Novelty Hill Winery 2009 Stillwater Creek Vineyard syrah

Gotta love these Seahawks! Tickets go on sale Monday morning at 10am for the NFC Championship and the front office made two remarkable decisions on who gets their paws on ’em. For one, the prices are astronomically stupid! The cheapest seats are going for $473, and we’re talking about the nosebleed sections off the sides of the endzones. But, wait! you say, I have money and I want to sit closer. Okay Herbert, you can get 100-level seating around the 20-yard line for the chickly price of a mere $963. Oh yeah, that’s not including the convenience fee, the handling fee, and the “my-cousin-works-in-the-ticket-office-so-she-gets-hers-free-thanks-to-dolts-like-you” service fee. As if that’s not enough to be exclusionary, there’s also a geographical restriction– only those with a mailing address in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Hawaii, and hosers in British Columbia and Alberta qualify. Yeah, those retarded Californicators who are still humpin’ Joey Montana are DISAVOWED from purchasing straight-up. Brilliant marketing! There will be a massive home-crowd of broke-ass locals who won’t be able to feed their families come January 20, but that’s how we roll in Seattle!

Despite Woodinville being the capital of Washington wine (and with a stiff middle finger at Walla Walla Wanna Wannabes), we too have our problems. As these gray days roll on before a slew of monster spring releases, here is a summary of the things we hate about wine-ing in Woodinville.

First off, there should be a ban on “wine tours.” Who the fuck rides in these things? A bunch of clueless, nutless wonders that are too lazy and limp to drive to the warehouse themselves and prefer to act in a group of likewise idiots by acting brash and getting shit-loaded drunk as they meander from tasting room to tasting room to tasting room using their Living Social/Groupon coupons. Let’s call it what it is… a rehearsal for their geezer-retirement-home days when they have no choice but to sit their adult-diaper’d asses on the bluehair bus and fiddle through their coupon purses looking to get a “good deal” on wines they can no longer taste.

Next on the list are the wedding parties. Only one group is more obnoxious than a bunch of guys and that is… a bunch of girls who think they are the center of the universe and let everyone else know about it with their piercing cackles and Glad-bag dresses.

Close behind are the shysters. These hipster-dressed gnats will do anything to get out of paying the basic tasting fee. They will talk up about how much money they make, how great their “job” is, who they think they know in the wine industry, or lowest of all… call themselves a “wine blogger” or “social media expert” and bargain their way out of paying. A few will even be retarded enough to signup for the wine club then email their cancellation the next day.

Every tasting room has this guy: “Hey, I got six guys from out of town coming in later to buy wine so I’m just scouting the wineries and was wondering if you could comp me the tasting fee or even comp me a bottle?” Are you effin’ kidding me? Was I born yesterday? Do you see ‘Lucky Pop’ on my forehead? My answer is consistent… “Why don’t you try (unnamed) Winery? They cater to people like you!” Maggots.

We continue on the “anything but 2010-11” parade here. Novelty Hill wines have found their niche in the marketplace with solidly made wines priced in the $15-30 category that return solid value. And, to note, these are single-vineyard (Stillwater Creek estate) offspring that produce varietally-correct and sometimes, terroir-driven wines. That’s a helluva steal for a Washington wine.

Tasted at 64-67 degrees on the IR temp gun. Color: garnet-edged deep magenta. Nose: plum, black fruits, cherry wood. Mouthfeel: full-bodied. Tail trail: 7 seconds. Flavors: plum, black olive, cherry, blueberry, anise, black pepper. Suitably paired with Sunday night spaghetti.

Alcohol: 14.4%. 4% grenache, 4% mourvedre. Aged 22 months in half new, half once-used French oak. pH 3.77. TA 0.53%. 197 cases. Columbia Valley AVA. Future Frenchman Hills AVA. Power: 2/5. Balance: 2/5. Depth: 2/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 89. Value: $25. Paid: $20. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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