Yamhill-Carlton AVA Spring Tasting – 2017

One of those events I’ve been wanting to attend for a few years, but there seemed to always be a conflict of schedule.  This year, however, I made certain that we could go.  And I’m very happy we did attend.

The event has been hosted for several years at Anne Amie Vineyards, just outside of Lafayette Oregon.  A gorgeous location situated atop rolling hills of green.  And to top off the location and the fantastic abundance of wine offerings . . . the sun was out and gave us respite from the seeming endless winter weather.

Attending this year were 39 wineries that represent the length and breadth of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA.  Most wineries had 3 tastes to offer, some had only 2.  I did my best to taste those that I had, as yet, not had opportunity to try.  I successfully tasted 19 different wines ranging from crisp and tangy Sauvignon Blanc to some rich and deep Pinot Noir.  All in all an enchanting experience.  I highly recommend that this event find itself on your schedule next Spring.  I’ll mark those (**) that I discovered that really impressed.

Ken Wright Cellars – A preeminent recipient of wine awards.  I understand why.

2014 Chardonnay – Creamy texture, bright acidity and truly amazing.  And I don’t care for Chardonnay

** 2014 Savoya Pinot Noir – Bright fresh fruit on the nose as well as on the palate.  Very well balanced with a soft but long finish.  A very nice choice.

2014 McCrone Pinot Noir – Good fruit on the nose, not as bright as the Savoya.  Solid and well balanced, but a bit dry on the finish.

La Randonnee – A very small production winery.

2016 Sauvignon Blanc – Crisp and fruity, good solid texture.  A very nice refresher.

Gran Moraine Winery

NV Pinot Noir Rose’ – (I neglected to get the vintage) Bright nose, ample acid on the mid palate without going to long, mouth-watering, with a good balance

2014 Pinot Noir – Great nose.  Very fruit forward.  A 5-clone Pinot blend.  Well balanced with great fruit.

2013 Pinot Noir – Earthy nose, mushroom and earth on the palate.  Well balanced texture and a long finish.  Classic cool vintage pinot.

Ghost Hill Cellars – One of those that I’ve been wanting to visit for quite some time.

2013 Bayliss-Bower Pinot Noir – Excellent nose, loads of fruit.  On the palate it is a bit lighter, more subdued, but good fruit notes throughout.

2013 Pinot Blanc – Nice bright fruit, tart but solid mid palate with balanced acidity.

** 2015 The Spirit of Pinot Noir Rose’ – unmistakable strawberry on the nose, solid mid palate, very balanced.  Great choice for a summer patio wine.

Elk Cove Vineyards – They have a new entry-level wine label that I’ve been wanting to try.  Pike Road Wines.

2015 Pike Road Pinot Noir – Made from fruit from 6 estate vineyards, this wine is the epitome of Cuvee’.  A blend of some of the best fruit from some of the best vineyards around the AVA.  Deep dark fruit and cola flavors.  Great texture, smooth tannins and excellent finish.  What I call a Solid Drinker.

Boedecker Cellars

** 2014 Pinot Noir Shea Vineyards – Made form 100% Wadenswil clone.  A BIG, DARK plum and dark cherry front.  The “biggest” pinot noir I think I’ve ever tasted.  Almost Cab Sauv.  Excellent balance.  My oh my.

Big Table Farm

2014 Pinot Noir – Mild nose, not a lot there . . . The Mid is good, good balance.  Solid finish

2015 Pinot Noir – A bit vegetal on the nose, brambly and mushroom, brighter mid though.  Preferable for me.  Also solid finish.

Anne Amie Vineyards

2014 Estate Pinot Blanc –  Unusual nose, mixture of floral and citrus, Decent mid palate, through line of Lemon.  Very nice.

2013 Pinot Noir – Good nose, dry mid, and very short.  But, it is a cool vintage . . . so take that with a grain.

Angela Estate –

2013 Angela Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir – Mild but good fruit on nose, pepper through the mid and finishes dry.

**2013 Abbot’s Claim Vineyard Pinot Noir – My wife strongly approved of this one.  Bright nose, very good fruit in the mid and a long smooth finish.

