YOUR NAME ON THE BOTTLE After the little place in Vail, the private jet, and the trophy spouse, what's left? How about your own private-label

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Grapevine

YOUR NAME ON THE BOTTLE After the little place in Vail, the private jet, and the trophy spouse, what's left? How about your own private-label wine? We're not talking about homemade plonk, either. A mole in the wine trade tells me that winemaker Matt Loso of Matthew's Cellars has crafted a private cuv饠for a local trucking magnate and four of his timber-exec pals. Nothing but the best ingredients, either: the priciest cabernet sauvignon and merlot grapes grown in Washington, from famed Klipsun Vineyard on Red Mountain, aged for three full years in A&K oak barrels from Higby, Mo.—the same formula used for California's legendary $100-plus-a-bottle Silver Oak cabernet. Currently the results are mellowing in a secret warehouse in Woodinville, but I'm told the world will learn more of the project this fall and may even be allowed to buy some when it's bottled in 2004. NAPA TO THE NORTH Speaking of Napa, want a glamorous summer winery experience without the crowds, traffic, and expense of getting there? Consider a visit to the Mission Hill Family Estate, replete with Napa-ness—cool, dim cellars, loggias, even a bell tower—just an easy day's drive away, in the sunny Canadian Okanagan. Designed by Seattle architects Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen, the tourist-friendly mountainside winery has a fabulous view across the vineyards and Lake Okanagan to the misty Midway Mountains to the east. Mission Hill isn't all show, though; with the help of New Zealand winemaker John Simes, owner Anthony van Mandl has spent 20 years and many millions turning an old farm vineyard into an award-winning maker of superior white wines. Sample them on the terrace at the restaurant, where chef Andrew Morrow claims he's even got a dish fit to serve with the house ice wine: almond-cream tart with organic blue cheese. For more, check out www.missionhillwinery.com. GET THIS The Northwest is justly proud of its many fine white wines—problem is, most of them don't go awfully well with the Northwest's signature sea-food, particularly oysters. But until some local winemaker figures out how to make a nice, flinty chardonnay to accompany Kumamotos, other lands stand ready to take up the slack. Check out the 2001 edition of Montecillo blanco from the Rioja area of Spain, better known for its reds. At around $7, this crisp and chewy wine made from Viura grapes is a seafood-friendly steal. rdowney@seattleweekly.com

 
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