Olsen Estates 2009 Vineyard Select grenache

How about that Georges St. Pierre champion!? He put the beatdown from the wife-beater position to retain his status as one bad-ass and now MMA fans get the superfight of the century next year when he meets Anderson Silva for no other good reason than to make A-Rod money. But enough good news… let’s get back to what we do best here.

Leading off in the bowels of Seattle, police arrested a 35 year-old repeat public fapper “sitting on a staircase with his pants around his ankles, in the throes of self-flagellation.”  I had to check that twice as I thought I was reading about the early life of Greg P. Utt. You have to forgive us as we just finished reading about wine blogger mating habits as interpreted by tiny algae known as bdelloids.  These microscopic, asexual organisms mimic Sean Sulligutt’s current sex life where they “ingest DNA in organic debris” as its primary means of propagation, kinda like when Sean slithers into Jameson’s flat and sucks up all his manjuice like a hypercarbonated bottle of Mexican cola. That was just wrong. Heading south to Lacey, police there arrested a 66 year-old freak after he was throwing furniture in his yard then knocked down an officer and left some bitemarks on her leg. Can’t really blame the man for craving some bacon while under duress. Oh Quincy… a 32 year-old from the Grant County town was arrested for injecting a woman with the intent to increase her boob and butt size. Additionally, cops want to speak with Sean and Greg P. Utt as there could be more victims and there are no bigger boobies and buttholes than those two tools. Speaking of a Ding-Dong and a Twinkie, Hostess Brands will cease operations and liquidate all assets, which immediately outed all the hoarders who cleaned off the market shelves of the iconic snacks. And lastly, a 4th-grade teacher in southern Idaho is on the grill for allowing her students to Sharpie the few kids who did not reach their reading goals. What we learned from this hazing incident is all wine drinkers are now licensed to Sharpie any lazyass wine blogger who puts out a list of “top 100 wines” before Thanksgiving. I’ll send a voucher for a bottle of the finest Chateau Ste. Monopoly Columbia Valley riesling to the first one who does.

What. The. Fuck. is wrong with WSU football these days??? This season’s team has taken “Coug’d it” to a whole new low level. BUT, it’s still better than those shitty Huskies of 2008 that couldn’t even beat their own peckers.

In a typical wineman twist, let’s take another view of the season to ease our pains. Cougar football is under a new coach and, well, let’s face it, these farm boys need time to adjust to their new coaches. So let’s just write off the first three quarters of their football games as they are still just warming up to the game plans and stretching out their concussions. Cougars know the game is won in the 4th quarter! So, for all you Cougar fans out there, let’s see how our team did based on our new rules.

WSU’s football record is now a little more shiny with a 3-3 record (and 5 ties). They beat a top-20 team in fUCLA, 15-0, and a former top-25 team in Arizona State, 7-0! However, it still doesn’t erase the black eye administered by once-victorious Colorado, and… uh, we won’t count what would be a loss to EWU as they are just a measly FCS “club” team so the old rules apply here which means– IT’S A WIN! It’s all about FBS football and WSU certainly put the ‘F’ and ‘BS’ in FBS, folks! And, just think–WSU would have ties against bowl teams in the #1 Oregon Shmucks, B-Y-who, and the top-20 Stanford Tree. So what Pullman really has this year is a .500 team as we head into the Apple Cup. And, it never hurts to pray for a blizzard, Cougar Nation…

This is where we talk about the winery but, as you know from reading previous posts here, there is no more Olsen Estates.

So, let’s talk about those retarded “top 100 wines” lists. First off, there is no Wikipedia citation for this simply because IT’S. SO. LAME. However, we will fill in this vacuum of information right here. This disease originated with the last generation of wine drinkers who were sticking their pinkies in the air after “winning” the Judgment of Paris tasting. Matters worsened when an elitist attorney in blue crab country started rating French wines on a modified grade-school scale, topping off at “100.” It is this generation that infected subsequent generations of winos with everything “100.” 100 points. Top 100 wines. Top 100 restaurants. Top 100 cigars. Top 100 sex positions while mastering Halo 4. All created by 100 IQ human borings.

