Friday, May 20, 2011

Almost Done

As I sit here getting ready to tell you about the great wines and wonderful people that I had the pleasure to enjoy, I am torn by the notion that I did not work hard enough on the project this year, that I did not gather as many wines a last time, and that my energy level was not what it could have been. With the price of gas, my other commitments, and having to create and print editions of 25 of 16 images of the Lane County wineries for the Passport to Culture at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum in August, I realize I did work pretty hard.
That aside, back to wine!
My first stop was at Anne Amie for a taste and to pick up a bottle of '08 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir $35. This is a stand out wine, a nose bold with warm fruits and hints of ceder and sage followed by coffee and chocolate over dark cherry. Great mouthfeel and a finish of  hard candy and spice. I really like this wine and would love to pair it with warm fall foods like roasted chicken with vegetables.
Also, the tasting room is worth the trip. What a beautifully appointed place!
I drove out 240 to the Adelshiem sign, then on to Bergstrom Vineyards to pick up a real prize. I am collecting bottles of wine soursed from the Shea vineyards and this one makes number 4. They gave us an  '09 Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir.
 Shea Vineyard is middle of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA,and is known for its sandy soil and beds of Sandstone and Shale. The grapes that come from Shea produce some of the boldest and richest wines around and this one is no exception.
Kate, who is shown here, was entertaining a couple from Sedona Arizona who had retired to the deck for a little bit of almost warm sun. I went next door to drop off a custom label I had made for Paul de Lancellotti then stopped at Adelshiem for a bottle of the remarkable '09 Caitlin’s Reserve Chardonnay.
The folks at  this winery have always been so kind and giving! Lida and I have a tasting for 8 waiting to be used that we bought at a Holt auction last year. Any takers?

While I was there I met Paul Mui and his wife. He is the hospitality director for Oliver Winery in Bloomington Indiana. Who know they had wine there? Just kidding, they have been doing it since '72. I may have to go visit.
Next stop was ADEA where Dean looked around till he found the perfect wine, a Magnum of an extraordinary wine: Pinot Noir Ann Sigrid. This '05 is among the top Pinot Noirs released and is a keeper. Magnums age longer and allow the complexity of the wines to shine. '05 was an amazing year for Pinot Noir here in Oregon so this one should bring enough to pay a musician for at least two sessions!
Outside of Gaston, up on top of the hills, sits Kramer Vineyards, where Trudy and her crew have been making some of the best wines in Oregon since 1983.
They Gave a bottle of '07 Dijon Chardonnay and one of the '07 Pinot Noir boxed with a hat and a certificate for a free tasting. Great package! I visited the dog and got happy tail wag. His long time friend (see them here) passed away and I think he misses running in the vineyards with him. 
On the way back to Carlton I stopped at Shea Vineyards for a visit with Drew Voit and to pick up a prized bottle of Dick Shea's wine, a '08 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. His vineyards are among the most well known and special places to grow grapes here in Oregon. 
Shea Vineyard named one of five Pinot Noir vineyards in the U.S. meriting the designation "Grand Cru".
Wine Enthusiast
This makes the 5th bottle in my Shea collection and I will pick up the last one next week.
Drew surprised me with a bottle of his own wine, Harper Voit Strandline Pinot Noir soon to be famous, as it is featured in Vertical, the new book about Oregon Pinot Noir.
I stopped at Horseradish for a little nosh and a sip and saw a great article about the winemakers own wines and Drew was in it. Read it here. He is top right.

Almost done for this trip. Only two more stops and of to home I go.
Peter Rosback has been making wines here in Oregon for a long time and has become somewhat iconic. He is a sharing, gentle soul who shares his winemaking knowledge, writes, and travels. For him it is all about the wine.If you Google his name you will get pages of revues, articles by him, about him, and about his many Sineann wines. He also makes wines for other wineries such as the Pines, and Trium. This year he gave us a case of his amazing . 07 Resonance Vineyard Bio-dynamic Pinot Noir. This wine will be divided up in different lots and in the "wall of wine" so keep your eyes open at the auction.
Last stop for the day was Youngberg Hill. Located west of McMinnville high up in the hills, it is surrounded by vineyards and has a beautiful view of the valley. The hotel is one of the finest around with just the right rooms for a long weekend in wine country!
Jess Davis, the assistant winemaker, lead me though a tasting of all the fine wines and  my favorites were the Jordan Block '08 Pinot Noir and the '07 Jordan Block Pinot Noir. I talked him in to giving the '07.This '07 is coming on strong and a few years in bottle has led to amazing tastes. I am glad I bought so much '07 from various places!
If you get the chance (they fill up fast) go up and spend a day or two and enjoy the view, the people, and the wonderful wines.

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