3 Horse Ranch Vineyards 2011 Reserve syrah/mourvedre (Idaho)

Looks like that balding, aged old goat in Steve (Jacks) Himoff of Hosemasterbater insignificance retained his loser status after watching his crinkled fatass go down in the Belmont Stakes. Some 9 million dollars (from wannabe know-it-alls–just like in wine!) were bet on his California Dome to win some award and, just like his performance in the bedroom, he came up limp. Up north, it appears former American Top 40 deejay, Casey Kasem, met up with Paul Gutless (aka front-turd for his band– Asshat (Yes I’m a) Asshat) as it was reported Casey was admitted to a hospital with a flaring bedsore that could ultimately be his demise. And, as usual, that middle-aged asexual Sean begged his blind followers on Twitter for Seattle not to pass the $15/hr minimum wage law because that would mean uneducated immigrants would be making more than his cache of being a college-educated (notice he says he never graduated from college) herpderp who majored in neurology. I didn’t know you needed a degree to be considered neurotic. I was fortunate enough to chat with his gf, Anny, during the Copper River salmon shindig and she was in a depressed state after discovering she was a lesbian for dating Sean. That’s okay, Anny. Sometimes, the woman in a relationship carries the big dick while the male is just a cunt.

Anyone pull out the facial tissue, one more time, for Paul Guttless’s latest “farewell”? The 85 year-old looking barnacle with the cheap hair dye and curly, girly locks (based on his Facebook mugshot) has turned into a news snark of sorts, kinda like a sophomoric version of this blog. So, this ruffled, crinkled banjo-slinger has abandoned (yet again) his weakass, fake-y wine blog and has turned into a news soundbite and shameful self-publicizing folksinger for some rural dive bar and shlocking his wine that was really made by a 2nd-place Big Wine consortium. This is the destiny of a pathetic senior wine writer who for years refused to let outsiders admire the wonders of Washington wine and claim it as their discoveries. He wasn’t good enough to write for Wine Expectorator, ever, so he cajoled his fellow lemonparty dicksuckers at Choad Enthusiast to add a couple points to every Washington wine review. Then, based on Sean’s powerful ass-sucking, Paul chose him to continue the illusion that Washington wines are “owned” by Choad’s editors (aka freeloaders). After all, Sean knows nothing about using the 100-point system to rate a wine, choosing to diss rather than understand and learn, and preferring to use gay one-liners to slot a wine. What’s so funny (and sad) is no one buys that flimsy rag and thus, no one still knows how great Washington wines have become. That is… until they read this Washington wine blog.

3 Horse Ranch Vineyards sits in the up-and-coming Snake River AVA of the Gem State. Now, Idaho is far better known for things other than wine, such as French fries (Simplot), paper (Boise Cascade), semiconductor chips (Micron), and cut-rate supermarkets (Albertsons, WinCo Foods), but there is a growing wine industry shooting off of neighboring Washington for those winemakers who consider Walla Walla part of the “rat race” and yearn for better quality flyfishing expeditions. Yeah, if that’s you, get to know your ‘ho… Idaho.

The owners use estate fruit and have reached into the Walla Walla Valley AVA to grow some serious grapes. Recently, they started to craft their own wines and the improvement in quality winemaking has attracted some big buyers west of the Cascades. Regardless of whatever wine awards they garnered, this is still an Idaho wine. I. Da. Ho. Common responses include “Dafuq?,” “Idaho? What side of the Potomac are the grapes grown?,” and “It doesn’t look like a ‘ho.”

History will say this is the bottle (and vintage) that puts Idaho on the wine map. The Snake River Valley AVA is setting course as a future wine tourism destination and is already ahead of several Washington regions in terms of resort development. Ultimately, I think they will take a chunk of expendable cash from the hordes that invade the onion capital of the Northwest. I can see the jingle of “Drive east another hour to get the same quality at half the price” adding to Idaho’s lure. It just might work as Walla Walla is just too snooty these days. Hell, it’s already happening with wineries flocking south to the Oregon side of the border.

