Glenn Coogan, vice president of Northwest operations for Ascentia Wine Estates, passed away on Sunday of an apparent heart attack while visiting Westport, Washington. From his Woodinville office he was in charge of operations at Washington’s Columbia Winery and Covey Run as well as Idaho’s Ste. Chapelle Winery. He was 55.
Coogan is remembered by colleagues as well as competitors as an advocate for the entire Washington wine industry.
“It’s difficult losing Glenn,” said Jim DeBonis, Ascentia Wine Estates CEO. “The team (in the Northwest) has known Glenn a long, long time. He’s definitely been their leader. He was very inspirational. He had a personality that people embraced. He was able to strike relationships across the industry that let our business prosper.”
DeBonis said Coogan prepared his team for this year’s harvest.
“He had built such a strong team they will be able to carry through harvest,” DeBonis said.
Coogan was the Vice President of Operations at from 1997 to 2002 before leaving to direct Northwest operations for Constellations Brands, which owned and Covey Run at the time. He remained in charge of Columbia Winery and Covey Run after the wineries became part of the Healdsburg, Calif.-based Ascentia portfolio of wineries in 2008.
Ste. Michelle Estates CEO Ted Baseler, Coogan’s former boss, remembers him as a former colleague and friendly competitor.
“He did a lot of collaborative efforts. He was more like a neighbor than a competitor,” Baseler said. “I always appreciated his support in Woodinville. Glenn was someone who always wanted to help the industry.”
A native of Vancouver, Washington, Coogan earned a Bachelor of Economics degree from Portland State University. He’s survived by his wife Janice, his mother and adult son. He was preceded in death by a son.
Over 40 wine producers from Washington will be participating in Blend, a food and wine consumer event at Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle from 4-7 pm on Sunday, Sept. 18.
Wines will be paired with bite-size samples of dishes prepared by the Salish Lodge & Spa, The Inn at Langley, Cave B Inn & Spa, Kenwood Inn and Spa and the Bell Harbor International Conference Center.
Wine Pick of the Week: 07 Pomum Cellars Shya Red, Yakima Valley
The 07 Pomum Cellars Shya Red is named after the redhead Shyla Alfonso, the wife of Pomum founder and winemaker Javier Alfonso. The massive wine comes from the hot 2007 vintage and registers 14.7 percent alcohol. All of the fruit for the wine was sourced from vineyards in the Yakima Valley, including Elerding, Dubrul, Dineen and Upland.
Alfonso blends all five major Bordeaux red varietals; 47 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 28 percent Merlot, 13 percent Cabernet Franc, seven percent Petit Verdot and five percent Malbec.
“We were looking for the best expressions of the Bordeaux varietals in the Yakima Valley,” the Spanish born Alfonso said. “I use multiple sites to balance the wine out.”
The result is an opulent wine with a distinctive nose of mixed berries, cloves and cigar box. The weighty tannins make this a wine ideal for a meaty dish like the saddle of Oregon lamb served with charred strawberry ramp tortino and minted salsa piccante at . The strawberries in the tortino, a frittata-like pancake, turns up the volume on the fruit-forward qualities of the wine. The wine has surprising redeeming acidity for a Bordeaux blend with 14.7 percent alcohol.
The wine is available for $38 on-line at www.pomumcellars.com or at Puget Sound area retail stores such as , Esquin in Seattle’s SoDo District and Wine World in Seattle’s Wallingford District.