Thursday, March 31, 2011

Counoise and King

When was the last time you had a nice chilled glass of Counoise? Unless you have traveled a lot and happen to be barrel tasting at Châteauneuf-du-Pape, probably not recently.
This is a spicy, peppery, high acid grape used mainly in blending and is one of the few gr apes allowed in the making of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines.
Our local wine adventurer, Lindy at Chateau Lorane has made a bottle some of this wine for your pleasure. I am sipping a chilled glass as I write this. Let me take you along on the trip:Beautiful ruby red in the glass with very thin rimming of clear. Chilled as it is I still get some tropical hints on the nose Banana(?) now deep dark cherry and hard candy.
Oh! Nice! Soft mouth-filling, clean taste. My teeth feel VERY clean,. No tannin feel. Kind of a pleasant bite on the side of the tongue and a hint of Bing cherry AFTER you swallow it and have to pit in your mouth. Lovely after taste of plume flesh.
I like this one and bet it will be very good with spicy foods.
Dave, the winemaker, was kind enough to hand over a bottle of the '09 Counoise for the collection and I bought a bottle to taste.
Chateau Loraine has this one on sale at the winery for $18 so I suggest a quick trip or a phone call.


Back toward town I stopped up at King Estate for a moment with Jennifer. She is in charge of donations and I ask her for a red and a white to go in the auction. This year they gifted us with two of my all time favorites. They make a lot of wines and these two are at the top of the list.
The '08 Domaine Pinot Gris  is just too good. Close your eyes and imagine biting in to a really ripe yellow pear and having the juice run down your chin. That is this wine. Organically grown grapes from a single vineyard are turned in to a lush mouthful of pears, ginger, and vanilla that lasts all the way through to glass. this one of Oregon's best Pinot Gris and they have all the awards and accolades to prove it. Please do yourself a big favor and try this one.
The other wine they gave is a '09 Signature Pinot Noir. This is a very different wine than the '08 and I think it has huge potential for aging but it is really good right now.
Smells of dark over ripe cherry, blueberry, wild rosevanilla, fresh cut red ceder with a hint of musty humid forest floor. Tastes of Marion Berry, blueberry, chocolate powder, toasted sugars, and a finish of soft red fruit. So good!
I went to the tasting room to pick up the goods and ran in to the crew: Josh, Kevin, and Shannon, entertaining visitors at the tasting bar. Two of the folks were from way out of town: Spring Branch, Texas. Jef is in land and there is lots of that in Texas! Here is his site, take a look. I love the photos!
I only know one winery down there and they are pretty close. A friend brought us a bottle of an '08 Petit Verdot from Dry Comal Vineyards. It was very good for a wine not from Oregon...Had great time talking about wines and travel, and of course all that Oregon has to offer. Jef and Lori were heading for the coast to get some pictures then heading back to Eugene for dinner. Hope they had a great time and enjoyed their stay.
Off to have a quick snack at the little country store at the junction of Gimple Hill and Baily Hill Road. They have the best pulled pork sandwiched in town, or out as the case may be.
Just heard from Lori and Jef and they got some great shots of the coast and enjoyed their visit.

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