ADEA Wines

2011 Fischer Family Pinot Noir – Mild nose, fruity candy flavor in the mid, very smooth finish.  Quality library wine.

2014 Fischer Family Pinot Noir – Good nose, Solid fruit in the mid, finish was short and abrupt.

LENNE’ Estate –

2014 LENEZ Pinot Noir – Pommard and Clone 114 – Strong fruit on the nose, not so much on the mid.  OK

2014 Kill Hill Pinot Noir – Great nose, loads of dark fruit on the nose and the palate.  Solid balance thru the finish.

Marshall Davis Wines

2014 Marshall Davis Vineyard Pinot Noir – Fruity nose, bright red fruit on the mid palate, a bit of pepper on the finish.

Panther Creek Cellars

2014 Kalita Vineyard Pinot Noir – Good fruit on the nose, as well as in the mid but goes dry at the finish.  No silk.

2014 Lazy River Pinot Noir – Similar profile to the first, but doesn’t go dry and has a nice long finish.

Penner Ash Wine Cellars

2014 Yamhill Carlton blend Pinot Noir –  Great nose, very floral . .Solid mid palate.  A bit high in alcohol

2014 Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir – Good nose, Similar profile to above, not nearly as much alcohol bite on the finish. . .better.

R. Stuart & Co

2014 Menefee Vineyard Pinot Noir –  Floral nose and a bit vegetal on the mid.  Good balance

2014 Lazy River Vineyard Pinot Noir – Fruity nose, good solid mid palate, good balance.

Saffron Fields Vineyard

2016 Pinot Noir Rose’ – strong aroma of clover and wild flowers, floral flavors in the mid.  refreshing. .

2013 Heritage Clones Pinot Noir – Good nose, dark fruit and quite smooth in the mid, medium finish, not silky but not harsh edged either.

Tendril Wine Cellars

2016 Child’s Play Pinot Noir Rose’ – Very typical PN Rose’  nothing terribly great or different.

2014 Extrovert Pinot Noir – Nice nose, good fruit and mid palate. . pretty standard

Willakenzie Estate

2014 Gamay Noir – Really good fruit on the nose, smooth mid, solid drinker.  unlike a few other Gamays . .no weird vegetal flavors.  Good all around.

** 2014 Kiana Pinot Noir – great nose, smooth mid, very fruit forward.  Always a favorite.

Soter Vineyards

2014 North Valley YC Pinot Noir – Very mild nose but a good mid palate.

2014 Mineral Springs Ranch Pinot Noir –  Mild nose, good solid mid and a bit of pepper on the finish.

JL Kiff Vineyard –

2012 Pinot Noir Kiff Vineyard – Great nose, solid fruit in mid and well-balanced.

2014 Pinot Noir Kiff Vineyard – Gret nose, a bit vegetal in the mid, good finish.

 

All in all a really great education in the producers and growers in the Yamhill Carlton AVA.  And I did find a few that I may have to investigate further in the future.

A great way to start OREGON WINE MONTH.  Go  . . . Find your Adventure.

 

2015 Kirkland Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot

IMG_20170512_114417A blogger friend recommended I try this wine and see what I thought.  I truly love a great blend and had very high hopes for another great Kirkland wine.

Alas, I am disappointed.

The nose on first whiff is fruity, lots of Merlot fragrances.  Very bright and inviting.  I can also sense the deep dark plumminesso fthe Cab Sauv.  Though upon tasting, the fruit fades to the background and mostly what I get is alcohol . . . 14.9% alcohol to be exact.  That intensity sweeps away what might have been a wonderful option for a daily drinker.

So sad.

2012 Mad Violets Riesling

This is one of those “mystery” bottles.  Neither my wife nor I remember buying it, yet there it sits in my wine cooler.  I was cooking some pork loins in my Traeger and needed some moisture for the final drive to Nirvana.  I typically use either Apple juice or beer.  But I had no apple juice and I wasn’t about to sacrifice a Believer . . . so then it came down to the white wine cooler.  Who would be “sacrificed” for dinner . . .

What a pleasant surprise.  I am not typically a Riesling fan, though on a hot summer day, I do opt for something light and fruity.  This little thing does not disappoint.

The aroma is one of ripe peaches, a bit of citrus, perhaps grapefruit or lemon zest, but with a definitive sweet nature.  It is sweet and tart on the palate, mouth-watering.  The stone fruit carries over to the flavor as well as the lemon zest/ grapefruit.  A really nice surprise.  My pork is getting a very nice blanket of goodness for its finish.

