2018 McMinnville Classic – The SiP

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This is without a doubt our favorite wine festival of the year.

The McMinnville Classic Food and Wine Festival brings together small independent producers of Oregon wine, beer, liquor, food, and art for three days of tasting, toasting, and raising funds for St. James School in McMinnville, founded in 1906.  This is the 25th anniversary year of this event.  We have several favorite producers that come every year, and we always stop by and say hello to people who have become friends.  But I, in particular, enjoy finding new gems. .new to me at least.  This year I discovered a couple that will undoubtedly become favorites.

Our first stop was . . .

Lujon Wine Cellars.

2015 Pinot Noir – Dundee Hills – A great nose of dark fruit and baking spices.  Texture was also outstanding and that spice added a nice finish.

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – Loads of red and dark fruit on the nose and a silky mid palate.  And the fruit carries over nicely onto the palate.  Really an outstanding Cab.

2014 Syrah – The nose was quite subtle, less fruit than I was expecting.  The mid palate was smooth and nicely texture, though the flavors are very light.


Parrett Mountain Cellars – This small boutique winery was a huge surprise to me.  We got to meet and chat with the winemaker,  Marlene Grant.  Her passion for the wines she is creating was awesome.  This is one of those wineries that I look forward to finding out more about.

2017 Sauvignon Blanc – Light nose, less than I was hoping for . . . a nicely soft mid with great fruit flavors.  .and a crisp clean finish

2015 Malbec – Deep dark fruit on the nose, excellent aromas.  Silky mid and those deep dark fruit flavors carry over nicely.

2016 Zinfandel Port Style – Moderate fruit aromas, super smooth mid, great texture and spice on finish.  Superb.


Emerson Vineyards

2015 Brother Red – Medium dark fruit on the nose, super smooth and spicy.  A really great grape blend. . kitchen sink kind of deal.


Melrose Vineyards

2014 Red Dog Rose’ – Syrah/Pinot Gris/Merlot blend.  Light nose, very subtle but great texture and fruit.

2016 Sauvignon Blanc – Grassy notes and citrus on the nose.  Lemons and herbal notes on the palate.  A nice crisp finish.


Barking Frog Winery

I had to try their 2016 Sangiovese as it was the winner of Best in Show for this festival. . .The nose was gorgeous. . .but that is where the good stopped.  The palate seemed unusually hot, typically evidence of high alcohol, but this wine is at an avg 13%.  Acidity level was also high, fruit wasn’t prominent at all.  I don’t understand how this wine was judged to be a winner . . .


Hillcrest Winery

One of my personal favorites, primarily because of Dyson Demara, Owner and Winemaker.  He has enhanced his craft to encompass wines and blends that just aren’t evident in the market.

2015 Malbec-Tempranillo – Great fruit on the nose and a silky mid palate.  Heavy bodied and loads of tannins.  Finishes super dry.

2012 El Grande – Tempranillo blend – Great nose, smooth mid palate and great texture.

2012 Umpqua Ribera – Tempranillo and Cab Sauv blend – Mild nose and dark fruit flavors.  Smooth and silky texture with moderate tannins.


Catman Cellars

This one was as surprise to me.  I had recognized the Man behind the counter, so I decided to chat with him and subsequently tried his wines.  Turns out we had been in a Youth-Adult bowling league together about 12 years ago when our kids were in high school.

2017 Sauvignon Blanc –  Mild citrus aromas.  Crisp and refreshing structures and a nice fruity mid thru to the finish.

2015 Barbera – Nice fruit on the nose.  Great dark fruit on the palate with a bit more acid.  Good finish.

2016 Zinfandel Ruby Port-Style –Great fruit on the nose.  Excellent texture.  Warm, as expected, but not overly so.  At 18.4% alcohol, this is surprisingly smooth and enticing.


Cardwell Hill Cellars

This winery is developing into one of those that I just can’t pass by whenever I see them at a festival.  Their wines, particularly the Pinot Noirs, are so imbued with character and flavor that they are impossible to ignore.

2015 Dijon Clone Pinot Noir – Just superb on all accounts.  The nose is robust with dark and red fruit.  The mid palate is silky and fruit forward and the structure is near perfection.  The tannins and acids are expertly integrated and the over all enjoyment is second to none.  THIS  IS MY BEST IN SHOW.  Taking home 2 bottles.

2015 Pommard Block Pinot Noir – Hints of chocolate amongst the dark fruit.  Medium to heavy bodied and dark garnet in color.  Very smooth mid and nice dark fruit throughout.


Hawkins Cellars 

2014 Caldera Red – MSG blend – Slightly smoky on the nose and nice fruit.  Smooth mid and dark fruit flavors with moderate tannins.

2016 Barrel Select Viognier – Lemon Verbena on the nose, lightly citrus and herbal, Crisp mid with a really nice citrus palate.  Great.


Spangler Vineyards

2013 Petite Sirah – Gorgeous nose, loaded with dark fruit. Silky mid with cherries and spices on the finish.

2014 Claret – Bordeaux blend of Cab Sauv, Merlot and Cab Franc – A surprisingly bright nose alongside the traditional aromas of Cab and Merlot.  Great texture . . Smooth with a great finish.


Kings Raven Winery

2013 Estate Pinot Noir – Spent 29 months in barrel.  Mostly 667 clone.A Slight dried fruit character and a deep texture.  Nice.


Armonea Wines 

2014 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir – Hint of forest floor on the nose.  Nice strong textures on the palate with an interesting fruit profile.  But nothing really stands out to me.


J Scott Cellars

2015 Bradshaw Pinot Noir – Beautiful full fruit nose and a smooth mid palate.  A spicy and exciting finish.  Really great.

NV Siren’s Song – a 1/3 each blend of Gewürztraminer / Riesling / Muscat – Bright and sweet nose, very welcoming.  Great textures and a slightly sweet finish.  Makes for a great end of the evening.


Schultz Wines

2013 Syrah – A amazing fruit bomb on the nose with bbq flavors on the palate.  Smooth mid and goes spicy and slightly tannic on the finish.  Suggest a rack of ribs with this one.


This was once again such a great time of exploration and confirmation of those things about wine and those who create it that I truly love.  There is science, passion, creativity and art in every bottle.  The proverbial Genie just waiting to escape its imprisonment and ready to grant your wishes.  I so appreciate these people and their craft and I look forward to visiting several of them again to further investigate and explore.

Cheers!![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][dt_fancy_title title=”Photo Gallery” title_align=”left” title_size=”h3″ title_color=”accent”][vc_media_grid element_width=”2″ grid_id=”vc_gid:1521754251862-b7f32e1d-f084-2″ include=”15357,15355,15323,15293,3119″ css=”.vc_custom_1521433757977{margin-top: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row]


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