K Vintners 2011 The Hidden syrah

This world is full on imbeciles posing as intelligent life.

Look at Sean, imitating a well-traveled wine reviewer for Choad Enthusiast who can switch from one-word gimmick reviews to the 100-point standard. And, of course, free wine tasted in unknown conditions tastes just as good as that bought at the store or tasting room and spotted on the dining table. Yeah riiiiiiight…

South Carolina has been on fire since the resignation of Steve Spurrier. The Palmetto State is home to a young couple who repeatedly called 9-1-1 to report that “possums and people were jumping out of their refrigerator and microwave” in addition to “pictures of worms coming out of the floor of their vehicle as well as midgets and other people camouflaged.” The po-po deduced that these druggies were under the influence of flakka and were promptly booked. Not too further up the road, both teenage black twin boys were booked into juvey after getting busted at that upscale Nordstrom-like beauty joint, Wal-Mart, for lifting facial cream and deodorant, respectively. After all, when you’re 17 years old, you need to pay attention to your wrinkles and b.o. Of course, when it comes to stupid news, we cannot escape the vortex of Florida– a Palm Harbor 26 year-old man was arrested for pushing his 82 year-old grandmother because he wasn’t able to use a debit card to purchase a cake. If you are from Florida, then you understand. If you are from anywhere other than Florida, well you know… smh. Leave it to the other Washington (D.C.) for this one… a couple of black women are wanted for sexually abusing a black male customer at a convenience store where one of the hoochies twerked her butt in the area of his Johnson while the other ho grabbed his crotch and tried to plant one on his lips. If you know these bitches, you are asked to call the wineman immediately. And, finally, idiocy is not limited to Americans. A university in Shanghai, China recently issued a memorandum forbidding students from uncivilized shows of public affection such as feeding each other with spoons, chopsticks, or other utensils. It did not specifically mention penises so one can assume that’s still communicable…

Speaking of the slaves that make our cheap, plastic tools tainted with cadmium, one-party China’s retail wine industry is recovering after the Commies finally cracked down on ridiculous lavish spending for official parties where concubines are traded as easily as American business secrets. Wines that were marked up 1000% are returning to the normal 40-100% markups as officials (the only ones who could afford to buy 1st growths) feared execution if caught abusing their party-issued AmEx cards. You think I’m kidding?

Which brings us to this topic… pride-filled winemakers are commonly faced with a quandary: “Do I sell my top-line wine to a clueless chap with shitloads of money?” Some winemakers are quite territorial and if they discover you are an idiot who only wants to buy wine to christen his new 15-foot fishing “yacht” and want to do it with your $80 limited-release, highly-collectible, and small-lot cabernet sauvignon, would you sell the fool that bottle? The bloke doesn’t even know, through tasting your lineup, what the difference is between a cabernet and a grenache. Would you do it? What does it say if you did or didn’t? This is what your tasting room employees have to endure on Sundays.

Here’s another… some fool walks in and goes through the tasting menu then wants only that special “club only release” that he got to sample with a neighboring couple that are club members so he can impress his buddies at the next Seahawks gameday party. He is told that he has to join the club in order to purchase the wine, even though he mentioned he is not interested in joining another wine club. He freely admits he will join the wine club to get a case of the limited wine but will then end his membership the next day after acquiring his wines. Do you sell him the free, no-strings membership?

Tasting room employees (more like “volunteers”) are the most-abused area of the winery, and yet, they are the “face” of the winery when the winemakers aren’t available, which is commonly the weekends in some wineries here. They get paid 15 year-old wages and a gratuitous bottle of the winery’s finest for each shift, and if they’re lucky, any leftover wines from a day’s pouring. You’ll notice who they are from all the bitten lips and steam burns on their ears. Dealing with the wine public on weekends is like sticking a splintered broomstick up your hoo-hah or glory hole. There should be extra hazard pay for groups like wedding parties and buses. It’s a thankless job but, hey, you get to check out the clientele and score a few phone numbers and free f*cks now and then. This is why your favorite winery has a revolving door of pourers over time– when the thrill of working at a winery is gone (as well as the taste of STDs), it makes no financial sense to be involved in the wine industry at the retail level. That’s how they know they f*cked up…

Speaking of f*cked up, why are all the wine blogger lemmings still enamored with K Vintners? The winery’s labels are outdated. Once a gimmick, the simple, childish black-n-white drawings look out of place for a $70 bottle of juice. The whole concept is passé. If Charley and Charlie want to be relevant from 2016 on, then instead of hiring nymphs to handle Southeast accounts, how about updating the labels to match the quality of the wines? Look at Schoolhouse No. 41… gone is the pre-school colored artwork, replaced with a real picture of the winery building and looking more regal in color. Look at Columbia Crest… even their lower-tiered wines got the upscale marketing label so cheapass wine gugglers could feel they belong with the boutique wineries with closed mailing lists. Sure, it’s nice to grease the wine reviewers with free $70 bottles of wines for high numbers but it’s tiring. It also belittles everyone behind that label who were involved in making the wines, including the farmers who looked exasperated when asked to drop fruit down to 1.5 tons/acre. Chuck, clean up your act and stick your millions up your kid’s rear end. You are a blight to the local wine industry. $140 for a syrah with a wooden nickel label… are you competing with Rasa, which is another Walla Walla winery with no sense for luxury marketing?

Overrated. And the winerags are in on perpetuating the notion that this is a super high-end syrah. Bullshit. This is how you know. Right here.

Tasted at 58-64 degrees on the IR temp gun. Dark magenta in the Riedel expressing dusty white pepper, plum, ripe raspberry, and feral herbs on a steady palate with a display of red plum, red licorice, crushed stone, tart cherry, red currant, meat closet, and a pinch of Salish Sea salt. Tastes filtered.

Alcohol: 14.5%. Northridge Vineyard. Wahluke Slope AVA. Syrah clones 174, 383, 470, Phelps. 1.85 tons/acre. Native yeast, hand drawn, basket pressed. Aged 40% in new French barrels (Ermitage, Saury) for 22 months. TA 0.59. pH 3.63. Retail: $70. Value: $40. Power: 3/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 92. Music pairing: “That’s How You Know” by Nico & Vinz. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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