Fidelitas 2005 Champoux Vineyard cabernet sauvignon

More evidence from Generation D… the dumbest generation.

So apparently, there’s a new device released in the wild recently that combines the anatomy of a bong with the shape of a Champagne flute. Hipsters have gravitated to this new form of imbibing this luxurious beverage because, well… when you can’t afford the good stuff and you look like a sockheaded herpderp with no employable qualities, you do this sort of abomination-to-traditional-etiquette thing. This is the same type of attitude that Sean displayed when he used to “aerate” wines by shaking the bottles in a motion similar to how he used to massage his ex-boyfriend’s uncircumcised pecker. Why would any level-headed wine consumer “shoot” wine other than to get a quick buzz? If that’s the case, then go back to getting your ya-ya’s with those Champagne enemas. That was a great technique to earn a Darwin award back in the day!

A recent poll conducted by a major camera manufacturer showed that 80% of the 1000 respondents rated their own photography skills as “good to excellent.” That includes Sean, who posted some hideous “pal” pictures with winemakers at a recent Tasteless Washington event. Sean wanted to boast that he knew all these winemakers (some of whom are actually decent) so he took his piece-of-shit phone camera with a ‘powerful’ 5Mp capability and forgot to wipe the lens so the colors are faded and everyone looked twenty years older… and depressed that they had to be seen with this fake-ass wine douchey independent blog on free wines has been reduced to posts linking to his ass-kissed network of other fake bloggers along with soundbites of his reviews that are printed in a periodical that no one subscribes to.

The problem with these 80%ers is that they forget to reveal that they compare themselves to their dentured grandmas. They think that using fake filters and vignetting along with wicked angled tilts and shooting in portrait mode makes their pictures look “cool.” No.

First of all, if your picture needs these obvious “special effects” (read: “I’m a dingbat and I had to alter this picture because IT SUCKS!”) then you are not even considered to be an “average” photographer. You are obviously so full of yourself that you can’t hear the rolling eyeballs around you. Here’s a protip: place duct tape over the lens of your “camera” and you will take absolutely the most pure pictures you have ever taken that will have your viewers in stunned amazement and guessing at your creative genius.

Speaking of blind… don’t you just love those “wine professionals” who zip up their bigboy pants in front of you when they mention that they taste wine “blind”? These grayed and wrinkled asshats want you to buy the illusion that they assess the quality of a wine without knowing anything about the wine. I call ‘bullshit.’

Dig a little deeper and ask second-level questions since the foolish sucker consumer tends to believe whatever Mister Bigshot Winerag Writer spews. Is there video proof of how a real tasting and rating session is conducted? (The answer is always “no.”) Is there any information you are told about the wines before tasting? Again, the answer is a vague “no” in that, it’s NEVER a truly “blind” tasting.

Take a physically blind person out for a walk in the city. Ask if they can see the traffic light in their viewing range. Of course not. Tell them there’s a traffic light in the vicinity then ask them which color (red, yellow, or green) is lit up and what is the status of the crosswalk signal. They can only guess, right? It’s because they are BLIND.

These so-called “wine professionals” who are, in reality, failed writers in other subjects not-in-demand are not tasting the wines “blind.” They can see just fine through the crystal to note if the wine is red or yellow or pink/orange. They were told, “This is a tasting of cabernet sauvignon” and justify that information needed to better judge the wines. And, quite often, they discuss with their peers as the tasting is goes on. What’s even more of a riot is that they are wines that were recently tasted on their little tasting room escapade to the wineries, so that they still have a familiar impression of the wines in question. That’s not “blind,” folks.

If a researcher wants to do a credible peer-reviewed study on the benefits of product X and compare it to a known product Y. Subjects would be assigned randomly to one product and not even the researchers themselves know who is getting what because the two products look identical. They are completely clueless.

To do a true wine “blind tasting” is actually quite simple.

Purchase a jet-black wine glass, preferably Riedel because shape and quality of glass really do matter. Have someone pour the wine and then hide the bottle so all the tester can see is a black wine glass. And, obviously, make sure the wine is at the appropriate temperature between 55 and 60 degrees, regardless of color. If it is a white wine, it is at perfect serving temperature. If it is a red wine, it will warm up quickly to 60-65 degrees, which is ideal for rating. Of course, no one else in the area can say anything while the assessment is in progress. And, just like a happy ending, spitting or swallowing really doesn’t matter.

