Thursday, November 12, 2009

Benton Lane, Johan, and Much Much More!

Getting a late start on Wednesday was a result of figuring out a way to print an auction form. After 10 tries at various complicated solutions  gave up and just copied the whole thing and put it in another file...I hate Adobe sometimes.
Anyway, off to Benton Lane to pick up our wine club bottles and the very nice '08 Pinot Gris, which, by the way, was rated one of the top 100 wines IN THE WORLD!!!
Not bad. I of course had to taste it to see if it really is.
On the way to McMinniville I finally got to stop at Johan Vineyards and thank Dag,(center) Allison,(right) and Danial  for supplying wine for our tables at the April auction. They also donated a bottle to be auctioned off. This year they were so kind as to give me a bottle of the '07 Nils Reserve Pinot Noir. Wonderfully flavored, complex, and rich in the mouth. Enchanting and vibrant.
• Aged 15 months in French Oak
• Currents, blackberries, spice, and earth
• Acidic backbone, with big full tannins
• Only 185 cases made

Rebecca was waiting for my help at Ghost Hill to barrel the '08 Sarah and help prep for bottling of the '08 Pinot Noir next week. I must say I worked very hard passing bottles, manhandling heavy things (good at that) and drinking beer. A couple of Lafayettes (chilled martini glass, coat with Gran Marnia, then shake ice, gin and fresh mint and pour) and a burger at Golden Valley were well deserved.

I spent the night at a friend's house and was off for a wander this morning after a wonderful breakfast at Farm to Fork. I drove up to Gaston, Yamhill, and then down to Carlton, dropping off requests for wine at wineries along the way.
When I got to Carlton I stopped at Carlo & Julian Winery just as they were filling bottle of the '08 Pinot Noir. I felt bad interrupting but Felix Madrid, the owner, was gracious and gave not "one bottle" but 6!
His '06 Reserve Pinot Noir (2), '06 Estate Pinot Noir (2), and '06 Tempernio(2).

Anne Amie also was very generous this year: '06 Winemakers Selection Pinot Noir and '08 Anne Amie Pinot Gris! Both are remarkable. The Pinot Noir has a chewy, earthy taste with lots of black berry fruit and hints of tobacco and leather. It just kept opening as I tasted. The Gris was a real treat! Pineapple, peach, and banana, along with bright, clean mouth feel.
One of the things I like so much about visiting the wineries is taking in the tasting rooms of the larger ones. The view from up at Anne Amie is astounding and the overall feel of the place is warm and welcoming.

I dropped off the three cases of wine collected over the last few week at Northwest Wines to You for storage, then made one last stop in McMinniville at Walnut City Wineworks where Jennifer presented three great wine to the cause: WcW Pinot Noir '06 Reserve Willamette Valley, Bernard Machado Pinot Noir '06, and the Zivo Pinot Noir '04
I spent the better part of an hour tasting and visiting with her and with Nicholas Keeler, who sells barrels for Allary tonnellerie. He has a lot more tasting experience than I do and I learned a lot about the wines we were sampling.
The balance of the '06 Machado is perfect. Great first taste and then a mouth filling explosion of fruit and earth, followed by a deep, rich aftertaste that makes you want more.
The '06 WcW Pinot Noir is spicy and complex. More than just the big fruit that '06 is known for, with great lightness. It is going to be great with food.
The Zivo '04 Pinot Noir tastes of black cherry and plum, with smoky wood tones.with a smooth finish.
Time to head home and enjoy the comfort of my home, cats, wife, and a good wine from the last auction. We bought three cases last time and I am finding some remarkable wines. Tonight was the Torii Mor '06 Pinot Noir.

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