Novelty Hill Winery 2008 Stillwater Creek Vineyard grenache

It’s been a slow news week so what does Time magazine do? They stick a 26 year-old mom on the cover with half her tanktop drawn down so her 3 year-old son gets to sip from the left-side fountain of fun, so to speak. I don’t know what the article was about but I had to trip it to the fridge for a carton of moo as I was overcome with a sudden thirst for milk. That kid will pay the price from his classmates when he gets to primary school, though. Let’s hope he will turn out like 25 year-old, 6’ 5”, 230 lb. Randy Santel, who recently completed his 100th gut-busting challenge by devouring an entire dinner from Seattle’s Wedgewood Broiler centered around a 72-ounce steak. What’s more impressive during his 3-day degustation of our city is that he also finished four other competitions where he devoured: a 6-lb. hamburger, a 1-lb. doughnut, a 2-foot chili cheese hot dog, a 3-liter bowl of ramen noodles, a 12-patty 3-lb. cheeseburger, AND a 6-lb. burrito. I pity the maid that had to clean up his hotel room toilet. Here’s hoping when he takes his drug test that he avoided stamina-enhancing supplements like that found by Korean customs officials. When they searched a suspicious shipment from China, they were surprised to find the capsules contained the powdery remains of… ok, stop eating before continuing… aborted human fetuses and stillborn babies that were dried on stovetops then crushed into a powder.

Speaking of eating their own kind, I met up with some wine bloggers in a warehouse district tasting room and they wanted to clear the air on a few things. The following are excerpts from our little pow-wow:

Wineman: “Hey Josh, why so sad and what’s up with the black eye?”                                   Josh: “My mistress just caught me blowdrying my freshly-shaved ballsack and asked what I was doing. Apparently, ‘heating your dinner’ was not the right answer.”                      Shona: “Josh, I’ll cheer you up. Why don’t you try my new drinking game that I invented. It’s called everytime I’m depressed, I take a drink.”                                                       Wineman: “Uh Shona, that game exists. It’s called alcoholism.”

Sean: “Hey Wineman, why is everyone telling me my girlfriend is like sunburn?”         Bean: “She’s gonna leave you in a couple days?”                                                                     Kory: “You can’t get her off?”                                                                                                   MarGot: “Made you upset because you didn’t use protection?”                                       Wineman: “Left you with a burning sensation?”                                                                     Babs: “Keep an eye out for blisters.”                                                                                        Shona: “She makes you want to take a cold shower.”                                                               Ben: “Makes you wish you never took your clothes off.”                                                Jameson: “You find her presence painful?”                                                                              Sean: “Agreed!”

Wineman: “Hey Fifty Shades of Gray, why are you still unmarried? Weren’t you a math major at one time? What kind of pickup lines did you use?”                                                Sean: “You know I loved hitting on those foreign students from China. I had two super-macho lines that got them in the sack. One was ‘I’m good at algebra. I can replace your X and you wouldn’t need to figure out Y.’ The other was ‘I wish I was your derivative so I could tangent to your curves.’”                                                                                            Wineman: *facepalm* “Fuck, that explains everything.”                                                          Ben: “I’m impressed, Sean! Back in Texas, when I was working at the music store, I told my now-wife that I crafted guitars in my spare time. On our first date, I suggested “Hey Baby, let’s play ‘carpenter.’ First, we get hammered, then I nail you.” She was brutally honest in her reply– “You didn’t bring enough wood.”

Wineman: “So Shona, someone must have hit on you at one time when you were skinny. What was the best pickup line?”                                                                                               Shona: “It only happened once when I had a real job and our group went to Spinnakers nightclub and a hairy goon came up to me and said, ‘Here’s ten dollars. Get drunk enough until I’m good looking then come talk to me.’ Then I thought this was really cute and really flattering because he thought I could get drunk off ten dollars.”

Wineman: “So Josh, how’s the kids?”                                                                                         Josh: “I tell ya, kids grow up so fast these days. Last Friday, I went to pickup my son at the doctor’s office and he was in the waiting room playing with his Barbie and Ken dolls. He was putting them in rude positions together. I joked, ‘Hey, you better be careful, else you’ll end up with little baby dolls if you keep doin’ that!’ He looked up and snarled back, ‘No!! He’s doing her up the ass!!’ The nurses looked at me and I told them proudly, ‘That’s my boy!’”

Wineman: “So what’s the best non-sex feeling ever?”                                                              Ben: “That ‘vacated bowels’ feeling after getting out of bed.”                                             Shona: “Using old pinot grigio in my neti pot to clean out my hairy nostrils.”                Cheryl: “Getting goosebumps from listening to Engelbert Humperdink and Barry Manilow.”                                                                                                                                         Sean: “Taking my bra off when I get home from work.”

Wineman: “Hey Sean, so now that you have a Chinese sex slave, errr, girlfriend, have you learned any Chinese?”                                                                                                                    Sean: “You betcha. Let me give you a lesson with some common sentences. In Chinese, ‘That’s not right’ is pronounced ‘Sum Ting Wong.’ And, ‘Did you go to the beach’ in Chinese is ‘Wai Yu So Tan.’ I also use these when I’m at work at Amazon—‘See me ASAP’ is ‘Kum Hia Nao’ and ‘Our meeting is next week’ is ‘Wai Yu Kum Nao.’ Best of all, Anny told me that my name ‘Sean’ in Chinese is pronounced ‘Dum Fuk.’”

