Friday, January 14, 2011

Driving Teroirtorial Road

Few days work out just the way you want. This day was an exception.
I was on my way out to LaVelle Vineyards to take a picture of one of their trees for my etching project when my blue-tooth interrupted Mozart and my friend Rebecca's voice floated out and informed me that she was on her way to Eugene, bringing her son for a concert .
It was about 11:00 and she was arriving at 1:00 so I continued out to the winery to visit and enjoy a taste of their wine. I had planed on taking a shot of the big Madron up on the hill but when I got there, after a meet with Doug, I was directed to a view from down by the recycling center of a big mossy oak. I think I prefer the oak.
Doug ask Sunset, the tasting room manager, to give me a bottle of Mathew's Reserve'08 Pinot noir from the Library. This is a great wine with lots of character and complexity. I have a bottle that I am saving for 10 years.
When I was done tasting I headed back to Eugene along the north side of Fern Ridge Reservoir an enjoyed a magnificent view out over the lake in the rain.Next time I goo our that way , hopefully on a dry day, I will take some shots to share.
I picked Rebecca up at the Hilton and we drove out to King Estate for a full taste of all their wines, and because she is a winemaker, we got to taste a few off the usual menu.
For those who have not had the chance to eat at the restaurant, please do yourself a favor and make the trip. The food is superb! They serve probably the best hamburger I have ever had; gruyère cheese, slab bacon, on house bun
with pommes frites and house ketchup.
 Josh and Kevin were happy to see us as we were the only ones out driving around in the bad weather.   There were  few folks in the restaurant but not much of the usual crowd that keeps them jumping.
More time for us to taste and talk. Of all the wonderful wines we tried, the '08 Domaine Pinot and the '07 Syrah were the ones that stood out. There were really no clinkers and when you taste the whites you get to see the many ways pinot gris can change with ageing, barreling, and finish. The "Club only" Paradox Pinot Gris is sooo smooth and rich that I for a moment thought it was a Chardonnay!!!
Another couple, Cindy and Matt (shown here with Josh), came in to taste and we compared notes.
We ended up following each other to two more wineries.
I took a couple of shots of the trees around King's buildings and will try to choose one for an etching..
Next stop was Sweet Cheeks where I gave Lorie my prints of their tree outside the tasting room..
When we got to Sweet Cheeks we was welcomed with open arms and a taste of the newest wines. The winemaker Mark, hails from Australia and goes there now to make wine for them in the off season here. The first of the Australian wines was a very tasty Viognier: All the character of the grape you usually get but with a bit more backbone and not much acid. Very prominent white peach, fresh cut pear, and apple.
The Shiraz is equally interesting in a big, bold, meaty way. Love both of the new wines but still love the Riesling and the Pinot noir they produce.They donated a bottle of the '08 Reserve Pinot noir. This is one of my favorites from them and is getting better every time I get a taste! And as you can see, it is sold out so this bottle will be even better to bid for!
I took Rebecca across the road to Silvan Ridge and we had a great time tasting the range of wines there.
They have a wonderful selection of reds and my all time favorite summer wine, Early Muscat!
Silvan Ridge gave a bottle of a very special wine, their 2006 Elizabeth's Reserve,  blend of Cab and Malbec with lots of black fruit, chocolate and warm earth. Love this one with roasted meat and vegetables.
I will publish the etchings when they are done.

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