What does it mean when one dies of “natural causes”? That the final decision from a British coroner after chopping and squeezing George Michael’s remains from Christmas Day. The diseases he succumbed to were cardiomyopathy and fatty liver, but no, those gory details had to wrapped up under “natural causes.” It’s the same excuse when wineries fold after extreme shameless hyping from pathetic wine bloggers like Shona and that wanker from It’s Wine O-Clock Somewhere stupidity. On a sadder note, Joni Sledge was found stiff in her Phoenix home on Friday. You readers of acquired wisdom will remember her surname from the late ’70’s watching the legendary Pittsburgh Pirates win their 5th World Series title as the team rode the Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family” to the summit. And here’s a clue to my gf (and yours)– a Justin Bieber impersonator from Down Under was recently busted for over 900 offenses involving child porn. Is this not surprising? Only time until the original gets lasso’d for 50 shades of pervitude. And lastly in the world of music, Adele finally admitted the fat pig is married. The syrupy, depressing, and almost suicidal voice of dental offices everywhere has a significant other. She must have a huge bank account.
It’s Spring Release weekend in the city of Woodinville and environs and it’s time to celebrate. You see, it’s been busy after the election of the world’s finest el presidente in Mr. Trump. Our grand leader of the free world took up my offer to be a guest sommelier for the White House and it’s been a great run. Hint: yes, it’s worth going through the arduous screening process as my ancestors were from Norway, not Syria.
For those “global warming” varmints who are slabbing copious amounts of sunscreen in our balmy snow-rain climate that defines our regional “severe” winter weather, let’s ask this… was 1985 any better? F*ckin’ liberals…
New year, new generation of wine drinking noobs. Just walk into any tasting room and you can smell the wreak of recent wine discoverers. My assessment is twofold: (1) it’s wonderful to have a new money source; and (2) these asshat morons didn’t do their homework.
So, new year, new attitude.
You yippies out there have been asking where to go in the warehouse neighborhood like I have some “best of” list. There is no true “best of” list because favored wines are a mostly subjective preference. You can be a “I had a great boxed wine and wanted to try the local stuff” or a “I read Asimov and I only want the highly acclaimed juice” bullcrap pack. All that matters is you moved your expanding rump into the warehouse district because, after all, Woodinville is the wine capital of Washington. Anyone can make it here, even if you serve insipid, flat, obscure juice while working as a respected wine smellier in downtown Amazonia.
Here’s a protipper’s guide to what wines to maneuver skillfully toward as you traverse the labyrinthine wine blocks of Woodinville.
We start with a longtime player in Guardian Cellars. This winemaking team of an overzealous suburb cop and twinkle-eyed media scribe planted its roots over a decade ago, starting out quietly next to its mentor winery in Mark Ryan Winery. Needless to say, this affable couple grew a following to where the winery is now producing north of 10,000 cases/year of glorious Washington wine.
As a side note, some flunky dingleberries have touted March as “Washington Wine Month” in order for the lay public (read: clueless dumbfucks) to buy wine instead of their regular high gravity bee-err. Real wine drinkers know this– EVERY month is Washington wine month.
As part of this growth where Jerry is the head winemaker, it was only natural that an inquisitive partner in Jennifer would want to try her hand at making her style of wine. Voila! Born is Newsprint Wines.
Now, unlike other joints like DeLille Cellars where the spouses shoot off and do their own thing, Newsprint actually continues the legacy of the father winery and, just as Guardian took over Gun Metal from Mark Ryan Winery, Newsprint Wines assumed the legacy of GC’s chardonnay.
Why is this of any relevance? Well, my little urchin, this chardonnay is not any chardonnay. This is 100% chardonnay from Washington’s iconic chardonnay vineyard, Conner Lee.
In order to understand this, you have to talk to a seasoned Washington chardonnay drinker. Chardonnay from other vineyards in this state just do not compare. Chardonnay just doesn’t grow all that great in Washington. It grows. Just not defining. That’s all. Maybe it’s the updrift from nearby Hanford that gives this wine some nuclear separation (and that may explain why it glows so bright in the Riedel). Frankly, I don’t care how many isotopes are in my glass, as long as it tastes great.
Let’s just hope that the new owners of this celebrated chardonnay vineyard will continue the dynasty of being the best chardonnay vineyard in Washington. Protip: do not disturb the ecosystem of the great wineries tapping into this vineyard.
And, this is where you begin your tour of the Woodinville wine district.
Start at Guardian Cellars then slide on over to either (or both) Sparkman Cellars or Barrage Cellars. You cannot go wrong here. Even a knucklehead whiskey drinker can appreciate how good the wine is in this section of the warehouses. You could spend all afternoon amongst these three wineries and you will have our respect. There is no better trifecta in this winopolitan winescape.
Paired with a luscious, refined, and soothing slab of Northwest chicken fried rice. Magic on a budget. Also great with charcuterie.
Tasted at 55-59 degrees on the IR temp gun. Lovely light gold in the Riedel with over performing essences of Meyer lemon, mad peach, electric orange peel, and screaming yellow blossoms.
Alcohol: 14.2%. 450 cases. Conner Lee Vineyard. 100% chardonnay. Aged in 50% new French oak (water bent) for 12 months. Screw cap. Power: 3/5. Balance: 3/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 3/5. Rated: 92. Value: $32. Paid: $18. Music pairing: “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.