Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Three Days of Wine: Day One, Part two

After leaving Walnut City Wineworks I Drove up through Lafayette to Stoller Vineyards for a visit with Grace Cargni, Director of Events,
and to pick up a very special bottle of wine, the '06 Cathy's Reserve. This is one of the finest Pinot Noirs around and has been pleasing pallets since it was released in 2008. It won Gold in the 2010 Oregon Wine Awards for Pinot Noir over $35 and it is well deserved. In the bottle for 4 years, it is coming close to being perfect. It started out as a well structured and rich wine made from Pommard Clone that comes from the oldest, and therefore deepest rooted block they have. Planted in 1995 in Jory soil, the vines have reached down in to the sweet spot, as they say, and are producing spectacular juice.This wine will be sold in the silent auction in a special wooded holder.
Another thing that sets them apart is their dedication to Solar Energy. They have a full array of cells on their buildings and it have lowered their operation costs considerably. They were the first LEED certified winery in Oregon.
One last stop before the tasting rooms closed for the day. I had a few choices and traffic was starting to get tight so I stopped in at Argyle for a treat, and to ask for a bottle again this year. Last year and the year before they gave a bottle of one of my favorite bubbly wines, the Black Brute. This is a bold wine made from Pinot Noir grapes with lots of character and strength. It pairs with Summer Salads and salmon, and really, just about anything you want. I highly recommend this wine.
I was out of auction forms so I called the office and had them fax up the paperwork.
Cathy in the tasting room called Cathy in the office and they decided I warranted another bottle this year, but this time I was given a bottle of a still wine they are very proud of, the '08 Nuthouse Pinot Noir. No, it is not named for some insane asylum, but rather the hazelnut plant where the winery now operates.
The taste of the Nuthouse Pinot Noir is rich and smooth with hints of wood and spice. Dark fruits play over the mouth and finish with a soft, long wisp of cane berry and plum. Over  the past few years this wine, in different vintages, has scored in the 90's consistently and this one will be no exception.
I tasted through all the wines while I was waiting. The Nuthouse Chardonnay is the most amazing one ever! It takes on the taste of hazelnuts to such an extent that I thought it was an added flavor! Sooo good! The 2000 Extended Triage Brute was there to taste though they are sold out. This wine got a '95 From Wine Spectator and is NOT what you mix with orange juice! Wow!
I met a lovely family, the Merrells from Cincinnati, Ohio. Spence and Audry were visiting their daughter Heather, who is in school at George Fox. They had a full weekend planned and were having a great time in the tasting room. I love seeing people from all over the country enjoy Oregon wines! As you can see, the father was dress appropriately.
I ended the day with a wonderful meal at Biggio Hamina's tasting room where I had a wilted cabbage salad with bacon and rolled flank stack stuffed with arugula paired with, first, the '10 Melon, then the '10 "Fourteen" Pinot Noir. You HAVE to go and try this place out! See my first revue here.
Next stop, Yamhill Carlton tasting at Anne Amie.



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