Grand Reve Vintners 2004 Collaboration Series I red wine

In a few weeks, there will be yet another infestation of wine bloggers passing through our area. This time, they will be polluting the airways of British Columbia (pity the Canads!), but as they migrate to yet another sub-par wine region (think Virginia), the organizers have been hosting planning meetings here in town. Here are excerpts from a break in how they would be hyping the rough wines of Greece. Of course, Washington wine bloggers are an incestuous, sex-deprived group, so you have been warned…

Sean: “When I was picking up China exchange students back in college, I always used that ‘fall from heaven’ line to get those overripe turnip-smelling chicks in my dorm bed. That said, until I met Anny, it didn’t work so well with the domestic Chinese babes.”
Antoine: “Give us examples.”
Sean: “When I first met Madeline at the wine office, I tried ‘Did it hurt?’. She replied, ‘Did what hurt?’ Me: ‘When you fell from heaven?’ Maddy: ‘Oh, I dug my way up from hell.’ Me: ‘Oh. Well, this is awkward.'”
Antoine: “What worked on Anny?”
Sean: “She was easy. All I said was, ‘Did it hurt when you fell from heaven? Did you fall from heaven because have sex with me.'”
Antoine: “Rico Suave, dude.”

Dave: Margot and I were sitting at a table at her high school reunion, and she kept staring at a drunken man swigging his drink as he sat alone at a nearby table. I asked her, “Do you know him?” “Yes,” she sighed, “He’s my old boyfriend. I understood he took to drinking right after we split up those many years ago, and I hear he hasn’t been sober since.” “Oh my,” I said, “Who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?” And then, the fight started…

Jameson: I was bad at getting girls in high school, even when I tried to use the angle of being in a band. I’d be like, “Yo, what’s up, girl? You wanna come see my band on Friday?” They would go, “Maybe, what’s the name of your band?” And I would have to admit it… “Marching.”

Josh: Hey honey, what line did I use on you?
Kimberly: “If you ever get mauled by a bear with chainsaw hands, I hope he stays away from your face… because I think you’re kinda cute.”

Shona: Hey Sean, what line are you using these days?
Sean: This one worked with Jameson. “How’s your ass?”
Caylee: That’s a wonderful conversation starter. ‘Hey, how’s your ass?’ ‘It’s doing well, thank you! How’s yours?’ ‘Oh, it’s extremely sore, because someone decidedly tried to put a blunt object in it with no prior preparation.’ ‘I’m sorry to hear that, I hope your ass is feeling better soon.’ ‘Why thank you. Have a happy bowel movement later tonight!’ ‘Thanks! You too.’

Andy: What do wine bloggers really wonder about?
Sean: Do all guys find other guys attractive?
Barbara Winegal: What does herpes feel like?
Margot: I haven’t gotten my period in five months. Is that bad?
Shona: What did I do last night after my seventh free glass of Woodward Canyon thunderbird?
Jameson (looking at Sean): How do I get my penis to sit back down?

Clive: Hey wineman, had any memorable dates recently?
Wineman: I dated this gal who was really into photography, with a bent for this style called High Dynamic Range photography.
Wineman: I’ll never forget when she asked me over to her place for dinner. She wanted to show off her cooking. The convo went like this:
Hot chick: “I cooked this chicken in three batches. I cooked the first batch in one minute.”
Wineman: (thinking) Omigod, she’s so cute.
Hot chick: “The second, I cooked for ten minutes. And the third, for an hour.”
Wineman: “It’s delicious!” (thinking) this tastes awful. Omigod, she’s cute.
Hot chick: “I mixed them together to get the full range of flavors.”
Wineman: “Cool recipe! Best chicken ever!” (thinking) I’m going to die.

Sean: Penis!
Jameson: Did you know that if you own an iPad or iPhone and the devices are within range, the iPad also receives the text messages that are sent to the iPhone?
Sean: Yesss
Jameson: Shona is on her iPad and goes, “Sean, what is a penis?”
Sean: Noooo
Jameson: I said it’s a lollipop.

Wineman: “Hey Sean, you have so many fake friends on Twitter, so what’s your secret to making friends?”
Sean: “Tell them girls that you love them and they always reply, ‘I think we’re just friends.'”

Barbara Winegal: I have thousands of men followers on Twitter!
Shona: So do I!
Margot: Ditto!
Wineman: For all the women who brag about how many men want them, just remember… the cheapest prices attract the most customers.

