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.








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