Davenport Cellars 2013 Snowflake white wine

Iconic quotes from the past week:

“Drunk driving is not cool.” That’s Whitney Beall, a 23 year-old from (where else?) Florida, who livecasted her drunk driving skills on Periscope, daring her audience to see if she can get a DUI while driving home with Shona… er, make that a flat front left tire.

“A mistake was made.” That was good ol’ Jim Harbaugh describing the final 10 seconds of his Wolverines football team attempting to punt on 4th-and-2, ahead 23-21. It’s Michigan. You just knew something bad would happen and it did.

“We are going to outlast this.” Future Hall-of-Famer Earl Thomas muttered this, with divisive team undertones (see Kam’s contract) embedded, after the Seahawks blow yet another 4th quarter lead, this time to those bastard Panthers. Has there been a more agonizing Seahawks season in recent memory? Ever?

“We had too many self-inflicted wounds.” Huskies coach Chris Peterson on his team’s underwhelming performance against a weak Oregon opponent. Probably the first thing that comes to mind is UW’s team is too young to understand how hated the Ducks are. A visit to Autzen Stadium next year should resolve that when they get a full dose of ugly.

“We had a great first half.” WSU’s coach Mike Leach on his team’s 45-17 first-half annihilation of visiting Oregon State on Homecoming Day. The intent behind his game summary is that WSU went flat in the 2nd half, losing 14-7, but still winning the game and consensus as the state’s best team right now. Huck the Fuskies.

“100% Jameson’s!” This, a facepalm response by Sean Sillyvain (he’s still silly, he’s still vain) after being asked what kind of taint he likes with his wine.

“?”. This was a typical Shona response after being asked what was her most recent Washington wine purchase. This wine moocher diva continues to prowl tasting rooms, begging for free wine samples to support her DSHS-diva lifestyle and 80-pointsplus daily diet on Overweight Watchers.

The summer has seen some wonderful white wines released to the masses, but none have been compelling enough to unseat Guardian Cellars’ ‘Angel’ sauvignon blanc… until, quite possibly, now.

Davenport Cellars has been the quaint, quiet, and wallflower micro-winery in the warehouse district until a recent upgrade to more than double their wine-tasting square footage about 100 meters from their former site. The tasting room is now a must-visit as it includes a big screen tv, games, a living room section, and fresh bites from the kitchen. Of course, all of this wouldn’t matter if the wines sucked. But, those familiar with Jeff and Sheila Jirka’s skill and suave know that it is the atmosphere that is finally catching up to the wines.

DC’s wine lineup includes both reds and whites, with an emphasis on their top-tier Bordeaux-style blends. While their wines have always been a good value– a great weeknight sipper!, the Jirkas do not opt for the “home run” style of winemaking that caters to commercial publications. This is a couple with grace and design, not unlike the Blues of Adams Bench Winery. I’d call them the First Couple of the Warehouse District because they’ve been around for almost ten years, their wine labels have not changed in style and familiarity, their wine selection is broad enough for a small winery, and it’s just a fun place to chill.

However, every now and then, Jeff will smack one out of the park at will, ala Ichiro Suzuki. Jeff’s first dinger was formerly a one-time deal, 2007 syrah. You can read about the raves on an earlier post as that syrah gave Betz’s La- syrahs a run for the gold. Update: Jeff released the sequel with a 2012 version from slightly different sources that is still a wonderful weekend impresser.

Jeff’s ‘Snowflake’ has been around every year, quietly leading off the tasting experience at his former tasting/winery studio in the B-wing. Let’s be honest, the previous Snowflakes were simply gateway drugs to get to his red blends. Unassuming like the girl-next-door. Sometimes a little spritzy like an Ecstasy doll. Not so desirable like the four-eyed 4.0 girl in the front row that dressed like she ran through a box of Goodwill leftovers. The Chaleur Estate blanc’s distant third cousin. The wine that no one talked about but everyone knew was there.

Not anymore.

At a recent tasting, I was admittedly looking to collect some reds for the harvest dinners and was prepared to blast through the lineup to get to them. Mission failed. A first swirl then a sniff and something went haywire in the olfactories. The initial aromas were complex and captivating– tropical fruits, southern citrus, earthy, rocky, and firm. Everything I look for in a Washington white wine. I had to look at the bottle again, making sure Sheila didn’t slip in a sau-sem from another producer as a joke. But, Sheila never jokes when it comes to wine. She is elegant, discreet, and easy to chat with. A few sips and my initial impressions were confirmed. And I left with a few more bottles in tow. As for the rest of the lineup, it was a blur. Even the syrah.

Consider this wine for your starter on Thanksgiving night, right next to the Cristal.

Tasted at 51-63 degrees on the IR temp gun. Lovely light gold foil in the Riedel with penetrating aromas of guava, peach, grapefruit, fig, mountain apple, lemon rind, lime pulp, and granite backed up by zippy acids and fairly long on the palate. Delightful!

Alcohol: 14.73%. Vineyards: Bacchus, Dionysus. 100% stainless fermented. 2/3s sauvignon blanc, 1/3 semillon. 90 cases. Columbia Valley AVA. Power: 3/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 92. Value: $28. Music pairing: “Cool For The Summer” by Demi Lovato. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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