Mad Violets
2012 Mad Violets Riesling

24th Annual McMinnville Food and Wine Classic – SiP . . . . 03/11/2017

My FAVORITE wine festival of the year had finally arrived.  It’s true, the Newport Seafood and Wine Festival is bigger . . . but there is something to be said for a more sedate version of itself.  The SiP is a regionally diverse wine festival that, to me at least, dutifully covers the various wine-producing regions of our fine state.  Oregon is most widely acknowledged as Pinot Noir Country.  And while that is true, Oregon is also home of some of the best Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, et al in the country.  Many of these were proudly and admirably represented at the festival.

We’ve attended The Sip now for about 4 years and enjoy it every year, particularly discovering the many new and exciting wineries that come to share their vision.  Each year there have been approximately 70 wineries represented, so I’ve had to make a plan of attack in order to be able to maintain a reasonable palate.  I look on these events as education as much as entertainment, so good note-taking is important to me.  With that in mind, let’s dive right in. . . .

Buddha Kat Winery . . .  A friend is a fan and suggested I give them a try.

  • Cabernet Franc . . . Not much nose, very funky flavor and no finish
  • FIA Red Blend . . . Similar to the Cab Franc, pretty much a MEH
  • FIA White Blend . . . Nice nose, good fruit and a fine follow.  Best of the group

Paul O’Brien Winery . . .  A favorite producer

  • ’09 Petite Sirah  . . . Deep dark fruit on the nose and full fruit flavors on the palate that finishes long.  I chose well.
  • ’13 Zinfandel . . . Mild fruit aroma, but the fruit explodes on the palate with a hint of spice as well.  Nice finish.
  • ’13 Tempranillo Reserva . . . Superb fruit on the nose which continues onto the mid palate.  Excellent of example of Tempranillo from Southern Oregon.

RAYLEE Wines . . . A brand new winery

  • ’14 Syn Red Blend . . . Syrah, Zin, Cab Sauv . . .Good full fruit on the nose as well as on the palate.  Nice choice for an everyday drinker.
  • ’15 Zinfandel . . . Light aromas, but fully realized fruit on the palate.  Very nice.

Girardet Wine Cellar

  • ’14 Touchdown Red . . . Full fruit on nose, Good texture and smooth finish.  There are 10 varietals in this blend, a kitchen sink-type blend.
  • ’14 Barbera . . . Heaven on the  nose, amazing fruit aromas, good solid structure and good fruit on the mid palate, a bit tart at the finish.
  • ’14 Sangiovese . . . Light fruit aromas, and a bit vegetal.  Silky smooth mid and a long enjoyable finish.

VinTyr Winery . . . Another new winery and they focus on blends.

  • ’13 Tyr-topia  . . . Primitivo, Tannat and Petit Verdot . . . The nose is WOW, amazingly fruit forward on the nose, the flavor is good and the structure is very solid.
  • ’13 Nacrimera . . . Tempranillo, Teroldego and Petite Sirah . . .  Spicy and warm nose,  flavor is good but dry.  Solid mid and a dry finish.
  • ’13 Tanoldebec . . . Teroldego, Tannat, and Malbec . . . Great nose, a smooth and spicy mid with a long dry finish.

Resolu Cellars . . . Yet another new winery

  • ’14 Sangiovese . . . Great nose, full fruit flavors with solid and smooth texture.  Great drinker.
  • ’13 Triomphe . . . 5 different Columbia Valley varietals based on Cabernet Franc . .  . Great nose with good, solid structure and a dry finish.

Eliana Wines

  • Maiden Rose’ . . .  Merlot based rose’ . . .Slightly sweet, light body and finishes smooth, not dry.

Hillcrest Vineyards . . . A family favorite winery.   Always a pleasure visiting with Dyson.

  • ’13 Le Pig . . . Barbera . . . Really great . . .The aroma is one of deep dark fruit and a bit of wood and BBQ, smooth and silky with a slightly tannic and spicy mid palate, finish lingers long and silky as well.  A favorite that we had to restock. 
  • ’13 Anonymous . . . It begins with a moderately fruity nose and a silky mid palate.  This wine continues with excellent fruit flavors and a not too dry finish.
  • ’13 Bull’s Blood . . . Cab Sauv, Pinot Noir and Tempranillo . . . Solid fruit on the nose, Solid flavor on the mid and a nice smooth finish.
  • ’13 Fuder Riesling . . . – label – “Classic “Half Dry” German style. This wine is savory and not sweet. My favorite style . . . when you drink the Fuder it’s almost like biting into a green apple. This wine is the wine of choice for us when were having spicy and medium and lighter textured foods. My go to wine. Recently this vintage of our Fuder took first place in a tasting of 14 Rieslings from around the world.”  Full and silky mouthfeel with a bright and cheery nose.  It is different than any other Riesling I’ve ever tasted.  Tart and acidic, but full-bodied, which is  indicative of the Alsace region.  Truly enjoyable and had to go home with us.

