Revisiting some old friends . . .

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What to do on a very hot Saturday. . . Let’s roam around Yamhill County and taste great wine . . .

It’s been a while since we had driven around Wine Country and visited some of our old faves, so we decided today was the day.  Plus we threw in a new guy at the end.

Our first stop was Montinore Estate.  We had been members here a few years back and decided to give them a fresh perspective, since both of our palates have matured.  This is one worth visiting as they are the largest producer of certified estate wines made from Biodynamic® grapes in the country. And it’s beautiful . . .

2017 Pinot Noir Rose’ – Pale pink color with bright red fruit aromas, especially strawberry.  The mid palate is dry with tight, crisp acidity which makes it mouth-watering.  The flavors are light and refreshing.  A great go-to for the summer.

2016 L’Orange – Skin Contact Pinot Gris – This Pinot Gris was fermented for some time on their skins and then blended with 22% Muscat.  This gives it the interesting orange hue as well as a slightly more rounded mouthfeel.  The nose is nice and bright with noticeable aromas of nectarine.  The mid palate is smooth yet crisp, which carries over to the finish.

2014 Muller-Thurgau – A light nose and ever so slight sweetness . . .Nice but unremarkable.

** 2013 Alphabet City Pinot Noir – This one I ended up taking home.  An AMAZING nose, essence of cigar, leather,a bit of cedar along side gorgeous plums and dark cherries.  I wanted to just luxuriate on that aroma for a while.  The flavor profile doesn’t contain all of those aromas, but it is a very smooth, well controlled fruit bomb of dark fruit and an elegant finish.

NV Borealis – Still one of my favorite white wines to enjoy for ANY occasion.  Taken from their tasting notes . . . .”Mouthwatering and multi-dimensional, this perennial crowd pleaser is a blend of our favorite cool-climate whites: Müller-Thurgau (38%), Gewürztraminer (32%), Riesling (19%) and Pinot Gris (11%). Crafted from several harvests in order to display the unique qualities of each variety, heady scents of orange blossom, ripe honeydew, guava and kiwi offer a vibrant introduction to this aromatic blend. The palate is sumptuous and round, bursting with stone fruit, Meyer lemon and juicy pear drizzled with caramel. This plushness yields to a clean, bright and uplifting finish.”  Now I’m not claiming to have gotten all of that . . . But, yeah. . it’s delicious.

2013 Cataclysm Pinot Noir– Nice dark fruit nose with a silky mid palate with flavors that follow the promise the nose made.  A bit more subdued than I remembered, but would be an excellent food wine.

2014 Graham’s Block 7 Pinot Noir – Aromas of dark fruit and a bit of forest floor, sort of earthy.  Smooth mid and a bit spicy as it spends time.  then a lovely long lingering finish.

NV Rosso di Marchesi – Quarto Atto– I do so love blends, and great Italian blends are my favorites.  This wine is the Marchesi’s take on family table wine from Northern Italy.  It includes Teroldego, Lagrein, Pinot Noir and Sangiovese all brilliantly aligned to create a one-of-a-kind blend.  The nose promises dark berries and some bramble, and the flavors deliver on berry pie and plums, smoky yet smooth.  Wonderfully well integrated tannins and a long finish that is sure to please.

NV Ruby – Pinot Noir port-style– We had to finish our tasting with one of the best port style wines I’ve had in a while.  The nose gave me raisins and dried plums, a bit of chocolate and blackberries.  The mid was sating smooth with great fruit flavors along side the expected alcohol bite, but it was there and gone.  The heat didn’t last, but the flavors sure did . . .a very nice ending of this visit.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]

Next on the travel agenda . . .

Kramer Vineyardsis probably best known for their Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sparkling wines.  My main focus was on their Pinot Rose’ and their Celebrate Sparkling Rose’.

We started with the 2014 Brut Sparkling Wine, made in the traditional way from 65% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir and 15% Pinot Meunier.  The nose was beautiful and bright, the bubbles were tiny and not overly gassed.  The flavors were nice, slightly tart with a dry refreshing finish.  I enjoyed it very much.

2016 Celebrate Rose’ of Pinot Noir – Once again those much preferred tiny bubbles and essence of strawberries on the nose.  The aroma was also slightly sweet, while the mid palate was traditionally dry and refreshing.  It has a really nice light finish that entices me back for more.

2017 Pinot Blanc – Hints of lemongrass on the nose.  Super smooth mid, very reminiscent of chardonnay, thought hte flavor profile wasn’t very distinct to me.

2017 Rose’ of Pinot Noir– Light strawberry nose with a tart, crisp flavor.  Not as much carryover from the nose as I would have liked.  Flavors are present, just very light . . .too light for me.

2014 Chardonnay Reserve – Light straw color with aromas of Meyer Lemon and maybe a hint of peach.  Nice smooth mid and extremely well balanced.

2014 Cardiac Hill Pinot Noir– Aromas are. . unusual on this one.  Smells a bit like a horse barn . . a bit of straw, maybe some yeast/mold, some leather.  The International Wine Report description on their page said this . .”The nose is wonderfully earthy with peat moss and white truffle tones shining through.”  So I guess I was pretty close . . . .structure is really good, but the flavors are muted to me.  There is some spice on the mid palate . .just not really in my wheelhouse.  But others around us were loving it . . so. . there you go!!

