Riveraerie Cellars 2007 Columbia Valley cabernet sauvignon

You know that feeling… it’s Sunday morning, you are in ‘recovery’ mode, and the only major decision in front of you is what to “cook” with the whole milk in your cereal bowl… will it be Lucky Charms or Frosted Flakes this time? Decision-making that truly epitomizes my first-world problems.

But then, I go to grab the paper and, thinking the pulp has been rid of STINKING ASININE wine writers… I open up the flimsy imitation to Parade, and instead of being greeted by a picture of a chubby middle-aged cougar reliving her youth via Crossfit or babaganoush hot yoga, I get this 70’s-Steely Dan-cum-Bee Gees sorryass’d replacement that was Paul ‘banjo master’ Gregutt polluting my breakfast table with even scummier commentary about wine clubs and $5,000 wine coolers. Like, hello!, how out-of-touch can you be about wine?!

First off… I can understand if this current wine “writer” actually was a success in life. You know… maybe the guy’s wealthy? A check of his IRS return says “uh, not really.” Ok, maybe he’s some masculine hunk who led WSU to a Rose Bowl victory back when bell bottoms was thee thing. I found a recent picture of this dude and… well, you can decide for yourself.

Andy Perpdoo

Andy Perpdoo


Um, yeah, look at that physique. Makes you want to rush out and buy a $10,000 Viking wine warmer… “Be Like He.” Phuckin’ wine puss.

So what was it about wine clubs that was sooo lame? Well, Clyde, it was the not-so-subtle mention that a big reason to join a winery’s “club” was to gain entry into “club only” releases to gain status and impress your dorky “wine expert” neighbors by flashing a never-before-seen bottle of some shlep’s experiment with chambourcin or other obscure grape. Woo hoo! Level: hipster! F*ck you if that’s why you join a wine club.

Here’s why you join a wine club and also why reputable winemakers will agree with this.

You join a wine club for one congealed reason: because you had a great time around some pleasant people you got along with, INCLUDING the winemaker, and enjoyed the lineup of wines presented, even if it was just one wine. And, you want to keep receiving (or having access to) that wine because (1) it will allow you to continue communications with the winery/winemaker, (2) you will receive a wine or wines that will retrieve those great memories, and/or (3) you just want to belong to some entity that you think is “cool,” the membership is loaded with hotties, and you can afford it. Any of these reasons will declare to the winery that you are in it for the long term.

To say you want to join a wine club to hope you will access to experimental wine is absurdly retarded and proves how disconnected a wine writer is with the rest of the wine-consuming world. It doesn’t work, Holmes. All a winery will get is a short-term bump-up in membership that will dissipate with the next vintage of a “club only” wine.

To wit, I have tested this hypothesis and, yes, I did get access to some unusual wines, but I left soon after. If that was the only thrill I got from a winery, then c’est la vie, bitch.

And, what’s up about this crap about spending boo-koo bucks to store wine at “perfect temperatures”? This is f*cking Washington. It is in the f*cking 50s for most of the year and everyone and their f*cking separated in-laws has access to a basement. Shove your shit down there and don’t touch it. Who cares if it floods? The wine is in GLASS. It’s okay. Even if I lived in bone-dry Centralia, I’d still have not a worry about stashing my shit in the basement. They found wine in the Titanic and it still sold for more than my left nut. Get real!

Who the hell would spend $3,099 on some square wood box that stores only 40 bottles? A gay socialist Nazi Muslim with a two-inch penis. That’s who. *cough* Sean. *cough* Andrew.

Getting back to this bottle, thank Allah they are still selling 2007s around the warehouse. Even the 2008s and 2009s. Very happy. The ’10s and especially the ’11s have been busts. Most disappointing has been the ’11 Boushey syrah from a most prominent winemaker who’s retiring soon. I will not say it was awful (it wasn’t) but the wine lacked the trademark Boushey characteristics of its earlier counterparts. You buy a Boushey syrah for its unique earthy and gamey aromas, not because it tastes extracted. That’s why it costs so damn much!

So, Riveraerie is Ron Bunnell’s second WINERY, not second label to Bunnell Family Cellars. Do not mistake this. Unlike most other wineries that create a “second label” for their unclassified, castoff juice in order to preserve the reputation of the first label, the wines under the Riveraerie label are much their own, with its own sources separate from the glossy label. Look at Riveraerie Cellars wines as more of an undervalued and true insider wine lover’s wine. This is the stuff that gives credence to Washington wines being a great value, despite more and more wineries pricing their wines like they come from Napa Valley.