Varnum Vintners

  • ’15 Petite Sirah . . . Santa Clara County fruit . . . Surprisingly bright, very crisp . . more like a rose’ in texture.  Quite a different experience and well worth investigating more.
  • ’16 Pinot Noir Rose’ . . .  Very fresh aroma, light but well structure body and a slightly tart finish.  Surprisingly different.

J Wrigley Vineyards

  •  ’14 MAC Cuvee Pinot Noir . . . Great balanced nose and a solid mid palate with a very fruit forward structure.  Finishes dry and very slightly mineral.
  • ’16 Rose’ of Pinot Noir . . . Bright fruity nose, with a smooth flavorful mid.  A great patio wine.  Bright, crisp and slightly tart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

McMenamin’s Grand Lodge 95th Birthday – 03/04/2017

The McMenamin brothers have created quite a Beertopian empire in the PNW.  And today was the celebration of one of (if not the) oldest properties in their family.  The Grand Lodge in Forest Grove is a very grand estate.  Completed in 1927, the Grand Lodge was built as a retirement home for the aged and infirmed who were members of the Fraternal Order of Masons / Eastern Star or orphans of such.  It continued in this capacity until 1999 when the McMenamin’s agreed to become the new “custodians” of this glorious property.  The artwork alone is worth your time to visit.

An excerpt about the property . . . “The Grand Lodge is located at 3505 Pacific Avenue in Forest Grove, Oregon.  The lodge offers 4 restaurants and bars, Ironwork Grill, Bob’s Bar, Doctor’s Office Bar, and Pat’s Corner.  The lodge offers movies and music and they also have special events.  There is a wonderful spa called Ruby’s Spa which offers massage, body treatments, foot care, and more.  There is also a nice outdoor soaking pool and a great little gift shop for finding just the right spa essentials.  The front desk also has a gift shop with clothing, glass wear, coffee and many other wonderful items.  The lodge also has space for weddings, meetings, and private events.” And it is a very unique hotel experience.

Our goal for this day was 2-fold. . . Get stamps for our Passport and taste some regional wines.  The McMenamin’s Passport is a tool of marketing they have developed that encourages those who are fans of fun, good food and great adult beverages to venture to the various venues, brewpubs, hotels and music venues . . 54 and counting in Oregon and Washington.  The wine tasting was provided as a part of the 95th birthday celebration, and I wasn’t about to miss that.

David Hill Winery

’14 Estate Pinot Noir . . . Earthy nose, some fruit sneaking thru . . a bit acidic in the mid and a good finish.

Elk Cove Vineyards

’14 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir . . . Good aromatics and fruit on the nose . .Smooth and balanced texture and good fruit on the finish.  Very nice wine.

Apolloni Vineyards

’14 Pinot Noir . . . Good fruit on the nose, balanced texture with good fruit in the mid palate, slightly mineral finish.

’13 Soleggio . . . Tuscan blend (Sangiovese, Merlot, Cab Sauv) . . . Gorgeous nose, the fruit aromas just dance.  The fruit doesn’t carry through to the mid palate as it is quite mild there and falls off dramatically at the finish.  Was hoping for more.

Montinore Estate

’16 Borealis . . . a white blend of Gewurtztraminer, Muller Thurgau, Pinot Gris and Riesling. Intensely aromatic, with a nose of tropical flowers, ripe kiwi and melon, the silky soft palate is brimming with rose petals, pink grapefruit, mango and white nectarine then finishes on a high, clean note of bright key lime.  A personal favorite

’15 Rosso di Marchesi. . . A Tuscan blend of Sangiovese, Teroldego, Legrein and Pinot Noir.  The nose on this beauty is amazing.  Tons of dark red fruit like marionberry and cherry with a hint of pie spice.  Very balanced tannins.  Finish is dry but very smooth.  To me it’s just begging for some pasta and meat sauce .  A Major home run for me

Edgefield Winery

’14 Cuvee de L’Abri Rouge. . . ( or Red Shed blend) made from of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsault.  Reminiscent of great wines of the Southern Rhone like Chateauneuf-de-Pape.  A mild nose, not a bunch evident . . .good mid palate, lots of ripe fruit flavors going on here . . .  and a mildly tannic finish, which is to be expected.

