Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cherry Hill, Johan, and SIP!

Beautiful day for a drive and a visit to an old friend, Cherry Hill Winery. Linda and I stayed in their cabins a few years ago, ate wonderful food, and came home with lots of great wines, some of which we still have. For the last two years they have given some of their best wines and this year is no exception. I stopped by the new tasting room in Rickreall and met with Ryan Kelley, the manager of the Rickreall Marketplace and owner of Boat Farm with Justine Murphy. He called up to the winery and got the go ahead to give us a bottle of the '06 Estate Pinot Noir. We have a few bottles of this one in the wine rack and love it. It has a slightly less bold presence than a lot of the '06 Oregon Pinot Noir I have tasted, bright and clean, crisp fruit and soft finish. Very nice with salmon or just by its self on a warm evening out on the deck.
I bid him good day and thanked him for his help, then headed off north for a quick stop at a beautiful winery, Johan Vineyards. The first year of our auction Dag gave us a case of the Pinot Gris for our tables! So good!
This time they gave us a bottle of their '08 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. It has lots of hibiscus and tropical flowers plus a little hint of freshly plowed dirt in the nose and a bunch of pie cherry and strawberry in the mouth with  good tannins and a long finish of espresso. Very nice!
I made a brief stop at The Eyrie Vineyards tasting room to ask Jacques Rendu for and received a bottle of the wonderful '08 Pinot Gris (91 in Vine Advocate). A collection of Oregon wines would not be complete without this wine.
After a nice snack and a glass of rich '08 Pinot Noir at R.Stuart Wine Bar in downtown McMinnville I ventured out to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, the home of SIP! and a long night of tasting and collecting wines. Armed with the hand made basket I bought last year at the Newport fest and my list of wineries, I began my quest.
I found some wines this time that had yet to be in the auction. Rizzo Winery, was just such a winery. David Rizzo gave us a bottle of the Cabernet Sauvignon from Yakima Valley vineyards. I  quote from their web page "2007 Yakima Valley Cabernet Sauvignon:  Yakima Valley Washington near Red Mountain - Washington cabs don't get any better than this.  Cassis and a hint of earthiness will wake up your sniffer.  As this wine touches your tongue the fruit jumps out at you.  The perfect balance of this most quaffable wine is disguised by the grippe tannins which will allow it to improve for the next 10 to 15 years.  Priced at $48 per bottle." 

 Next was Seufert for a visit with Stephanie and taste of all the Pinot Noir. She gave me a bottle each of a bottle each of the Hawks View '07 and the Coleman '07 Pinot Noir. The wines have consistently done well in all the festivals around the northwest. I was impressed by the Coleman and the Hawks View in that they were so completely different yet both tasted great! Worth stopping by the tasting room in Dayton, and while you are there, visit the famous Joel Palmer House for some truly wonderful food.
The new tasting room in Carlton gives us all a chance to taste some of their wines without driving to Milton-Freewater ( not that there is anything wrong with driving to Milton-Freewater), manned by Dan, who with Doug the winemaker, were there at SIP! and let me taste a few of the great wines and proffered a bottle of '06 Columbia Valley Merlot to ad to the collection. They look like two proud parents here. Can't blame them.
 Next wa

To make my basket heavier I found Sean at Pudding River Wine Cellars and ask for a bottle of tasty '06 Estate Pinot Noir. Very rich and surly wine! Big nose, big fruit, and lasting finish and it has improved with time in the bottle. The reserve has been sold out for a while so if you get a chance grab some of this and let it age gracefully. They just moved a tasting room to 201 East Main Street in Silverton so you can go visit after a day at the Oregon Gardens.

Terra Vina Wines, from up around Wilsonville, was they next stop. This is the first time I have ask them for a bottle I think Carole was amused by my audacity but handed over a bottle of the '08 Pinot Noir/La Famiglia . I have had their wines before and have enjoyed them. Among the awards they have won are
Gold Medal Astoria Crab & Wine Festival,Gold Medal Portland Seafood and Wine Festival.
A visit to the tasting room  in Carlton is a must but they are only open the second Saturday of the month.
K&M Alchemy Vineyards' Ken Morrison and his partner Mauro Hernandez were at the show pouring their '08 Pinot Noir and some of their other terrific wines such as the '08 Chardonnay, one of my favorites, with little oak and a clean semi sweet finish. I plan on going out to the winery soon and doing some more tasting.
Ancient Cellars' Wine maker,Chris Baker allowed me to take a bottle of '08 Terebinth Cabernet Franc.  I got coffee and Sambuca in the nose with pomegranate, Bing cherry, and dark spices and earth. Great mouth feel and finish.He makes the wines at the 12th and maple Wine Company.
I stopped by Vitis Ridge and picked up a bottle of the '07 Reserve Pinot Noir, a wine that is coming in to its own in the bottle and is tasting superb now. Estate grown and cellared by Silverton Cellars, Silverton, Oregon. . Get some if you can find it. Sally and I talked about the iceberg festival in Newport and the fact that their little fountain they set up at all the shows froze over during the first night! It was much warmer at SIP!
Last stop for the Friday night was with my friend Jo at Mia Sonatina Cellars and a sip of her '07 Pinot Noir. Done in Old World European style ,  soft, bold, elegant,  and very good. They are in Amity and worth a stop on your way through.
I carried by basket of wines out to the car and headed for a friends house for some beef stew, Biggio Hamina and  Willakenzie Pinot and some quality time with friends. Saturday will be here soon.

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