First off, just what the hell does it mean to be a “top 100” wine? Not a damn thing unless you’re a newbie trying to slime your way up the wine-status ladder and you’re not decent enough to know someone who knows something about wine. We call these urchins “score chasers” in the trade. They’re about two to three rungs down the evolutionary scale from species like maggots and lice. The goal of this alien lifeform is to pay whatever it takes to impress people they really don’t care about in the first place. These are the local versions of “Jill Kelley” and “Paula Broadwell” but usually in male form. Tasting room managers are trained to smell these dingleberries once they enter the parking lot. Winemakers know them as a double-edged sword: for one, whatever wine gets glorified becomes an instant sell-out; however, the winemaker knows these sales are for “the number” and not about the admiration of broad winemaking skills. Think of it as flattery. Cheap, but it pays the bills.

Retailers and wine smelliers jump all over this form of “marketing” and as well they should. Whatever it takes to help shlep wine. It’s a business. They’re not around to espouse high morals. The cheaper wineries that have large inventories of unsold wines also participate in this scam as a method to move their undrinkable garbage.

At the other end, wine “competitions” and individuals/organizations who want to self-glorify their pathetic names are all too ready to dole out “silver,” “gold,” and even “double gold” awards to donated wines, easily misinforming the consumer with the impression that if a wine won “gold” at some rinky-dink competition, that it was the “best” wine there without also divulging that there were ten other “gold” winning wines and that wasn’t even the top award as it was buried under fifteen other “double gold” wines, a “best of varietal” category, and even a “best of show” wine. Wine drinkers are so easily duped.

No one ever stops to ask just how transparent are the methods in determining these status symbols. Did they pay for the wines (answer: never)? Were the wines judged by the bottle? By the glass? By the sip? What was the palate cleanser? How many wines were tasted in a sitting? How long were the wines allowed to “breathe” before testing? Were they tasted “blind”? Was there a neutral group presiding over the administration of the wines to ensure objectivity? What were the “standards” or criteria used to judge? Was it a public judgment/tasting (answer: never)? These are the just the initial questions that SHOULD be asked by anyone on the receiving end of such piss-poor rhetoric. And, this is why you should NEVER let this bullshit persuade you to purchase what will likely be a most regrettable, if not disappointing, bottle of wine. Go with the wineman’s rule: avoid any wine that is advertised as a medal winner, ESPECIALLY by an organization you have never heard of. And, as an addendum to the rule, definitely AVOID buying any wine on some bloke’s “top 100” list.

Take Paul Gregullivan and his connection with Walla Wanker wineries. His anal list of his “top 100 wines” can be predicted with a frontloaded mess of high-priced Walla Walla plonk just as the sun rises from the east. They donate $40-100+ wines because they cannot sell it otherwise, and he returns the favor by tacking on a number. In the end, it’s the consumer who is bending over and getting sodomized with an overripe Meyer lemon and cheap bottle of kirsch, all in the name of “list chasing.” Get real.

In a sense though, all this wine posturing only perpetualizes the saying, “A fool and his money are soon parted.” Of which, all of this goes back to its roots as I have witnessed a lot of silver hairs cough up thousands for nine liters of pre-digested fruit juice. And as a young gun, that makes me very happy to know wine is the great equalizer, financially-speaking. Every lollipop has its sucker.

One last note. I ain’t done yet. While these dorks have already posted their “top 100 wines” for the year as early as August, Woodinville’s calendar is in the middle of release parties right now. How can any self-aggrandizing blowhard claim a ranking of the year’s wines when not all of them have released? Got an early bottle? That’s too bad. The wine likely hasn’t settled yet, as that’s usually the reason a winemaker holds back a wine from release. Wait for the public release, fool.