Syrah. My empire for a good Washington syrah. Thankfully, this is from Idaho so I won’t be holding a cardboard sign in front of Amazon world HQ anytime soon. Regardless of where it came from, this is a phuckin’ good wine that played well with homemade meatloaf. Syrah was supposed to be Washington’s guiding light, the wine that screams “Washington” like cabernet does for California and malbec for Argentina. Not. Gonna. Happen. There are some flat syrahs currently in tasting rooms in your area. Uninspiring. Eye-bonerless. Asensual. Disjointed. 2011. Enuff said. Well, not with Idaho in this case.

It’s easy to fall for the baited-hyperbole spewed by winemakers, wine awarders, and industry fcuks who only want to move wine because they are either on-the-take or have a vested interest in selling you that questionable bottle. It gets all the more fun when they say they are either (1) studying to be “master” certification, (2) work their second job schlepping wine at some overpriced restaurant, or (3) throw a bunch of useless terms that make them feel they know more about wine than you do. “This won double gold at Charlie Chan’s Seattle thingy so it’s the best of the best!” Hold it, dildo breath, the term “double gold” simply means every broke-ass moron at the judge’s table conferred with each other that the winery gave plenty of freebies so they should bestow their highest award to said wine that was donated. So, an “award” organization can have thirty shitty wines at the table and if a few of the wineries donated extras like a Kraft cheese plate or “authentic” Iberico ham from pigs raised in the Kent valley, well… you know how that goes. Bottom line is, multiple wines can get the “double gold” tag. Sounds good, means nothing. Sells wine? Maybe. Bottom line to that is a few well-connected, overpaid waiters duped wineries into scoring free wine. A cheap buzz. Here’s your double-gold and thanks for the $300 case of wine, dumbass.

Tasted at 63-68 degrees on the IR temp gun. Stern brick magenta in the Riedel with essences of black currant, plum, and meat locker. Full and wily on the palate, this baby delivered with a good flavor evolution of dusted blackberries, smoked ham, and pot roast. Not a lot of wood detected, which is a plus. Firm and balanced. This one is ready to go… now. Should be a winner with barbecued pig this summer.

Alcohol: 14.3%. Snake River Valley AVA. 83% syrah, 17% mourvedre. A few hundred cases. Power: 2/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 91. Value: $30. Paid: $19. Music pairing: “Black Magic Woman” by Santana. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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9 Responses to 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards 2011 Reserve syrah/mourvedre (Idaho)

  1. csabernethy says:

    Howdy, stranger – it’s been a while! My first exposure to 3 Horse Ranch was a few years back when we allowed them to come to the Wine Festival and pour their wines without being part of the judging. They were favorably impressed with the venue in their inaugural appearance and have returned to the Festival as participants the last two years, and I expect they will be back this year. This Syrah was one of three wines they poured last year. I venture to guess that you found your bottle at Costco? Their wines have been in our local Costco for the last couple years, although I must admit, I haven’t tried them yet. They haven’t received a gold yet, but they have a steady run of silvers in our truly “blind” judging.

    So far, I have been pretty un-impressed with 2011 Washington Syrahs. In fact, I have tasted a really bad one from one of my “wine club” wineries. I’m hoping it will improve after resting for a year, but I doubt it. This is the year that I will be drinking the ’09 and ’10 in my inventory. Can’t wait for the ’12 red releases – so far I have found many ’12 and ’13 whites that I like and normally would not buy. I’m a little leery of 2012 reds being released this early, but some that I have tasted have been pretty good.

    Heading back to Bothell one more time next weekend to meet with the brothers but probably won’t have much time for wine-tasting. But if I did, where should I go?

  2. wawineman says:

    Hey Ab, long time it has been!

    You made me clarify this post… when this blog mentions these stoopid awards for wines run by attention-starved lackeys, in no way does this include the prestigious Tri-Cities Wine Festival. That is the ONE and ONLY of the truly honest wine pageants that does it right. And yes, we do our best to acquire any honored bottles to verify the authenticity and, every time, the award achieved was well-earned.

    This contrasts with such shams as the Seattle Wine Waiters Award doling out double golds to wines that wouldn’t scratch a “90” here.

    “Best of Show” always gathers more weight than a “double gold” because there can really only be ONE wine that earns it. That’s what I like to see. This is a competition, not some kiddie self-esteem boosting, everybody-wins-something test.

    Sure, that method is not good for publicity as just one winery can pound its chest. However, when my news feed fills up with ten wineries claiming “double gold” this or “gold medal winner” that, it gets old really quick and I lose any fancy in attaining such bottles. Marketing 101 FAIL.

