Pacific Rim Winemakers 2007 Wallula Vineyard riesling

There is no question that Washington State leads the nation with dumbass news. While more populated areas like Florida and California do their best imitations, when it comes to original idiocy, no one, and I mean, NO ONE state produces more boneheads in the Union. Let’s start in good ol’ downtown Seattle where a local hotel wanted to market its name after an expensive remodeling so what did it do? The marketing dolts chose to spraypaint the hotel’s message on downtown sidewalks. That would have been fine except for the fact the city’s Dept. of Trans. strictly forbids any defacing of public property in addition to violating the city’s municipal code. Looks like they added a few more millenials to the unemployment line. Then, there’s the “what the f were you thinking” urchin who conveniently relieved himself on the side of a cop car in the U-District, in full view of the cops, who were returning from walking the beat. Then, right out of “when the enforcers become the victims” playbook, said cops had to strap on the purple gloves and do a full body cavity search before taking him in for booking. There may have been a Sean Sullyvain sighting in Tacoma recently as flippant singer, Justin Bieber, had his laptop stolen during his recent concert at the T-Dome. Adding further suspicion that it was Sully who was the perp, a music video was uploaded to You Tube showing Sean and Justin “having a kiki.” What the f*ck, Sean!? Not to be outdone, the grand little potato town of Walla Walla made the grade this week with a couple of quacky tidbits… First, a 28 year-old resident at the walled community known as the Walla Walla Pen who was already serving time for hiring a hitman to nail a judge decided to mail another threatening letter to the same judge. This can only be explained by the assumption that they serve Yakima Valley AVA wines in the mess hall there. Compare that to the wine cruise in San Francisco that abruptly ended when the 45-foot Neptune rammed into ‘Little Alcatraz,’ a shoal near Alcatraz Island and quickly took on water, forcing the 22 passengers and crewmembers to dump their cheap Cali wines into San Francisco Bay. Yeah, so you still wanna “go back to my city by the bay”? Fcuk the Giants and 49ers. Finally, there’s the case of the irritating purple octopus mural on 7 East Main Street, near the Otis Kenyon tasting room, that went all the way to the State supreme court over the issue of free speech. Well, the court decided to uphold the town’s size and height restrictions for signs over the “free speech” card. I mean, really, Walla Walla… you need to go to the State’s highest court to settle a trivial pursuit? Sounds like a big city problem, but, note to Walla Walla– you’re not a big city. Never will be, either. You have the notoriety of a port town here, like Kingston or Port Angeles. *yawn*

Pacific Rim Winemakers wines have been around since 1992 when founder Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyards first released a California dry riesling. I can tell you that the clear bottles with the Japanese-themed (ukiyoe) labels of Pacific Rim’s riesling started showing up on local store shelves only within the last few years (2007) and the sketchy Asian girl was sometimes confused with another brand’s ‘Kung Fu girl’ riesling, leading to a boycott of such wines by local feminists in the International District. (Note to Charlie: it really does reinforce a bad stereotype, dude.) Fast forward to January 5, 2011 when the Mariani family of New York, and owners of Banfi Vintners, bought the winery and chose to keep it running as a separate entity, which is a smart move, even for a New Yawkker. “Pacific Rim has already created its own proud legacy and following,” stated co-CEO Cristina Mariani-May.  “One thing Cristina and I learned from our fathers was that from time to time, you get a chance to partner with people who are specialists and extraordinarily dedicated,” said James Mariani. The Marianis have retained winemaker Nicholas Quille of Vinmotion and co-founder and marketing director, Shawn Bevaresco; however, they have chosen to sell the valuable property, Wallula Vineyard, to Long Shadows and it is now rebranded as The Benches (see photos to understand why).

Wallula Vineyard, just west of the Wallula Gap, is a unique masterpiece of geology in Washington vineyard lore. There are some 27 plateaus where vineyards have been integrated within the naturally-terraced landscape, starting at an elevation of some 1400 feet and ending near the shores of the mighty Columbia River. Wallula consists of 750 acres planted to some fifteen varietals in 60 blocks. I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shoot the vineyard from the middle of the Columbia and was left awestruck at its situated beauty. Sailing on Lake Wallula is highly recommended, should you ever get the chance.

Food pairing was a harrowing Korean fried rice concoction. Very nice and something to impress the gf’s parents. Avoid the Danish butter cookies (too sweet) and the barbecue potato chips (yuck).

Tasted at 49-61 degrees on the IR temp gun. Scents of freshly squeezed pineapple juice (not from a can) add to the straw color of this aged riesling, leading to Riedel-filling aromatics of fresh lime slices, peach, and matchbox. Light-bodied but enduring on the palate with flavors of peach, green melon, kiwi, lime, resin, and nectarines with some nuttiness. Sweetness is subtle but detectable.

Alcohol: 12.3% (website 13%). RS 0.9% (website 0.74%). Columbia Valley AVA. pH 3.09. TA 1.0%. Stelvin cap.

Power: 2/5. Balance: 2/5. Depth: 2/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 89. Value: $12. Paid: $18. Music pairing: “Live While We’re Young” by One Direction. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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2 Responses to Pacific Rim Winemakers 2007 Wallula Vineyard riesling

  1. csabernethy says:

    I personally LOVE Pacific Rim – or I should say their product. I’ve never really looked at the art on the bottle, but it is very easy to find on the shelf among all the tall brown and green “standard” bottles. A perfect wine for screw caps – throw it in a cooler and “unscrew it” on the back side (on the golf course, not the other back side). And with such a wide variety of sweetness levels that ANYONE can find a Riesling with the RS to suit their taste. I wish they had a tasting room. I would love to taste all of their wines lined up by sweetness. They are one of the few that have a “sweetness scale” right on the bottle.

    It looks like Pacific Rim has entered three Rieslings and a Gewurztraminer into the Wine Festival this year. I’m looking forward to trying all of them! Winery attendance is down – I hope our attendance is up or we’re history!

  2. wawineman says:

    I can see why you LOVE Pac Rim’s rieslings so much. I don’t care about the transparent label so much as my galpals do but it does help to have trendy color foils when perusing the shelves at the market. Yep, you’re right… this is the perfect wine for Stelvins. Casual. Quaint. Unassuming. Unpretentious. Headlines a simple affair. Riesling is the one varietal flexible enough to excel at various sugar levels, from zero to dessert.

    Astonishing that there’s no tasting room for this winery, but after all, the wines don’t cost a whole lot. Funny you mentioned that sweetness scale as this bottle did not have such on the back label. However, it did list the residual sugar percentage, which is a far better indicator for wine geeks like the wineman.

    Sounds like I need to make a gratuitous appearance at the TC Wine Festival this year! But I need a date. A hot one. I hear Jen’s occupied with work so you know anyone with motorboat-potential?? #justsayin

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