Sean: I am the smartest tool in the shed.
Chris: It’s sharpest, not smartest. Dumbass.

Jamie: Ok Wineman, so tell us some of your secrets to dating!
Wineman: I dated a wine blogger in my early days. I texted her I was willing to share my Qilceda Creek 2005 cabernet sauvignon. All I need is U.
Sean: Agreed! I said something similar to this hot physics major from deep China, “I put the STD in STUD, now all I need is U.”
Wineman: *facepalm*
Wineman: Anywho. I once dated a biology major and tried this one, “I wish I was Adenine so I could be paired with U.”
Wineman: I also dated a math major. Tried this: “If I took a data collection of how beautiful every girl is, you would be at least three standard deviations above the mean.”
Wineman: Best date ever was this gal who loved cats. On our first date, all she talked about was her cat for six hours… then we had mediocre sex.
Wineman: I once dated a gal who looked like Eva Longoria but she went to the University of Washington. I told her she was like a dwarf star. Extremely hot but not very bright.
Wineman: At the wine bloggers shindig in Walla Walla, I was in a store buying 50 condoms, right? Two wine bloggers behind me, Babs and Claire, start giggling. I turn around, look at them dead in the eye and said… “Make that 52.”

Sean: Can I get the last word in? I’m really insecure and pathetic but I want people to think I am an authority on wine.
Jamie: Yes, Sean. Go ahead. What is your advice?
Sean: From my experience, if you’re going to be handling jalapenos, wash your hands before using a tampon. Or pay the ultimate pain of 1000 childbirths and death.
Jamie: That’s nice, Sean. But, how about you give us some sage advice about how life has been for you? After all, it’s Mother’s Day! Give us some wisdom that involves your mother.
Sean: My mom should have swallowed me.

Grand Reve Vintners is a name no longer on the active ledger of Washington wineries; however, the owners have since molted to Force Majeure Vineyards to avoid yet another legal tangle over nomenclature. This is a winery specifically setup for wine snobs and wine dildos who have nothing better to do with their over-compensated income. Sadly, for all their highbrow efforts to make this some type of cult winery on par with the likes of the well-established DeLille Cellars, their “tasting room” sits in a squalid industrial park under the armpit of a quiet bedroom community in Kirkland. Don’t get me wrong, this winery invests heavily in their wine, from vineyard to vinification. And, rightly so. When a winery invests in relying on Red Mountain’s premier vineyard savant, Ryan Johnson, to grow the source grapes then casts an all-star lineup of winemakers to handle the precious cargo off Washington’s only world-class cabernet-growing AVA, it is no longer a matter of IF the wine will be good, but more like… just HOW GOOD the wines will be.

And, therein lies the problem. This is a winery with a similar manifesto to that of Longshadows. Great names. Great vineyards. But, no sense of “soul.” Consumers who flock to Woodinville on a regular basis do so because they have developed a “relationship” with the winemaker/owner. Mark McNeilly. Chris Gorman. Jerry Riener. Lou Facelli. Mark Newton. Jeff Jirka. Rod Balsley. Tim Blue. Attila Kovacs-Szabo. Walk into any of these winemaker’s tasting rooms and sample their wines… they each have a unique and distinguished direction with their wines. Get invited to a Force Majeure party and, well, you taste good wines but that’s about it. Sure, you can go home with a bottle and brag about it to your “buddies” but then what? It’s all about chasing the “status” factor, and we all know what status means: buying things you don’t need to impress people you don’t like.

To the wine…

Tasted at 63-66 degrees on the IR temp gun, on May 4, 2013. Color: rustic ruby. Nose: black currant, black pepper, smoked cherry. Mouthfeel: medium-bodied. Tail trail: soft, enduring, 10+ seconds. Flavors: cherry, raspberry, red licorice, red plum, allspice, shredded New Mexico leather, cedar jewel box. Food pairing was grilled chops and veggies. Historic.

Alcohol: 14.5%. 64% cabernet sauvignon, 18% cabernet franc, 18% petit verdot. Ciel du Cheval Vineyard. Red Mountain AVA. Vineyard manager: Ryan Johnson. Winemaker: Benjamin Smith of Cadence Winery. 137 cases. Collaboration Series I (the winery’s very first wine). Power: 3/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 4/5. Rated: 93. Value: $50. Paid: $49. Music pairing: “Troublemaker” by Olly Murs. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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