friday wrap

Friday, September 17, 2010


These corks are made for pullin’…

Email of the week came with this enticing invite: “I would like to invite you to Patsy’s Italian Restaurant for ‘Come Fly With Us,’ a four-course, wine-paired dinner featuring the wines of the Sinatra Family Estates. Nancy Sinatra will be in attendance to celebrate the collection - the 2007 ‘Come Fly With Me,’ Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as the soon-to-be-released 2008 ‘Nothing but the Best,’ Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and a preview of the 2008 Sangiovese blend ‘La Voce.’” Why stop there? How about offering (at a bargain price) a “Boots Are Made For Stompin’” presswine…?

Do it Yourself…

Also in contention was this “deal” of an offer headlined “Classic Winemakers Wine-Making Lesson and 12 bottles of Wine” The pitch goes like this: “There are a lot of good wines out there, but what if there was one blended exactly to your tastes, even with your own customized label? That could be a reality -- and no, you don't have to move to the French countryside and open your own vineyard to make it happen. Uncork $94.99 and at Classic Winemakers in Lacey, you and your partner can become the vintner for the day, sipping, mixing, and pitching the yeast to create a blend that's distinctively you (a $247.25 value). Come back six weeks with a wine-tasting crew and taste your private reserve and pick up 12 bottles of your private reserve vino with personalized labels.” What’s next – plant your own vine, pick your own grapes, buy your own barrel…? And what on earth is “pitching the yeast”? Why not go all the way, and just buy your own winery?

For Sale…

Wineries that are up for sale don’t like to shout about it, but still have to get the word out. Makes it difficult to accurately assess how many/who/where the sales are being pitched. In any wine region there will always be something for sale, but what’s a fire sale and what is just an ordinary change-of-life-circumstances-inspired sale? The latest Washington winery to pop up on the radar is Oakwood Cellars, a 25-year-old property in a prime location at the base of Red Mountain. Just under three acres, one planted, house, winery and inventory – asking price $800,000. I don’t believe I’ve ever tasted these wines, nor have I seen them reviewed elsewhere. But for a quick entry into the wine biz, could be a fine opportunity.

The Sky Isn’t Falling…

Fed up with a barrage of gloom and doom stories in the media about the upcoming 2010 harvest, I decided to go on record a few days ago, writing on Facebook that here in Washington at least, I was confident that 2010 was going to be not just good, but outstanding. A slew of winemakers quickly echoed the sentiment, noting that flavors in the vineyard are already good, brix levels are up into the 22 to 24 range, and Washington is on track to bring in extremely flavorful fruit at sugar levels that will keep finished alcohol numbers relatively moderate. All good news as far as I can tell. Things may be more challenging in Oregon and California to be sure, but let’s not paint Washington with the same dire forecast.

4 comments:

1WineDude said...

Word from Napa with some winemaker friends of mine is that pockets of the Valley have fruit that is looking really, really good... so could be spotty but so far not Chicken Little territory!

Anonymous said...

Washington winemakers I have spoken to are somewhat concerned about high acids...Sauvignon Blanc off Red Mountain at about 1.0 TA and ph at 3.02. But with brix of 25+ there is always a chance for a little water at the crusher..........

Dave E said...

Afraid of too much acidity? BRING IT ON! Acidity is one thing lacking in a lot of Washington wines, both red and white.

PaulG said...

Acidity should never be an issue in Washington, unless grapes are left on the vine too long.

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