A man, suspected to be Sean Sulligutt, was dolled up in a goat suit and recently spotted amongst a herd of wild mountain goats in northern Utah. While this is a common activity for wine bloggers attending a wine conference in Oregon, wildlife officials were concerned that the imbecile wine enthusiast might be a victim of the upcoming open season on wine bloggers, errr… goats. Ahh, same shit. A Utah wildlife official stated, “My very first concern is the wine blogger doesn’t understand the risks of faking it to be part of the herd. There’s a saying within the winemakers about wine bloggers that ‘You don’t pay for the wines, you don’t get real honest with your readers. You go too far in extracting free wines (under the guise of being from the local wine commission) from wineries, you end up with a two-inch penis that’s shorter than your fugly girlfriend’s.’” A few firewalkers at a recent Tony Robbins’ motivational seminar got burned from walking across a field of hot coals, suffering second- and third-degree burns on their naïve feet. This comes on the heels of a recent incident where readers of the Sunday fishwrap, err… newspaper, got burned by a shitty wine columnist paid-off for horking the cheaper wines made by Washington’s second largest producer. And finally this bit of true news, a Snohomish County councilman, Brian ‘Sean’ Sullivan, was arrested for drunken driving after blowing a 0.16 for the po-po. After apparently failing field sobriety tests, the asexual allegedly offered up his mangina to the officer, along with a cache of partially drunk Walla Walla wines (courtesy of the local wine commission’s latest ‘tasting party’) in exchange for a warning. He was later deported to Orygun…
Amelia Bleu was started in 2009 by the dynamic duo of secretary Douglas Brian (age 44) and el presidente Heather Janel (Rankin) Roberts (age 38). Both have previous experience in the tech industry (a common thread around here in Woodinville) before forming Roberts Family Enterprises on January 30, 2009. Heather, a WWU graduate in business and IT, took early retirement to care for the family and run their third child… the winery. They have two wonderfully loved-on daughters in Amelia Bleu and Ashlyn (10 and 8). Whatever the decision process (flip of the coin, lucky number, or pet toss (I jest)), Amelia got the winery named after her and Ashlyn got the vineyard. Oh, did I mention they have a six-acre vineyard just outside the AVA line in Chelan? Yeah, it came with the summer home they purchased and it just so happened that the vines were almost three years old (production age). The soil there is coarse, sandy sediment with quartz and mica. The vineyard is planted to four varieties: syrah, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and barbera. 2009 was the estate’s first harvest, although they did make a 2008 Columbia Valley riesling (RS 1.2%, $18 tasting room) from purchased grapes. They currently reside in an upscale community in Sammamish. Winery production is currently around a massive 500 cases/year so don’t expect anyone outside the Puget Sound plexus of wineries to know about Amelia Bleu winery, although they did recently open a tasting room formerly occupied by Michael Florentino Winery in the D-block in the warehouse district. They do own US Trademark 77935468 (2-14-10) so be careful in trying to duplicate their success.
And that brings to mind the many changes going on in the Woodinville warehouse district. Geez, wasn’t it just a few years ago when only Austin Robaire and Mark Ryan were the winery ‘big boyz’ there? Here’s the current lineup should you dare venture out to my backyard: A-500 Alta Cellars A-800 Davenport Cellars B-400 Pondera Winery B-500 Des Voigne Cellars B-600 J & A’s Winery C-300 XSV C-500 Gorman Winery C-700 Hestia Cellars C-800 Bunnell Family/Newhouse Family Vineyards/Wine O’Clock/Riveraerie C-900 Kestrel Vintners C-1200 Gecko Wine Company/Michael Florentino D-300 Anton Ville Winery D-500 Amelia Bleu D-500A Vortex Cellars D-600 Patterson Cellars D-600A DeArmond Family D-600B Hand Of God Wines D-700 Piccola Cellars D-1200 Haystack Needle Winery E-400 Sparkman Cellars E-600 Guardian Cellars E-700 Live Wire (Darby) E-800 Barrage Cellars F-100 Baer Winery F-300 Flying Dreams (moving to Tempest Sol’s location)
The adjoining strip known as “19495 144th Ave NE” houses these wineries: A-100 William Church Winery A-110 Cuillin Hills Winery A-115 Elevation Cellars A-120 Tenor Wines A-140 Tempest Sol (leaving soon) B-205 Page Cellars B-210 Red Sky Winery B-220 Obelisco Estate B-235 Robert Ramsay Cellars (say hi to Sara for me) B-240 Smasne Cellars/Gard Vintners/Farm Boy
Across the street at 19510 144th Ave NE has an emerging group of wineries: Alleromb Winery, Ancestry Cellars, Lauren Ashton Cellars, and William Grassie Wine Estates.
Amelia Bleu showcases four wines: 2008 riesling, 2009 Riverenza estate red wine ($22), a 2009 estate merlot (fall release but in a keg right now), and this estate wine. So, the questions begs… does the “Columbia Valley” required labeling hurt sales compared to IF they qualified for “Lake Chelan AVA” instead? Ya know, considering the overall meh-quality of wines currently coming out of that AVA, I’d have to say that the ubiquitous power of the Columbia Valley name is the preferred choice at this time, taking full advantage (by association) of the great wines from the Wahluke Slope, Rattlesnake Hills, Snipes Mountain, Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, Horse Heaven Hills, and Walla Walla Valley that wine drinkers in-the-know are so familiar with. Also remember, this wine will only go to in-Staters, so all the more reason to go with the more familiar AVA name. Of course, that may change once Lake Chelan gets their shit together and starts making consistently great wines instead of catering to the tourist crowds.
Food pairing was Lay’s Hickory BBQ potato chips, dark chocolate-covered soybeans, and Pasta Nova’s sensational Tim’s chicken cacciatore. Passed. Pasta Nova… the best Italian cuisine in Woodinville. Don’t even bother telling me about anyone else; I’ve had those so I do know.
Tasted at 64-67 degrees on the IR temp gun. Color: garnet-edged magenta. Nose: raspberry jam on wheat toast. Mouthfeel: high-toned tangy fruit with a tart sensation off to the sides. Tail trail: 6 seconds. Flavors: hibiscus, pomegranate, cloves, and blueberries. High acids, low tannins. A good Tuesday night diversion.
Alcohol: 13.9% (tastes higher, like a 14.3%). 100 cases. Power: 2/5. Balance: 2/5. Depth: 2/5. Finesse: 2/5. Rated: 88. Value: $16. Paid: $22. “In honor of our brothers, who both lost their battles with cancer, 5% of profits from this wine will be donated to cancer research.” Music pairing: “Get Up Offa That Thing” by Rev. James Brown. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.