As spring heats up around the Puget Sound area, chances are that the popular choice of “porch pounder” involves a pinkish-colored rosé wine and if you’re in my ‘hood, that choice is likely made from grenache grapes. This isn’t a new, hipster discovery as greanche rosé has been popular in Washington since Almaden shipped in trainloads from down south back in the early 1950s. As for grenache wine itself, that’s another story.

When California winemakers back in the 1960s insisted cabernet sauvignon could never be grown at such a high latitude as Washington’s, imagine their comments about growing an even longer ripening grape in grenache at 46° north. Other grunts about one of the world’s most wide planted grape, grenache, include: produces high alcohol wines, requires yield control, susceptible to diseases, difficult to harvest mechanically, and makes soft, feminine wines. May I add one more? Grenache wines are phreakin’ expensive relative to other red wines, on average about $30 a bottle.

So, the next time you see a bottle at the table and it’s a grenache from an “established” winery, roll with these thoughts: (1) the host paid a lot of cash for it; (2) don’t be a knuckledragger and slosh it down in one; (3) be ready to get drunk a lot faster; and (4) go easy on the food choices. A steak will annihilate grenache’s very subtle flavors. On the other hand, this is the wine to get if you have a hot date you want to go “spooning” with after-hours. Just make her drink it more than you if want to get it up. #justsayin

No need to bore you with introducing Novelty Hill Winery as you can get it from my previous writings. I do not subscribe to the cheap wine blogger tactic of recycling posts like somebody’s recent borefest on Quilceda Creek. Nothing worse than reading about a winery and finding that you didn’t learn anything new. What a waste of time.

Tasted at 53-66 degrees on the IR temp gun. Coy aromas of cherry crème, raspberry, strawberry, tobacco, and forest mushrooms waft from the pubescent purple-violet edged pond in Riedel. Silky and medium-bodied on the palate with enduring flavors of sweet cherry glaze, black cherry, red licorice, luscious tang of more red bramble, turbinado sugar, roses, and cherry blossoms make this a wonderful representative of Washington grenache.

Alcohol: 14.6% (website 14.4%). Columbia Valley AVA. 6% syrah. Aged 18 months in mostly French oak. pH 3.57. TA 0.53%. 247 cases. Power: 2/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 91. Value: $30. Sold out. Music pairing: “I’m On A Roll” by Stefano. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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4 Responses to Novelty Hill Winery 2008 Stillwater Creek Vineyard grenache

  1. csabernethy says:

    It took me a second cup of coffee and a brief break to take my morning constitutional (Ahhhh, now I feel better), but I finally got to the bottom of the article with the wine write-up. I have to agree – grenache makes a pretty nice rosé. Last week, I finally opened my only bottle of Thomas O’Neil’s offering after it had sat at room temperature on my overflow wine rack for a year. I was surprised how well it held up after being treated so poorly. I will definitely try his new release this year – it is supposed to be bone-dry instead of with a little residual sugar.

    As for the real thing, I’ve only tasted a couple grenache offerings. I can’t say that grenache is one of my favorite varietals, but good for a change of pace and a nice choice for a summer red. A few years back when I first tasted it, I was told by a tasting room attendant that is was “Washington’s Pinot Noir”, so I tried it with grilled sockeye salmon. Close, but no cigar.

    I better end here before I get into a totally unrelated topic – the design of the new-fangled 1.4 gpf toilets. I am amazed they can handle my morning payload in an instant. A real head-scratcher.

    Enough is enough. Have a good weekend, and drink some good wine.

  2. wawineman says:

    Yeah, those new efficient toilets have quite the power to swallow even my roughest payloads. I’ve looked and looked and still cannot find where that thing is plugged in. It even removes the skidmarks off the porcelain.

    I recently opened the last of Betz’s 2009 rose and it was still going strong. Didn’t evolve much but had plenty of fruit and that Betz character.

    If a tasting room dumbass ever tells me any wine is “Washington’s Pinot Noir,” I will embarrass the fool. That’s like saying a Metropolitan Grill porterhouse tastes like hamburger.

    • csabernethy says:

      The names of the winery and tasting room attendant were intentionally omitted to protect the foolish and naive. Yes, the new toilets are indeed a modern miracle. I hardly have time to admire my work before it is gone forever. And you’re right – no skid marks!

  3. wawineman says:

    Gotta add that to my ‘doo doo’, no… ‘to do’ list the next time I’m in your neck of the tumbleweeds–search for that turbo-powered toilet. Hmm, the tasting rooms out there sound modern, unlike the darkened broom closets out here. Ever seen those urinals with small artwork in them to “assist in aiming”? My hope is that one winery places a face of a wine blogger there. I would piss out five pounds of fluid then replenish by buying a case of their wines. How’s that for incentive?!

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