More and more, as we go through Washington’s tinny ’10s and ’11s, the 2007s are a dark block of iron that have developed and met all high expectations. This wine is a slap-in-yo-face reminder of the joys of tasting in 2010 of the new 2007 releases. It wasn’t long ago that all raters, including this one, used to dole out the high numbers on a regular basis. It wasn’t a sham to sell more wine. It was real. The class of 2007 rocked! And, with consistency. It capitalized on the success of the two previous vintages (2005, 2006) that are arguably the two best-ever back-to-back vintages in this State’s winemaking history. At least, until the 2012s and 2013s arrive…

Food pairing was breaded pork tenderloin. It could have been pork hock and still would have come out a winner. Divine.

Tasted at 63-67 degrees on the IR temp gun. Deep, rich ruby with a fading tinge of garnet etches the glass and fills the bulb with thick aromas of pungent black fruits, mushrooms, Macanudo, and dark red flowers. Silky on the palate with an enduring profile of peppery black currant, red licorice, fungus, beets, and tamarind. A worthy wine to celebrate this blog’s five hundred and second post. “And, the haters called on their followers to ignore the truth. That someone with principle and no insidious intention was not worthy of joining their corrupt twilight world of implied high status, when it was, in reality, filled with subliminal hatred, envy, and despise…”

Alcohol: 14.1%. Northridge Vineyard. Columbia Valley AVA. Power: 2/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 91. Value: $30. Paid: $20. Music pairing: “Twilight World” by Swing Out Sister. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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5 Responses to Riveraerie Cellars 2007 Columbia Valley cabernet sauvignon

  1. csabernethy says:

    Wine clubs – you hit the nail on the head. Several years ago, I wrote a couple brief “blogs” about wine (I can’t even remember where, but you can probably find it) and one of my topics was wine clubs. My reasons were 1) I like the people; 2) I like the wine; 3) access to special wines and events; and 4) to provide early support and encouragement to fledgling wineries. There are lots of other reasons, but the primary reason I enjoy wine is because I can directly relate it to people, places, and things. If you don’t know what I’m talkin’ about, you must just drink wine to get drunk.

    I’ve had several Riveraerie wines and I have never been disappointed. They often show up at our blind tastings (because they are very affordable and a lot of the young hotties I drink with can’t afford more expensive wine) and usually do very well. Thank you for pointing out the difference between a second label and a second winery – I have been mis-using the term!

    But you are dead wrong on wine coolers! There is ANOTHER side of Washington that you have forgotten about – the dry side. The side where we get scorching hot days and have to set our A/C at 75 when we go on vacation so that our overflow wine supply that won’t fit into our wine coolers (full of wine that I bought) won’t fry while we are away! Luckily, I’ve found a place on a concrete floor in front of an A/C vent that stays a little cooler than the rest of the house. I’ve often thought of moving out of my little “starter home” where I have resided for over 41 years to a more modern home. I have visions of a room I could convert into a fancy wine storage and tasting room, but I would rather spend the quarter million on wine. Besides, it would be my luck that I would drop dead while moving my wine.

    That’s all I’ve got at 5:15 in the morning. I’ve got to go update my calendar and try to fit in all of my fall wine club release parties. It’s the busy season!

  2. wawineman says:

    Ab,
    As I was typing that diddly about wine storage, I was reminded about the blistering heat out there in the TC. But, I thought I’d nudge the hibernating grizzly and see…

    It’s difficult to think of spending thousands for a cooler when the cash is better spent on the wine itself. I’d rather buy an old refridge for $100 and use that. The benefits of living out here, I guess…

  3. Alina says:

    As a “wetsider”, I agree with just plunking down $100 for someone’s cast off fridge…says the girl who schlepped her ~200 bottles in from the garage when it was scorching hot here on the “wetside”…and hasn’t moved a d@#n bottle back yet!!

  4. wawineman says:

    Alina, that’s hot, girl! I bow humbly to your graces…

  5. Andy Perdue says:

    Wawineman. Sorry I’m late to the party here. That’s not a picture of me – I’ve never been that skinny. Thanks for the guffaws, buddy!

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