Vine and Sun 2009 red wine

Did your bracket bust already like mine did? Damn Harvard! I get the 5-12s correct but that damn 3-14 pairing did me in. Good thing I have fifteen other brackets, with champions picked as Louisville, Ohio State, Indiana, Miami, St. Louis, Florida, VCU, and yes, even Butler! Go Bulldogs! And, how about that Marquette-Davidson ending? Un-real! Too bad hockey cannot replicate this.

Vine and Sun (a Woodinville winery) is the second label to Barons V, which has been around since the 2001 vintage. As hinted, these five “barons” have a European (Russian) background and would like to remain anonymous. However, you will know that the consulting winemaker is none other than Matthew Loso, the demure husband of his ass-kicking wife and the original name behind Matthews Cellars or Estate or whatever Aryn wants it called now. The owners upgraded everything from the formerly cheap label to even opening a tasting room in the south warehouse district near Stevens Winery. There, you will meet the “face” of the winery in the welcoming t.r. manager, Grace Mincin, who will even give you a tour of the barrel room if there’s time.

Current offerings include two sauvignon blancs– one from Spring Mountain Vineyard in the Napa Valley (and using Matt’s stylish concrete egg tank, $22) and one from Rosebud Vineyard ($18), a Columbia Valley cabernet sauvignon ($45) sourced from four vineyards (Conner Lee, Hedges, Bel Villa, and Wallula), a ‘Petit Barone’ red blend ($22), and this little gem. The tasting room is open noon to 5pm on weekends. Worth a visit? It is now.

Food pairing was cowboy chili. Ah, memories of Matthews Winery…

Tasted at 61-67 degrees on the IR temp gun. Color: dark magenta. Nose: red fruits. Mouthfeel: medium-bodied. Tail trail: 7 seconds. Flavors: heavy on the oak, blackberry, Band-Aid, tobacco, eucalyptus, plum, violets, and dried herbs.

Alcohol: 14.5%. Columbia Valley AVA. 80% cabernet sauvignon, 20% merlot. Vineyards: Wallula, Conner Lee. Average vine age: 23 years. Harvest dates: October 17 and 20, 2009. Fermentation and maceration: 14-27 days. Oak: all-American, 50% new. Barrel maker: 50% A&K, 50% Saury. Aged: 22 months. Egg-white fined and lightly filtered. pH 3.79. TA 0.61%. VA 0.111. Free sulfur dioxide: 29 ppm. 492 cases. Power: 3/5. Balance: 2/5. Depth: 2/5. Finesse: 2/5. Rated: 89. Value: $18. Paid: $18. Music pairing: “Stompa” by Serena Ryder. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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