The wine that caught my eye like a handsome man across the room at a boring party was a 2008 Tamarack Cellars Chardonnay; I was familiar with Tamarack Cellar's wine as they make some killer reds. I liked the name (or its similarity with my own anyway). The price point was extremely attractive—at $15, if it was good, it would be an affordable luxury. But, I have to tell you, what really sold me on that bottle was the personal touch—the autograph. I try to be a savvy consumer and not fall for clever gimmicks. Animals, sexy women and funny names don’t typically suck me in, but a signed bottle, well that’s obviously a whole other story. What a cool conversation piece.
Tamarack Cellars, founded in 1998 by Ron and Jamie Coleman, is located in Walla Walla Washington, though they source their fruit from premium vineyard sites located within several different Washington AVAs (American Viticultural Area). The winery must be a site, as it’s housed in a restored WWII fire station and barracks at the Walla Walla Airport Complex, which I sincerely hope to visit when I go to the Wine Bloggers Conference at the end of this month (woohoo!).
I admit to some trepidation purchasing this wine; I was afraid I was being suckered in by a silly signature that added a perceived value. That signature (which was actually that of the Assistant Winemaker—as opposed to the Head Winemaker and founder—so, feeling ever so slightly duped) was enough to change my expectation of that wine, after all, Danny Gordon put his name on it—it had to be good. I worked through my fear, brought the wine home, chilled that bad boy down and poured up a glass that didn’t make me imagine Mr. T saying he pitied the fool who fell sucker to a dumb marketing ploy. Until we sip again…