2016 Syrah – Yakima Valley fruit – Really nice dark fruit flavors, plum predominant for me.  Silky smooth mid palate and those dark fruit flavors come bursting onto the tongue.  And those flavors then linger a bit  Very enjoyable and quite quaffable.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]

Our third stop was at Troon Vineyards in Carlton. . .

We were club members here for several years, but decided we needed to expand our horizons, and our palates, giving us more options.  But since we hadn’t seen Meg in some time, and they had recently introduced some new wines, we thought it might be prudent to stop by.

2016 Vermentino Cuvee Rolle – This wine takes their regular Vermentino and adds some superior mouthfeel, not to mention the aromas of tropical fruit. . I even got a bit of banana.  It is tart and crisp on the palate and finishes more like an Alsatian style.

2017 Rogue Rose’ – A blend of Zinfandel and Tempranillo.  The nose is light, was hoping for more.  The mid palate is crisp and it finishes dry like you might expect.  I had higher hopes.

2016 Riesling – Whole cluster Fermented . . Right off I got the dominant acetyl aromas, so traditional of Riesling . . .not something I look for, but certainly tell-tale.  Aromas and flavors of green apple and tart cherry.  Finish is dry.

2016 Montepulciano – Bold and intense dark fruit aromas, the mid palate brings with it some essence of brambles, vegetation . . .and it is quite dry from the elevated tannins.

2014 Zinfandel – Mild nose, but the dark fruit does make an appearance.  The mid palate is accented by pepper.  Then the finish is sort of inconsequential.

2016 Zinfandel – This is more like it . . .Bright red and black fruit on the nose, great dark fruit flavors with an excellent silky mid palate.  That’s what I’m talkin’ about.  Taking 2 of these home.

2014 Sangiovese – Bright red fruit aromas.  Initial impressions of a great mouthfeel, then a bit dry, and then the finish returns that great fruit again.

2015 Syrah – Bright dark fruit aromas, very cherry.  Nice dark fruit that caresses like satin.  The tannins get a bit rough on the finish, but this will only continue to improve with some more time.

2015 Mourvedre – Smoky . . .plus deep dark fruit, very enticing.  A silky mid palate, great texture and that amazing dark fruit at the finish.

All around a pretty good tasting.  We also got a chance to talk with the winemaker Steve Hall for a bit.  He informed us of some things to be looking for in the next vintage . . .I always love the chance to talk with the folks who put their heart and soul into the wines and hearing their vision for what they are attempting to create.  It’s fascinating to me.

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Our final stop was at Pike Road Wines in Carlton. . .

These folks are kind of the new kids in town, though they are born of a great house.  The Campbell Family of Elk Cove planted their first 20 acres of vines in 1974. At the time, there were just a handful of winegrowers in Oregon. Within the community of Oregon’s Winemaking Pioneers, they were the only ones with deep family history of farming in Oregon. Today they remain proud family farmers with over 350 acres of vines in the Northern Willamette Valley, primarily for their original winery, Elk Cove Vineyards. In 2016 they launched Pike Road Wines, sprouted from their determination that it’s possible to create affordable, quality made wines from Willamette Valley fruit.

Pike Road, their namesake, runs adjacent to our vineyards and deep into the Oregon Coast Range Mountains. We take pride in crafting delicious white wines and Pinot Noirs sourced from their own vines and those of other family vineyards. They are committed to preserving small family farms here in the Willamette Valley through these long time partnerships, some of which they’ve had for decades.

2017 Pinot Gris– Bright citrus with a touch of lemongrass on the nose.  Crisp and bright flavors that carry over nicely.  Gonna have to take some home.

2017 Pinot Noir Rose’– Light aromas of strawberry and grapefruit with a crisp and bright acidity that lingers nicely thru the finish.  Very refreshing.  Taking some of this home too.

2015 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir – Bright red fruit aromas, nice complexity, flavors of raspberry and cherries.  The finish is a bit acidic.

2015 Winemakers Reserve Pinot Noir – Chehalem Mtn AVA – Excellent nose of bright red fruit, very robust.  Flavors follow suit very nicely.  Very well-balanced.

2015 Virgin View Vineyard Pinot Noir– Nice cherry aromas, bright red fruit mid like satin.  The finish was dry.

2016 Fairsing Vineyard Pinot Noir – Great dark fruit aromas.  .Very Silky with superb structure and balance.  Hand down best.

Bonus pour . .

2012 Elk Cove Pinot Noir – Fairsing Vineyards – Excellent nose of blackberries, raspberries with a bit of bramble.  Superb dark fruit berries on the palate as well.  The balance and integration of tannins is silky soft.  Just a hint of spice on the finish makes this something to savor.  Very glad we were given the opportunity to sample this wonderful gem.[/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:1533083542720-833a5be7-b71a-3″ include=”15164,3151,3138,5,3119″ css=”.vc_custom_1513876882333{margin-top: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row]


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