’14 Black Rabbit Red . . . This blend is made form a host of warm weather varietals including Merlot, Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, etc.  I found a good nose on this, evident fruit. . . as well as good red fruit flavors in the mid.  The only down side for me is that the finish does go dry very quickly and quite heavily.  Lots of young tannins at work here.  Perhaps, it it’s built to age, a few years will mellow those moisture stripping rascals.

 

This was an enjoyable event.  From the Art treasure hunt in the Lodge to the wine tasting it was educational and satisfying.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McMenamins

https://www.mcmenamins.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walla Walla Wine Alliance Portland Tasting Event – 2/27/17

event

I was very fortunate to be able to attend this event as a member of the media . .small time bloggers count too.  Needless to say, I was excited to be able to sample so many potentially great wines from a spectacular wine growing region.  We ventured to Walla Walla with some friends back in Nov 2015.  So many great venues and too little time.  Naturally, I looked on this event as my missed opportunity.

Forty-one wineries made the effort to be included in this event.  All but one had 3-4 offerings to share.  So, I had my work cut out for me.  I made the decision, based on my preferences, to concentrate my tasting efforts just on the blends being offered.  And with only a couple single varietal exceptions, I stuck to that plan.

The Walla Walla Valley is dominated by Bordeaux style grape varieties.  Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Viognier , Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah are the primary players with Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, Petit Sirah, Carmenere, Rousanne, Semillon, Marsanne and Mourvedre adding to the mix.  So much fantastic potential. (i.e. CSM = Cab, Syrah, Merlot)

ADAMANT CELLARS

  • NALIN . .A beautiful nose, slightly fruity and slightly vegetal/earthy.  Very pleasant mid palate and finishes strong without being too dry.
  • CABERNET FRANC . . Good nose, quite silky mid and a soft finish.  OK, but not great

aMAURICE CELLARS

  • NIGHT OWL . . Earthy nose, a bit of dirt and forest as well as a minerality on the finish
  • MCCOOL . . CSM blend with a touch of Petite Verdot thrown in.  Big dark fruit on the nose.  Very smooth mid that slides into a long dry finish.

BERESAN WINERY

  • STONE RIVER . . . [Cab, Merlot, Cab Franc blend] Quite soft fruit on the nose, silky smooth mid and a quick finish. . over too soon.

CADARETTA

  • SBS . . . [Semillon, Sauv Blanc blend] One of only a few white blends I sampled on this event. A fresh nose, but not crisp.  It lacked a bit on the citrus fruit notes, though it was slightly floral.  Very mild citrus, sort of like a Fuji apple.

CANOE RIDGE VINEYARD  **

  • CHERRY STREET . . . This wine is being rebranded as EXPLORER.  A slightly earth nose, but full of dark fruit on the nose as well as the palate.  A smooth and very nice drinker.  A potential go-to for me.

BROWNE FAMILY VINEYARDS

  • GRENACHE ROSE‘ . . . Amazing nose.  Violets, herbs and other floral notes.  Soft on mid palate, but no finish.  Just falls on floor.
  • TRIBUTE RED BLEND . . . Solid all around, nose and palate.  A bit more acid than some, but good drinker.

DUNHAM CELLARS  **

  • 3 LEGGED RED . . . Inky dark, fruit basket on the nose . .Fantastic.  Silky mid palate and a nice long finish.  Superb blend.  New FAVE.
  • TRUTINA . . . A similar flavor profile to the 3 LEGGED RED but with greater depth of flavor and nose.  This wine spends 2 yrs in barrel and another 1 yr in bottle.  Another FANTASTIC choice.  Fave #2

ISENHOWER CELLARS

  • CABERNET FRANC ROSE‘ . . . A wonderful aroma of roses, quite floral.  Crisp and luscious with floral notes on the mid palate as well.  Would make a great patio wine.
  • WILD THYME . . . A nice Merlot based blend.  Earthy nose, with a silky mid palate . .Goes quickly dry.
  • JONGLEUR PETIT VERDOT . . . Nice dark fruit on the nose.  Again this wine is silky in the mid palate but goes very quickly dry . . .not as luxurious as some others.