Then, there’s the consumer-level wine tasting.

The wine in question should be treated like any other that an average paying consumer would acquire and enjoy it. First, BUY the wine from a commercial establishment. Next, chill the bottle to the proper temperature of approximately 55 degrees. Open it and pour into appropriate crystal wine glass. Allow a few minutes for the wine to enter the proper temperature window and release its unique aromatics, then take a first sip. NEVER judge a wine on the first sip. The palate will not be set for wine and will usually taste more bitter at first–which is likely an evolved defensive mechanism. Don’t mess with evolution.

Keep assessing at different temperatures and engage all the senses. Look at the wine’s color. Swirl it in the glass. Observe how it forms “legs” down the inside of the glass. Take a whiff. Stick your schnozzle and upper lip into the glass and inhale at varying velocities. Swirl again then ingest about half an ounce. Roll the magical liquid all around inside the mouth. Activate all the sensory glands on the tongue. It’s kind of asinine-looking but you could slip a few gobs of air in to flow over the wine on your tongue as it can actually transport more aromatics to the inner nasal cavity, making for the impression of complexity. Then swallow (or spit if a spittoon is nearby) and embrace its lasting image.

Look at the color. Is it pretty? Is it anything other than “red” or “yellow”? Are there chunks or sediment inside the glass? What are the smells? The nose and the tongue should be communicating on a parallel to paint a mental picture. If it smells like hot battery acid, then it should taste like hot battery acid. If there are too many things going on, then divide into these compartments: (1) fruit; (2) flower; (3) earth; (4) spice/savories; and (5) barrel. Only with aged wines should an additional category of “secondary/tertiary characteristics” be included. Any Joe Blow can do this. Once. What separates the Joes on this blog from just about every other wine blog is we have done it consistently hundreds of times. We could confidently even say over a thousand times… to the point that more wine is consumed for review on this blog than the national reviewers. Why? Because like any great sex partner (and wine does lead to great sex and frequently gives that same sexual-high), a swallower is far more intimate with the wine than just spitting. And besides, do any of your fellow dinner invitees spit at your table during a meal?

In the end, does it really even matter? Well, it’s common knowledge that “numbers” (rating numbers) do sell wines. It’s a convincing marketing tool. Go to the wine section of your local market for proof. However, these so-called “wine professionals” have been tested for verification in a public forum and most often, they are perhaps only 1 or 2 points (out of 20) better than the average consumer at judging/rating wines. You’ve seen those YouTube videos where a professional athlete challenges a wine “expert” at a guess-the-wine competition and they are almost identical in their guesses. The difference is the seasoned wine-oholic wields sharper metaphors to describe the sensations; whereas Joe Athlete can only initially describe a wine as “tastes like grape.” And, that’s what keeps us in business…

This Fidelitas wine had everything going for it, including the heavy, sculpted glass bottle. Vintage 2005. 100% cabernet sauvignon. Champoux Vineyard. This was before the tasting room on Sunset Road. This was up-and-coming Charles Hoppes. This was also a $55 brick of a wine that competed with all the other equally impressive Washington cabernets from the few great wineries back in the day. This was the stuff of legend. And, it lived up to the very high expectations.

What better wine to celebrate Mother’s Day? Another high heat weekend that summoned USDA Prime ribeye on the grill. Is there a better cabernet pairing? I don’t think so either. Let’s hope you did something equally impressive for your mom.

Tasted at 58-68 degrees on the IR temp gun. A bodacious and alluring nose of blackberry, raspberry, blood cherry, Portland red roses, and red plum cast in a dark ruby display and leading to bold and dominant flavors of blackberry crème, red licorice, bright red cherries from Zillah, dried sage, graphite, old leather, tumbleweed, Furano lavender, burnt forest, and a svelte streak of old-growth cedar. Extravagantly divine.

Alcohol: 14.9%. Horse Heaven Hills AVA. 50% new French and USA oak. Aged 22 months. 175 cases. Power: 3/5. Balance: 4/5. Depth: 4/5. Finesse: 4/5. Rated: 95. Value: $75. Music pairing: “Ya Ya” by Lee Dorsey. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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