Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Find, September 27th

Each Friday we highlight a wine from the Northwest that we think is a real "find". By find we might mean that it's a steal, as all of these wines we'll feature weekly are at or under $20. We might also mean, "Hey, you really need to go find this", and it might be a wine that we feel not enough people know about. In any case, with the weekend pending, we're hoping to help you "find" a wine to kickoff the weekend right. We'll tell you a little bit about the wine and try to help you track it down here in the Northwest.

Punk rock, not sure the term means what it meant in the past, in fact I'm sure it doesn't. It's become gentrified like a borderline neighborhood in a growing trendy city. The original inhabitants have been bought out, pushed further into the hinterlands and the yuppies have come in and gotten urban access at cut-rate prices. That happens in real estate and it happened in punk rock too. You can thank Green Day mostly. 

What punk rock was exactly, was a new way, sure it became a choreographed revolt of sorts, but it was in it's essence a different path. A statement, sometimes bold and over the top and other times more "slacker" in it's message of "your way doesn't work for me." Early on there were classic punk bands like the Ramones and the Clash, and blown out of proportion examples like the Sex Pistols. Many people point to Michigan of all places for punk's roots. MC5 out of Detroit and the Stooges with Iggy Pop from Ann Arbor of all places as the genre's beginning.

In the 80s and 90s if anything punk became punker and it really became hard-core, like as in Hardcore music, not more hard-core. Black Flag, and those goth weirdos the Misfits these guys were anything but pop, and then in the UK you had The Exploited, and Subhumans. And while these bands became influences for later, dialed back punk rock, in NOFX, Bad Religion etc. It was really the Ramones, punk pioneers all along,but rather "poppy" that influenced the likes of Green Day and other bands that would go onto actually put a bullet in punk rock.

What happened overtime, like anything punk lost some of it's originality, it became commercialized. And then Green Day happened. They along with the band Offspring essentially assassinated punk rock music. Nice going fellas. Perhaps the most punk rock thing you can do is to kill punk rock? Ruminate on that one. (By the way this is more or less a recap of what I just read on wikipedia.)

Red Mountain has come to develop a reputation of one of the finest, and certainly the most consistent wine growing region in the state. It's point of fact the warmest site year in and year out in Washington. It's vineyards, some of them becoming legendary are producing some of Washington's most well known and powerful wines. Vineyards like Klipsun and Ciel du Cheval have come develop world class reputations. The AVA is a Washington flagship for Cabernet and Bordeaux style blends. In the mix, there's a little bit of punk rock though.

Kiona Vineyards is one of the state's oldest, and founding wineries. John Williams founded Red Mountain along with his former partner Jim Holmes. The winery makes a plethora of wines, and sells fruit that goes into some of Washington's finest bottles. They also make the most punk rock wine on Red Mountain, it goes it's own way. Today's Friday Find is the 2010 Lemberger from Kiona. It's a food wine. Imagine that. Compared to those around it, this funnily named wine is diminutive, elegant and carrying ample acidity to make it a great companion to a meal, and while many of the big bold wines of Red Mountain command star billing, the Lemberger is happy to play a supporting role. 

Medium bodied with red fruits and hints of dusty earth, a Red Mountain trademark, Kiona has been making Lemberger since 1980, America's oldest commercial bottling of the wine. Imagine a heftier Pinot Noir, or as the folks at Kiona like to call it, "Pinot on steroids." For $15 bones it's an enjoyable one-off and if wine can be punk rock, this is definitely Red Mountain's punk-rock wine. The Lemberger is largely available and in Seattle can be found at Wine World, and at grocers that carry Kiona wines.


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