Thanks to an ultra-shitty heavy workload, you’ll see brief reviews of about 20 wines by year’s end so they qualify for the wineman’s own annual awards. You got it. It’s back. It’s coming. It’s the Woodinville Wine Honors, numero quatro. Start stirring that mulled wine and insert that “A Karen Carpenter Christmas” dvd into your Blu-ray player for what will be a night of fun and surprises! Dean Martin has been rumored to demand hosting this banquet and is willing to rise from the dead just for this one night, along with Henny Youngman and the one-and-only, the irascible Rodney Dangerfield! Oh yeah, get your “105 points, double gold” tickets now before they’re sold out.

To the wine.

Food pairing was pork tenderloin. The wine was not the ending I anticipated after enjoying earlier efforts. Meh.

Tasted at 55-66 degrees on the IR temp gun. Color: Jolly Rancher grape. Nose: strawberry, dark cherry clossom, Red Whips. Mouthfeel: light. Tail trail: 8 seconds. Flavors: strawberry, pink cherry, sugar-free cotton candy, slight alcohol sting on the back end. Not my idea of a Thanksgiving wine.

Alcohol: 14.5% (guessed 14.2%). 200 cases. Yakima Valley AVA. Estate grown and bottled. Power: 2/5. Balance: 2/5. Depth: 2/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 89. Value: $18. Paid: $18. Music pairing: “Goodbye Goodbye” by Oingo Boingo. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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2 Responses to Olsen Estates 2009 Vineyard Select grenache

  1. Winemaker of Mass Destruction says:

    Yeah Cougs are lame dude. However, seeing that Oregon finally lost yesterday and Kansas St as well, it make me feel better about my teams.

    I know you have lambasted wine comps before, but I like them. I do not do any obuscure ones, and really have only done the same two a couple of time. I think that it is just part of my lifestyle/habits from even when I was a child. I like looking at my awards for various activities I have participated in my life, beer comps, wine comps, cider comps, label design, soccer, baseball, Concours d’elegance.

    I do want my proffessional wine product to grow organically, but at least having a couple of certs help as a convo starter with our new customers. At least with wine comps we enter in, I can guarentee the wine is objectively judged blind and get somewhat of a fare shake vs. fucking handing it off to the critics. I my opinion, wine/beer/whatever comps give a player a baseline to his/her peers in a category. It at least gives me a measuring stick of how I can improve and gives me an idea of how my peers product compares, and when I then go buy or trade a bottle, I can see how similar/different they are.

    Bottom line, comps are fun for me and I like I mentioned, I don’t enter them all, but I like a few. And they, so far, have not in my opionion sold any more wine. But like I said, they make for at least a conversation starter.

    Later mate,

    W.M.D

  2. wawineman says:

    WMD, yah them Cougars are so incredibly lame this year. I bet Bellevue High School could beat them this year. Oregon’s loss just re-added lustre to this week’s Civil War. Forget the Apple Cup… it’s a no-brainer the Huskies will win. Notre Dame, #1… can I really handle this??

    Oh yeah, I couldn’t agree more… personal achievements resulting in medals are the shizznits. As the recipient of untold riches in comps, awards and a wonderful following being the result of such kudos, I vigorously defend such rewards as well-earned. Wine comps are just as hot. It’s a powerful feeling to have hundreds of dollars of wine on the table and not having paid for them.

    As a trusted vintner once told me, there comes a time when the benefits of comp-ing outweigh the stigma and minimal financial loss. If you want to go national, find a well-circulated, mostly respected, and established periodical and play their game. On a national/international level, it takes one good score to become firmly established as “reputable” or, at the very least, like you said– “they make for at least a conversation starter.” Of course, such a periodical must have a solid track record of benefitting these wineries. And, if such wine competitions are able to garner a respectable quantity of decent wines, more power to them. However, if these organizations think I will buy a wine based on a “number” or the plastic gold charms they “won,” then their scheme sadly backfired. In wine, as in life, everything’s a gamble.

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