L’ECOLE

  • LUMINESCE . . . Semillon and Sauv Blanc blend. Great citrus on the nose. Crisp lemony mid palate.  Very refreshing.
  • ESTATE SYRAH . . . Really nice nose, plenty of dark fruit.  Smooth mid palate, good structure, very pleasant.  An Easy drinker.
  • APOGEE . . . From Pepper Bridge vineyards.  No dominant fruit aromas.  Good structure, but a bit one-dimensional.

PEPPER BRIDGE WINERY

  • TRINE . . . Simple. A very nice homage to traditional Bordeaux and the 5 grapes that define that.  .Easy nose, smooth mid.  Nice drinker.

SEVEN HILLS WINERY

  • CIEL DU CHEVAL . . . Vegetal nose, earthy plus viney.  Similar structure on palate.  A bit one-dimensional, Dry finish.
  • WALLA WALLA . . . A much more pleasant nose, more fruit on the palate.  Blend of Cab Franc and Petit Verdot.  Nice mid palate, but is immediately dry.  No lingering finish.  Too bad.

SLEIGHT OF HAND CELLARS

  • THE CONJUROR . . . A great blend of delicious dark fruit and earthiness on the nose which carries over to the palate .
  • THE ARCHIMAGE . . . Cab Franc blend.  Fruity with a silky mid palate and a very smooth finish.  Another good drinker.

TAMARACK CELLARS  **

  • FIREHOUSE RED . . . Nicely balanced nose, Good fruit and a smooth mid palate.  Nicely balanced structure throughout.

WALLA WALLA VINTNERS

  • WASHINGTON STATE CUVEE . . . Similar in aroma, taste and structure to many others.  A good option.
  • BELLO ROSSO . . . Super Tuscan.  Good nose, Sangiovese is prominent though it is a 50-50 blend.  Good mid as well as a good finish.  Very solid.

WOODWARD CANYON

  • NELMS ROAD RED . . . Cab Franc and Merlot blend.  Nice fruit up front. Smooth through the mid palate.  Good finish.
  • ARTIST SERIES CABERNET SAUVIGNON . . . A CS and CF blend.  Really nice dark fruit up front.  A smooth mid palate and a solid finish.  Pretty great overall.

DUSTED VALLEY WINERY

  • PETITE SIRAH . . . Nice nose, very pleasant.  Flavor is excellent.  Mid palate is loaded with deep dark fruit.  A soft finish, not overly tannic.  A really nice surprise.

FIGGINS

  • ESTATE RED . . . An excellent nose, loaded with fruit aromas.  A smooth and well-balanced blend.

TRUST CELLARS

  • TRIED N TRUE . . . Syrah/Cab Sauv blend.  Nicely smooth all around.  Easy drinker with decent structure.

BALBOA WINERY

  • MITH . . . Bordeaux blend.  Nice aroma.  Solid mid palate flavor and structure and some great fruit.  Solid choice.

AMAVI CELLARS

  • SEMILLON . . . A really nice palate cleanser.  Light and crisp, but no really discernible fruit.  But to be fair, this wine should have been at the beginning of this tasting session as they do tend to be much more subtle.

FOUNDRY VINEYARDS

  • WHITE ON WHITE . . . At 0.5% of residual sugar, this lovely Rhone blend hit the spot.  A crisp nose, and nice fruit notes on the mid palate.  And there is something really interesting going on with this wine, though for me it is difficult to pin down.  Slightly sweet and slightly floral . . A very cool choice.

 

This was a very interesting and very educational afternoon.  There were a few samples that I’ve chosen not to include.  In all I’ve listed the 33 wines I sampled on this outing.  The Walla Walla Valley offers so many great choices of fine wines.  There were many more single varietal options that I chose not to try, that may be exactly what you are looking for in wine.  I would encourage a trip of your own to this fine area and create a tour of your own.  I feel confident that you won’t be disappointed.

http://www.wallawallawine.com/

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2013 Le Pig – Lot 1

Hillcrest Vineyards is the oldest continuously operating vineyard in Oregon, and a personal favorite.

Le Pig is 100%Barbera  and 100% delicious. According to their website :

A dense and rich New World version of this dominant Italian red. We age this wine in a unique selection of new wood that gives the wines spiciness and an even longer finish. A customer favorite that is meant to go with all things pork.

The aroma is one of deep dark fruit and a bit of wood and bbq.  The initial taste is smooth and silky with a slightly tannic and spicy mid palate.  The finish lingers long and silky as well.  We will be getting more of this at the McMinnville Sip Classic.

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