Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Robert's Big Adventure

Tuesday I left Eugene too late to visit any wineries on the way to Portland to play golf at Heron Lakes, but I made up for it on Wednesday.
After playing 16 painful holes, then two that make me want to come back for more, I checked in to Northrup Station, had a nap, then headed off to 23Hoyt for an early dinner.
Open Table recommended them as a great place to eat and as a neighborhood gem so, trusting soul that I am...
The food was fantastic and the service was even better! Being a single dinner feel odd sometimes: just you and the food, and whatever entertainment is within sight or sound. The staff made me feel very welcomed and were attentive, polite, and at my side if I even thought of asking for something. The steak and fries were just right, though I suggested an aoli for the fries.
Back to the hotel to find the Ted Kennedy had died. Sad.

Wednesday morning brought me to Montinore Estate where proprietor Rudy Marchesi gave me a bottle of the Parson's Ridge'07 Pinot Noir. I tasted most of the wines and really loved the "Almost Dry Riesling" One of the best whites I tasted today and one of my favorites overall. The Parson's Ridge is a great wine. Pepper, black fig, complex and dry. I can't wait to see what it has in store after three or so years! Here is the bottle, held by Marc, the tasting room manager. I followed Ken and Barbie...yes, Ken and Barbie, to the tasting room and enjoyed sharing a moment of wine adventures with them.

OK, back to the wines. I left there and headed out to track down some Sake'.
I met one of the people in charge at Sake'One as he was leaving for his car and ask about getting "one bottle" for the collection. He was more than glad to help and we will have a bottle of "G" in the auction. Sake' is short lived , 5 -8 months, so I will pick it up just before the event. Loved all the tastes and could become addicted without much urging! I can't wait to go back for more tastes and a few bottles of my own.

I wandered up through the Hills to David Hill Vineyard and Winery to find yet again, after trying to connect in Jan. Feb, and March for a bottle for the last auction, that I had missed the person able to make a decision...should have called ahead but the drive, and the view, were worth the trip. And the wines I tasted were great.The Estate Gewurztraminer was bright with nice fruit and the Estate Pinot Gris was the perfect sweetness without being cloying. My favorite for just sipping is the Farmhouse Red. Smooth and rich. The Black Jack Pinot Noir "06 was outstanding! dark cherry and earthy. The tasting room is in an old house overlooking the vineyards and is just the right setting for a quiet moment with some great wine.
I will have to go back and try again.

Juanita Lint, owner of Plum Hill, whose wines are always good and often great, let me take a bottle of the '07 Chardonnay. I love this wine and think it is worthy of all the praise it has garnered.

Next stop, Elk Cove Vineyards. I found the manager doing tastings for a group of people from Hawaii and explaining shipping and the wine club. When she turned her attention to me I did the big ask! One bottle, please?
Martha Wagner came out and saw that it was me, again. She was so nice and gave a REALLY nice bottle! The 2006 Elk Cove Vineyards Reserve, signed by the winemaker. It received 93 points from Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and Stephan Tanzer, Parker gave it a 92, and Wine and Spirits, a 91. Decanter Magazine gave it 4 starts! Here is the bottle being held by an innocent passerby, actually, he was the bus driver for the tour group.
After thanking them again, I took off for Kramer Vineyards and was treated to TWO bottles! They gave a bottle of the '06 Estate Pinot Noir and one of the '06 Chardonnay. Julia let me taste most of the wines and just as last time, they were wonderful. The old vine (1984) Pinot was sooo good! Rhubarb and dark cherry with a dark sweet finish. This is Julia NOT blinking:)
One more stop and I will call it a day!
ADEA is one of my favorite places to hang out and visit. Feels like family. They know what they are doing and they do it well. I had run in to Ann and Dean at the IPNC and they promised me a surprise! They gave me a magnum of the '05 ADEA Reserve Pinot Noir! I sat around and tasted wines with Dean and went from '06, to '07, to'2000 and back again.
Do NOT believe what you here from the unschooled about the '07s. They are absolutely perfect Burgundian, ruby, complex, and very drinkable wines. I was astounded by the amount of depth and flavor in all of his '07s!
All the '07s I have tasted so far, with perhaps two exceptions, have been the kind that I cut my wine teeth on in Europe in the '70s. Buy lots now before the masses find out that they are great!

One last stop.
I was noodling around on Open Table while making a res at 23Hoyt and happened upon Jory Restaurant at The Allison Inn & Spa .
You can read my review on Open Table. God it was GOOD!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

King Estate and Beyond

Today, after putting up labels on Anne Teigen's paintings at Sweet Cheeks Winery, meeting some very nice people from Mesa AZ. at Silvan Ridge, and visiting at Chateau Lorane , I took a chance and stopped at King Estate and ask for their donation of "One Bottle". Jennifer gave a bottle of the 2007 Signature Pinot Gris, and a bottle of the 2006 next Oregon Riesling. Both are from King but are different brands. I tasted both and must say I was pleased by what they present in the 2006 Riesling: crisp and fruity with a smooth finish. A great little summer wine. The Gris is a little tart and has nice fruit. Paired with a nice salad and white cheese...superb. That is the most distributed Pinot Gris in America!
At Chateau Lorane, where I tasted a few of the wines , I was brought up short by the 2006 Viognier (off dry)!I always enjoy a good Viognier but this is truly the best I have ever tasted. Peach, nectarine, pear, caramel, and it has a mouth feel of silk but is not cloying and sticky. Man, THAT is what I want for our auction!
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