After sleeping late and dreaming about broken wine glasses, I roused myself and drove out to King Estate Winery do do something I seldom have time to do: just taste the wines.
Josh ( shown here looking a bit fearful) took me through all the whites and reds while helping others on their exploration. The newest offering from King is a restaurant, on premise wine called Acrobat ($12). I was very impressed with its full flavor: lots of pear, green apple, in the nose and tropical fruits on the palate. Full mouth feel and a bit of a tang on the finish. Very enjoyable. I took two home and we had one with lemon, basil paste and it was perfect. My wife was surprised by the flavor as it is very pale in the glass.My favorite among the many whites was the '07 Domaine Pinot Gris: ($25) Lively and fresh with lots of peach and citrus, nice finish with a clean mineral taste.
The reds were all the North by Northwest brand, (yes, that is what NxNW means) and were all really good entry level wines for those whose palettes have not been honed to a sharp point by tasting hundreds of wines...or who just like a good, simple, drinkable wine. My favorite was the Cabernet Sauvignon- Walla Walla ($35). Deep rich red with strong ceder, berry, and earth. Soft finish and drinkable now.
As I left there were two cars at the bottom of the hill with the people out looking up at one of the trees. As I got closer I saw what was so interesting. He was balancing atop a spruce and his weight was bending it over. As I took the second picture, he sprang up and took flight down through the vineyards. Stunning!
Silvan Ridge had promised me a bottle so I showed up as she was still opening. As she turned around I realized how long it had been since I had seen her as she is "with child" and due in February! Very happy and radiant!She presented me with a bottle of their wonderful '06 Cabernet ($24). From their tasting notes:
The rich, velvety wine has quickly become a staff favorite! Smooth blackberry and raspberry flavors melt in your mouth upon entry, with well-balanced tannins lingering on a smoky oak finish. Truly an amazing example of Oregon Cabernet.
After I had tasted through the wines that she had out she opened a bottle of the Cab and let me sample. Smooth, soft, and rich with great finish. Should be very drinkable in about 4-5 years.
Next stop, Sweet Cheeks Winery nestled atop the hill across the road. As I drove in I saw something that I have become so used to seeing that now I don't notice. The very well done murals on the end of the building as you drive in are worth a second look.
Next time you are out there, take a close look.
I hang the paintings there in the tasting room and wanted to try some new ones out so after a taste of their many great wines I put up two paintings by Barry Geller.
My favorite wine there was the '08 semi-sweet Reisling. Tropical flowers, peach, and a hint of spice make this a perfect sipping wine.
Pfeiffer Vineyards and a visit with one of my favorite winery owners, Robin Pfeiffer. He took me in to the Pinot tasting room, separate from the regular tasting bar and very cave like. He let me taste an very lightly oaked blue line Pinot Noir from '08, then we got busy with a '06 Blue Dot Pinot Noir($60). He donated to the OMP "South of the Border" outreach fund so I get to talk about them from the stage on the 9th and 10th before the concert.