Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day Two of SIP!

It was great to spend time with Rebecca and Thibaud, seen here in the add for IPNC. They are truly the greatest. That's me in the blue shirt in the back left side having a great time!
Now I have to go gather wines. The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum is amazing by its self but pack it with fine wines and food and you have a formula for fun. My first stop today was at Troon, where the lovely Joni presented me with a bottle of '09 Kubli Bench Zinfandel, a lush, rich wine with spicy sweetness and a long dark fruit finish. The tasting room they opened in Carlton was a good idea and allows some of Southern Oregon's wines to get a little attention in the land of Pinot Noir. Stop by for a visit next time you are up that way.
Brian Jordan, owner of Eliana Wines was new to me so I stopped to say hello and find out more about his wines. I was excited to learn about their approch to wine making. They are making a Bordeaux style blend of 56% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Franc and  16% Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is among the better blends I have tasted over the last few years. With its rich front of berry and slight oak leading to smooth mouth filling dark berry and earth. Overall light and clean aftertaste that will go great with beef and roasted vegetables. He gave me a bottle of the '08 Reserve for the auction and I plan on making a trip down to take a closer look and a longer taste.
After a bit of a snack I visited with Bethany and Brad Ford (and their soon to be addition to the family) for a taste and to see how things were going. Illahe Vineyards located outside of Dallas and the wines are really good this year. I really loved their '06 but this one is one of the best I have tasted! Raspberry, lots of dark cherry, a hint of island flowers in the nose with sustained after taste of dark berry and black cherry. They have sold their grapes for 25+ years to some of the top wineries and it is nice that they are now taking it to a new level and making their own. Worth a visit. They gave me a bottle of the '08 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.

Todd, owner of Biggio Hamina Cellars, looked a little worn out but was in great spirits and very busy giving out tastes of his fine wines. We had had three of his Pinots last night with beef stew and I was looking forward to tasting them again. All of his wines have a distinct flavor that shows his hand in the making. Rich and lush with lots of layers of fruit and flowers combine in various ways to create some truly fine wines. the best place to taste them is at the new tasting room and winery just outside of McMinnville, where you can also get a very good meal. Todd handed over a beautiful '08 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.
Near the entrance, in a place that you had a chance of missing on the way in, was Namaste Vineyard's booth where Dave was pouring tastes and sporting his signature hat. I love his wines, but of all of them, the Tranquility Riesling is my favorite. It has a flavor much like the Northern Rhien wines that I like and is full of interesting spices and fruit.
A lot of people chill their Riesling to the point where you can't really taste all the nuances but I like mine just below room temp.. Dave gave us a bottle of the '09 Tranquility Riesling and I may bid on that one myself.
I was getting a little rushed as I had to be home for an afternoon event so I ran to the next few booths and gathered up what I could. Kathken Vineyards,  located in the hills outside Salem off Orchard Hieghts Road, they are in prime land for grape growing and their wines show it well. I did a quick taste of the '08s and really enjoyed the estate so Ken gave me a bottle of '08 Estate bottled reserve Pinot Noir and off I went.
Crater Lake Cellars's owner, Steve Gardner, gave us a bottle of the Firehouse Red #4 they made for a fund raiser for the fire department this year. 
It is a combination of lovely red and black fruit, a light pepper spiciness, accent with smooth tannins and acidity. 
I walked over to WildAire Cellars booth and watched as a bunch of people elbowed their way in for a taste. Things were getting pretty crowded by 1:00 and the wines they were tasting were very popular. I picked up a bottle of the '09 Clay Court Vineyard Pinot Noir and said my thank yous and headed for the door. Be sure to visit them in Carlton when you are there. They are wonderful folks and really know how to make great wine.

1 comment:

  1. Great pic of rebecca and thibaud... you cut off a ridiculously good looking brunette to the right of him though.

    Looking forward to the salmon bake again this year.

    That beard is starting to grow on me.

    ps.. you should stop by the portland wine project .. you could knock out 6 or 7 wineries in one day.. boedecker, grochau, helioterra, vincent, pappas, guild, sunnyside, and a few others that I'm forgetting.


Please leave your comments on the project and add any wineries I have not listed.