Smasne Cellars 2010 Aligote

Houston, we have a bent problem… a 29 year-old male alleged he took some Virilis Pro male enhancement pills to pleasure his concubine at a motel and after an afternoon of fortified fornication, he experienced “significant pain and observed a large quantity of blood squirting out of his penis onto the sheets, walls, and mirror.” The poor, crooked one was rushed to the emergency room where doctors “degloved” his pecker that reportedly resulted in his sterility. Thankfully, the handful of readers in the Seattle area only need to read Sean’s wine report to attain similar results. On the women’s health side, a New Jersey woman has been diagnosed with PGAD. No, it does not stand for Paul Gregutt’s Asinine Diatribes. Good guess, though. More like “persistent genital arousal disorder.” In other words, she has the urge to orgasm at all hours, similar to what some experience when reading this blog. You see, my readers have a region in their brain that responds to dopamine signaling by sending out instructions to the rest of the body to prepare for coitus. Whereas, readers of other Washington wine blogs have brains that send out dopey signals which is a response to reading bullshit ‘Top 100 Wines of 2012’… in August. Michigan has chimed in… a 45 year-old man called police to complain that a 19 year-old woman he had agreed to have sex with unexpectedly increased the price. This reminds me of the time when Greg P. Utt and Barbara Evans were at…oh, that’s just nasty. And speaking of whale vomit, an 8 year-old English boy was roaming the beach when he picked up a yellowish-brown loaf of a rock and took it home. Turned out that “rock” was a chunk of ambergris, or whale poop. Ambergris is a waxy, bile-like substance similar to what Jameson uses for his hair gel, and is produced to ease the passage of hard material, like squid beak, through the intestinal tract. Freshly castoff ambergris smells like you would expect after meeting Sean Gregullivan—whale poop. But after fermenting in the ocean, it picks up aromas of tobacco, old wooden church, seaweed, or rubbing alcohol without that pungency. Perfume companies willingly pay $10-50 per gram for the crappy byproduct. So, whodathunkit, maybe Sean’s or Paul’s posts might actually be worth something in about, oh, how about NEVER.

Harvest has begun in Washington! Though not finished yet, the white wines of 2012 in Washington should be spectacular with the long, sunny summer days. Expect about 180,000 acres harvested this year (all wine grapes), barring any last minute September storms (knock on Sean’s head).

Aligoté (pronounced ‘Aah-lee-goh-tay) is a white wine that was first vinified in Burgundy. Not nearly as famous as its chardonnay classmate, aligoté vines are mostly found in poorer sites (tops or bottoms of hills), and thusly did not make the top-20 for most-planted vines in the world. However, former Soviet-bloc countries such as Romania and Bulgaria are increasing hectare-age as the grape is easy to grow in chalky or sandy soils. DNA research shows aligoté’s parent grapes are pinot noir and gouais blanc. Aligoté wines are what you would expect of obscure white wines: high in acid (pair with shellfish), fermented dry, and with subtle floral and herbal notes. Drink it young to capture its noted flavors of apple and lemon.

So just what is Todd Newhouse doing growing a few lines of this at his Upland Vineyards? Experiment? Diversification? Turns out it is probably the latter as a form of “investment protection.” Upland Vineyards, site of the State’s oldest and still-producing vineyard, grows some odd creatures in: graciano, melon, morio muscat, müeller thurgau, muscat hamburg, souzao, tinta madeira, tinta cao, touriga nacional, “and others.”

And that philosophy lies parallel with Robert O. Smasne’s winemaking approach. The guy will vinify any grape out there, as his lineup of wines attests. As for this, Robert first worked with Upland Vineyards’ aligoté back in 1996 as a blender for his other white wines.

Food pairings were potato chips and boiled chicken with broccoli. Yeah, I just didn’t have time to pull out a lobster from the toilet aquarium or an herb-roasted lamb like CSM recommends with any of their wines. Still a good pairing set.

Tasted at 44-56 degrees on the IR temp gun. Light straw in the Riedel with stone fruits and lime wafting over the glass. Light bodied on the palate with a short residence of pink grapefruit, blood orange, ripe peach, green apple, and apricot. Tastes closer to a pinot gris than an albariño.

Alcohol: 13.5%. Upland Vineyards. Snipes Mountain AVA. Bottle 207 of 540 (45 cases). Whole cluster-pressed, barrel fermented and aged sur lie (no stirring) for 10 months in neutral French oak. 100% aligoté.

Power: 2/5. Balance: 2/5. Depth: 2/5. Finesse: 1/5. Rated: 87. Value: $10. Paid: $15. Music pairing: “Seven Day Weekend” by JTX. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

P.S. Hey Robert, I suggest maybe it’s time to reload the Sara Nelson Design account and update your label. It’s looking a little dated… #justsayin

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4 Responses to Smasne Cellars 2010 Aligote

  1. Winemaker of Mass Destruction says:

    “Ambergris is a waxy, bile-like substance similar to what Jameson uses for his hair gel”

    Sooooo…that is his secret for that oh so nifty shine. He looks like Shemp Howard had a butt baby then pissed on it.

    WMD

  2. wawineman says:

    WMD,
    Nailed it! FLMAO!

  3. csabernethy says:

    I’m not much of a “white” fan, but I gave the Aligoté a try. I can see why it is used primarily for blending. It just doesn’t have enough zip or pizzazz to get my attention. However, I’ve tasted a Smasne dessert wine that had some Aligoté in it and it was marvelous! Right now, my favorite “unique” white wine is Albariño – I could drink that stuff all summer. I wish there were a few more local producers. Everyone I’ve shared it with has loved it!

  4. wawineman says:

    Ab,
    Yep, I can see why also. Albariño is perfectly paired with raw shellfish. Too bad there are only a few acres of that stuff and I think I’ve reviewed almost half of the producers of alb here. It’s our little secret so it stays cheap.
    I drink anything, including all versions of white wines. Tough to top Coop’s pinot gris or Mellisoni’s p-gris, Buty chardonnay, Guardian sau blanc, Ross Andrew pinot blanc, Mark Ryan viognier, Dowsett gewurz, or Januik riesling. I’m sure there are a few others out there that should join my list, but after going through some 25% of all the wineries in the State, none can beat this hand. But, that’s just my opinion…

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