I’ve been wanting to visit this winery for a couple years.
While in Eugene visiting my niece, we decided to visit a couple local wineries. Silvan Ridge Winery is one of the older wineries in Oregon and such a great reputation, I knew I needed to check them out. Their full history can be found here.
We started with their Pinot Gris . . .
2016 Pinot Gris – Gorgeous nose of grapefruit and lime. Very bright. The flavors are more subtle than the nose. It finishes very crisp and clean. Quite nice.
2016 Viognier – I got slight honey aromas on the nose. The texture was creamy, sort of Alsatian style. Flavors were subtle with a int of vanilla.
2014 Pinot Noir – This is their version of a cuvee, several vineyards are being represented really well. I got strawberry jam on the nose of this medium bodied wine. Well balanced and nicely integrated tannins and a slightly smoky finish.
2013 Pinot Noir – Falcon Glen Vineyard – This one has a slightly brambly nose, more vegetal than fruity. Medium bodied and well integrated. However the flavors are very subtle. This seems to be a trend in the wine-making style.
2013 Merlot – This fruit is from further south in the Rogue Valley. I tend to disagree with the wineries notes here. I got very little fruit aromas and tons of forest floor, earthy notes. The mid palate was very silky, which is what 3 yrs in neutral oak can do for you. Which might also explain the oak flavors on the finish.
2015 Malbec – The winemaker for Silvan Ridge is originally from Argentina. . so I had high expectations for this wine. The nose is smoky dried fruit with a silky mid and finishes dry. Not really what I was hoping for.
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – I again sense a theme in their red wines. This one is earthy on the nose, subtle red fruit flavors and a silky mid. Finishes was less dry than I was expecting, which for me is a great thing.
2014 Elizabeth’s Red – A nice blend of Rogue Valley varietals – 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc, 12% Malbec, 11% Syrah. The nose wasn’t robust but the dark fruit does come across. The flavor profile is earth . . .mixed with cherries. Not something I am cheering about. AND it finishes dry.
2016 Early Muscat – THE saving grace . . .Aromas bursting with orange and peaches. Robust fruit flavors and a crisp refreshing mid that mirror the nose. We took a couple of these home.
2013 Portage – This is their version of a port-style dessert wine. Made from Syrah grapes. The aromas were a combination of earthy and STRANGE. I couldn’t quite pinpoint the aroma that had me puzzled, but it wasn’t pleasant. The fruit was not at all evident in the flavor. The write-up on their website is nothing like my experience. Not at all what I was hoping for once again. Perhaps my palate was having a bad day.
Our second stop was at Capitello Wines. Winemaker Ray Walsh came highly recommended, particularly because of his interpretation of Sauvignon Blanc. As a native of New Zealand, Ray brings quite a diverse array of skills to his trade. You can read more about him here.
I opted for a comparison tasting of NZ and Willamette Valley wines, while my wife opted for her favorites . . .sparkling and dessert wines. So naturally, I got to taste all of those too.
2016 New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc – Amazing grassy notes and citrus on the nose. The complexity of the mid palate of this wine is beyond my ability to adequately describe it. I best I could come up with is , it is viscous like a fine cider . . .and nicely textured, more like a medium-bodied red. The structure is really interesting and just had to come home with me.
2016 Willamette Valley Sauvignon Blanc – This wine had more fruit on the nose than the NZ, though the flavors are more reserved than the aromas. The finish had a bit of minerality.
2015 New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc – Aromas of citrus and grass with a bit of lemongrass. Nothing like the 2016. AND this one has a prominent aroma and flavor of green peppers. The texture is creamy and crisp at the same time. A very unique wine.
2015 New Zealand Pinot Noir – Luscious red fruit on the nose and a silky mid palate with medium body. Great structure throughout.
2015 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir – Nose is subtle, but quite familiar red fruit aromas. The mid palate is silky and medium bodied. The finish is a bit acidic and refreshing. A great choice.
I neglected to take notes on the sparkling and the dessert wines.
What I do remember is that the sparklings were quite typical, nothing extraordinary. The dessert wines were quite nice. We tried a couple different vintages of their Dolcino. The Dolcino is made with Gewurtztraminer. It bursted with aromas of honey and nectarines. The flavors, while sweet, were also very round and quite complex. We needed to take one home.
There are several really great wineries in the Eugene area. Several we have visited in the past and a few others I’d like to see in some future adventures.