    Rumor has it that once Costco tasted this wine, they bought the entire inventory. Somebody there knows their wine and has the ten-ton cojones in buying power to back it up. Thus, this wine will not get a golden shower from any wine yahoos in the trade to falsely create a demand. Costco, with its monopolizing ability unexercised, charges a paltry markup for this so this wine has disappeared from most Costcos already.

    As a follow-up, I also tried the cabernet-merlot and it was not well-received. There’s something about really small, family-run wineries that take a chance on a syrah and it ends up being the jewel in their vintage portfolio. Think Davenport Cellars 2007. Sparkman Cellars 2006. Smasne Cellars 2007. Ross Andrew 2008.

    We think alike. Our club cellar is currently being thinned of ’08s and ’09s. The 05’s, 06’s, and 07s are still plenty young, so the 01s, 02s, 03s, and 04s are next to go. Outside of club shipments, no 10s or 11s in stock, except this one.

    The 12s and 13s in whites are doing well here. I must say this, though, that they are not as exciting as when the 06s and 08s debuted. But, that’s a minor fault as the 10s and 11s are long gone to the foolish, the uninformed, and the tourists.

    The 2012 reds in circulation now are not impressive but still far better than the 10s and 11s. You are spot on… wait for autumn and next year for those releases.

    For you, sir, so knowledgeable of the wine landscape and willing to venture to the deep crevices of the warehouse district… hmmm, I’d take you on a tour first to the south warehouse district of Covington Cellars, Pomum Cellars, Stevens Winery, Barons V and Auclair Winery. A mix of new and old, steady and updated, and all good wines in the lineup. Then, to the warehouse district for Alta Cellars, Davenport Cellars, and the trifecta of Barrage-Guardian-Sparkman. The finishing line will be across the street with Efeste, Ancestry Cellars/Savage Grace/William Grassie then up to Triplehorn Brewery for some really good beers. The encore would be The Collective on Tap– really good selection of drafts and good food.

    Hope all is well with pops!

    • csabernethy says:

      “Pops” passed in mid-April, but better sooner than later with what he was battling. It came as quite a shock that he went so quickly, but that is what he wanted in the first place.Seattle trips will be few and far between in the coming years.

    • csabernethy says:

      Thanks. As you’ve probably heard, Market Vineyards is opening a tasting room in the Schoolhouse District soon. If you haven’t already given them a try here in the Tri-Cities, you should! However, some of my favorite wines are “member only” wines, but the rest of the lineup is respectable, too.

  3. wawineman says:

    I was afraid of the news. My condolences to your family. And, it is also a loss for Woodinville’s wineries to have your experience roaming the tasting rooms making sure we keep up with what’s going on in the heart of wine country. Let me know when you’re in the area so I can prepare the troops.

  4. wawineman says:

    I think it’s great to have wineries place a 2nd tasting room in Woodinville. They bring in a new style of wine and a new attitude. Tourists love that stuff, but crunky locals like me have just about had enough of the Hollywood district with it’s lack of parking. It has become a high-rent zone so the quality range has narrowed. I’ll stick to the warehouse wineries for its variety and slower pace. Really despise wedding parties also…

    • csabernethy says:

      They looked into a place downtown but that deal fell through. Yes, they realize there is a parking problem. Not sure what the solution is. At least when I visit ANC, they have a few reserved spots! So I also was told there was a “foodie” place going in next door to Market, too?

  5. csabernethy says:

    Finally – a new batch of photo headers on this blog! If you ever need another good ass model, let me know. I have a pink feathered thong – hardly ever worn.

  6. wawineman says:

    OMG, Ab!

    It’s a good thing I didn’t open this at work. I know you were waiting for those! Gawd, I am busting a gut… I do NOT want to know how you acquired a pink, feathered thong! But I did ask…

    Where there’s wine, there’s foodies. I hate foodies as much as I hate wine bloggers. Snooty pricks. Just make a basic burger with all the fixin’s with good frites like they do at Teddy’s Bigger Burgers and I am one happy hombre.

    I will visit Market Vineyards one time and it will likely be on a cold, wintery day. That is, unless they can supply me with more blog photos!

    You… in a pink, feathered butt floss… my imagination just got blinded! Think… removes bottle caps with his teeth… okay, eyesight restored.

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