With the upcoming wine liar’s convention on the radar, we salute wine bloggers with the stupidity they shamelessly display on their sites. First, there’s the fugly old goat of a failure who leeched his way onto Seattle’s former “other newspaper” by ripping the customers who frequent the big-box wine stores and accusing those patrons of not buying “local” when they should be paying more for the same wine at some small-time local hoodrat’s store. Listen, you shriveled, Viagra-popping face-got-run-over-by-a-BevMo-semi raisin’d palate, those places employ “local” people who live here and contribute to their communities. Those stores attract a demographic that ma-and-pa Peter’s Wine Esquins cannot entice. I may not buy wines from them but I get some damn good beers there and the people are courteous, unlike the corrosive rant spewed on that poorly edited post. There should be a law that anyone over 43 be disallowed to blog about wines because they are so out of touch with the world. Especially if they failed in selling wine in a previous life. That goes for you, too, Stanley. Next is that brainless cleft-lipped monstrosity that continues to boast that retarded cliche “it’s wine o’clock somewhere.” Her latest posts, despite being a self-proclaimed Washington wine advocate, focuses on Mollydooker and Franciscan Estate wines. Hmm, last I checked those wineries could not be found within Washington’s borders. It’s one thing to occasionally dip into “outside” wines, if anything, to reaffirm that Washington’s wines are clearly superior. It’s quite another to stay focused on second-tier world wines that only rank competitively with the lower-end Precept wines. Then, there’s that Bullshit Wine Reporter’s posts… look at the last month of his posts– not one single investigative topic about a Washington winery or winemaker. The only “focus report” in that time is a self-promoting Glee-type post begging readers to vote for him in some kiddie-school “best wine blog” category. Let’s all thank Amazon.com for shutting this dude’s trap. Hey Bezos, keep driving your slaves, ya buddy! Finally, there’s the grand old mule who thinks he owns the rights to making Washington wine so popular today that no one in southern California has heard of any world-class wines being made here. This guy failed twice at his own blog site then moved his reviews to Facebook only to publicize his ghostly effort at making wine for Tumbleweed Cellars with (a lot of) help from a conglomerate’s winemaking team and cherry-picking vineyards like ANY newly-minted winemaker here. Imagine the creepiness of having an 80 year-old senior wine writer on Facebook… can you say “pedophile”? And after all that heavy failure, the guy ends up promoting his asshat band because he couldn’t make any money with his reviews or heavily-biased-toward-his-Walla-Walla-hoodrats wine book? Hey Sean, here’s a look into your future in twenty years… failed blog, failed marriage with no kids, have to move out of Seattle due to cost of living, writing a book for the equivalent of 8 cents an hour effort, leading some hick banjo-slinging folk band, and forced out of the region’s preeminent newspaper writing about wine due to no one giving a f*ck. Yeah, better enjoy it now before you get reassigned to some remote un-air conditioned fulfillment center way out in the tulies. And you still wonder what’s my beef with Washington wine bloggers and their self-serving motives? Dummfux.
I present to you more evidence of a successful passing of the baton to the next generation of winemakers in the state of Washington with Andrew Januik’s highly anticipated and smashing debut of his eponymous winery. Andrew is the younger son of world-renowned master winemaker, Mike Januik, and a longtime cellar rat, unlike the fly-by-nights that plague the Lake Chelan wineries. Andrew, when not getting his ass beat by older brother, Donald, would sneak into the lab on weekends and work on pH and total acids when most of his kind would be sneaking into some girl’s bedrooms. It also helped that he had two fundamentally sound mentors in duck-father Mike and fellow Novelty Hill winemaker, bulldog Scott Moeller. And, unlike most scraping-by, aspiring winemakers, his “college of hard knocks” was (and still is) the beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright-esque monument that is Januik/Novelty Hill wineries.
With this background, one can expect his wines to be textbook fundamentally sound and clean and this first offering does not disappoint in such high expectations. Despite being a hefty 27 years of age, Andrew has made a wine from a most difficult vintage that is pure and representative of Washington’s jewel of an AVA, Red Mountain. Mark my words, this is not an easy or simple wine to make from year 2011 grapes. Many have fallen or taken a backseat compared to their typical production quality standard, marking 2011 as their “worst” wine in a lineage. Yes, some may say that the 2011 vintage will shine years down the road, but that is just a weakass guess to sell 2011 wines. The fact is, 2011 will be the forgotten vintage for wine connoisseurs who are nursing their own verticals of their favorite fanciful-named wines. However, for a winemaker to begin his journey with the 2011 vintage with such a polished effort as this, the future is boundless with possibilities! 2011 love never felt so good…
Tasted at 58-65 degrees on the IR temp gun. Pleasing deep garnet-black magenta in the Riedel with layered aromas of smoky blackberry, dark cherry, plum, and rich polished wood. Smooth and seamless on the palate with an eternal presence (10+ seconds) displaying raspberry, black pepper, blackberry, sweet rolled tannins, fine dust, nutty espresso, dried bark, stinging nettle, and carpenter’s workbench. This tasted like a French businesswoman… never standing up to overpower its Texas-bbq beef or chicken cutlet with plum sauce peers but never running away from its stage call either.
Alcohol: 14.2%. Vineyards: Shaw and Obelisco. Red Mountain AVA. 4% merlot, 2% cab franc. Aged 21 months in 50% new French, 36% 1-year French, and 14% new American oak. TA 0.53. pH 3.70. 199 cases. Released March, 2014. Sold out but can be found at Januik Winery… if you beg or you’re an Oregon alum. Power: 2/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 91. Value: $35. Paid: $40. Music pairing: “Love Never Felt So Good” by Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.