Sunday, December 23, 2012

Lamb Bonne Femme

Considering we live less than an hour from the Washington State border, you might think that I'd be more familiar with Washington State wines.  I truly wish that I were, but such is not the case.  Most of the wines that make it across the border seem to be large brand productions and I have this deep-seated aversion to paying up to twice as much for a wine just because it crosses an international border.

Accordingly, my adventures in Washington wines tend to be limited to our visits State-side - which are few and far between - and the odd bottle that I've managed to bring back with me from those rare trips.

Unless, of course, a friend gifts us with a bottle as is the case with our current pour.

1324.  2008 Zero One Vintners - The Wild Sky Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley - Washington State)

Of course, my having to start with a limited knowledge of Washington wineries isn't ideal but, then, things don't get much better when the almighty "Google" doesn't deliver a wad of sites or information about the wine or winery.  I did garner that Zero One is a virtual winery and that it is relatively new to the Washington wine scene.  Indeed, this 2008 Cab is only the third vintage of Cab.

Thomas and Kristin Vogele are the powers that make up Zero One and they source their grapes from various growers in the state.  The wines are then made at a custom crush facility with a consulting winemaker, Gordy Hill.  This vintage of the wine is 95% Cab Sauv; however, there are small amounts of Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot (3%, 1% and 1% respectively) added to round out the blend.

I grabbed the bottle from the wine rack thinking that it might go nicely with the lamb stew we were having for dinner - particularly since a good whack of the bottle was going into the stewpot - one of our best stews ever according to Boo.  I'm not sure how much of the credit goes to the wine but I'm kinda wishing I'd kept more of the bottle to sip on while eating the stew.  Boo too.  That boy does like his Cabs.

In addition to its stew-enhancing capabilities, what's not to like about the fact that a portion of all sales from the wine are donated to Leave No Trace, "an educational, apolitical, non-profit organization dedicated to the responsible enjoyment and active stewardship of the outdoors by all people worldwide."  Zero One Vintner's partnership with the organization assists that part of the Wild Sky Wilderness area found in the Western Cascade Range in the state.

I often wonder why we don't see more Washington State wines on our side of the border but I think a big part of the answer is that, just like at home in BC, a good number of the wineries are boutique operations and they just don't have the product to export it.  A case in point is that only 709 cases of the '08 The Wild Sky were even made.  It's hard to market wine that just isn't there to market.

Too bad, that.  Guess I'll just have to take my opportunities to try Washington wines whenever they arise.  And, you know I will.

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