Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tasting on the Fourth

Art in the Vineyard, Eugene arts and community celibration, always brings out some great wineries and wines. This year was no exception and though I was not there for tastes this time, I could not help myself.
My friend  Michael Bailey was there representing the wines of a new incarnation of a old winery, or shall we say, an old vineyard site. Marquam Vineyards and Winery was planted in '83 and produced wines that were drinkable. They had a good Riesling back in 2000 as I recall.. Joseph Dobbes, a Doctor, and father of Joe Dobbes Jr. ( a noted winemaker here in Oregon).  sold the property to Phill Kramer and stepped aside, leaving great grapes and lots of work to do.
Kramer set about cleaning, fixing, and repairing and is now producing some really great wines under the name AlexEli
I tasted the '09 Riesling and was impressed by the body and gentleness in the mouth. Citrus but no sting, a little peach? Very nice! Michael is sold on them and I trust his tastes as much or more than most. He always finds special wines and wineries to rep.
 Next visit was with Allen at Methven Family Vineyards where I tasted his '09 Pinot Noir (great!) and chatted about the year in wine. He is hosting, again and for the last time, "Uncorked" wine event with auction and all sorts of goodies. Hard work for a winemaker but he and his wife are engaged in the community and have always been willing to step in.
I wish them luck and wish Linda and I could make time to come up for the event. I saw some really exciting items for auction and some experiences you just can't get anywhere else. I never got to them this year to ask for "One Bottle" but I plan on hitting him up for next year event.
Dave Masciorini is a big man and perhaps because of that, the name of his winery, Namaste' (I bow to you) is a surprise. His is gentle and always ready with a smile, and he knows his wines. Located outside Dallas, Oregon (no, not The Dalles) the vineyards supply all the grapes he uses for his remarkable wines.
Dave tells of one woman, confused by the location, calling from outside Hood River for direction... and I must admit, I once found the street address (306 Court Street) of Bolton cellars located in The Dalles in Dallas and sat in front of the building calling and  asking where they were. (Look it up)
Anyway, back to wine. Dave makes a superb Pinot Noir, actually two. Both are single grape wines and both come from his vineyards. The Abundance Pinot Noir is made with Dijon Clone 115 and has a distinct flavor and character, usually a little toward the delicate, elegant side. Very nice wine and the '09 is just lovely!
The Prosperity Pinot Noir leans to the bold and complex side. This one is made from the 30 year old vines bearing Pommard grapes and is full of dark fruit and hints of chocolate, anise, and finishes with raspberry and just a hint of sweet strawberry. I love this one.
  He also makes a variety of whites that are all worth tasting.
I also stopped by for a quick hello at Noble Estate and said hello to the famous model, Lauren, who works there, undercover as it were.The new free run '09 Pinot Noir is absolutely worth tasting, and buying! Hard to describe but think very light hints of bacon and berry syrup! Dark berry and complex layers over musty, mossy, dark fruit nose. Wonderful!
The whole day was great and I did visit a few more wineries just to say hello but did not have time to do any tasting. I have learned not to get to busy with wines when I am with my wife!

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