybe the Albertson’s on Gage. Maybe I’ll pick up a good Italian one? By the way, 2 of the 3 local Yoke’s wine stewards are now part of our blind tasting group, so we should taste some interesting wines from them.

  5. wawineman says:

    Good recommendation! I have seen the old label while perusing the smaller wine shops.

    I had the ’05 Reserve Cowan Vineyards a couple years back when they had a tasting room in the warehouse district. That was clearly their best wine. A good choice.

    What would I consider to bring on Monday? Chinook Winery. Columbia Crest. Covington Cellars. Cuillin Hills. Dineen Vineyards. Dubindil Winery. Facelli Winery. Maryhill. Owen Roe. Stevens Winery. An Italian cabernet franc…that would be an interesting addition.

    I have read the Yoke’s wine 0.365 website and I’m none too thrilled with their ‘pretender’ impression. I hope they are far more humble and honest in person. Last thing I need is some fugly, broke dude telling me what wines he sips. That’s what that wine report mongrel is for.

  6. csabernethy says:

    Mia culpa! Our Sangio discussion clouded my thought process. I was thinking Sangio when I said Italian. Chinook is a great suggestion for Cab Franc. Only about 1/4 mile from the Clore Center, too. I’ll browse around and see what I can find, but it DEFINITELY won’t be an Italian…

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