Sunday, July 29, 2012

IPNC Walkabout

We are waiting and relaxing in our wonderful room at Allison Spa before we jump tounge first in to 70 wines and a whole lot of great food tastes at IPNC Walkabout. Our friend Rebecca Pittock Sholdis is pouring her Ghost Hill Cellars wine today. I am presenting both Scott Wright (owner) and Kelley Fox (winemaker) of Scott Paul a print from the first of the editions I am doing for SALUD! this year.
We will be tasting and spitting lots of wine. Seems like a waste to some but NO ONE can taste that many wines and drink even a little of what is offered and survive.
$150 may seem like a lot for tasting wines but if you were to go to all 70 wineries and pay even $5 for tastings (some are as high as $15) you would be paying $350 and you would not be getting all the extras such as great foods and other treats. And you get to meet the winemakers and owners.

Well! We are back from the event and Linda is drawing a bath while I blog.
The wines were all over the place in both source and taste, from N.Z. to France, from BC and Washington, to right here in Oregon and south to California. It was an exciting event, with wine snobs, new tasters, and everyone between. I did my best to be objective, and because I enjoy the distinct difference the come out of Pinot Noir, I had a really good time!
My first taste was at ADEA and it was good to see my friend Dean and his wife Ann. They were always very gracious about donating "one bottle" and it was always a nice Magnum. The wine he was pouring today was the '09 Cherry Grove. This vineyards fruit produced an 89 point wine in '07 and this '09 is just starting to sing the same tune. This needs to lay down for at least 3 more years so that the complexity can anneal. Big wide mouth feel with a little tartness but a finish that shows real promise. Hold till 2015.
I visited with Alexana Winery for a moment and will do more extensive notes on them in a few days after I go up and visit the new tasting room at Alexana Winery & Tasting Room,12001 NE Worden Hill Road in Newberg, OR
Great wines made by Lynn Penner-Ash, especially the ones from their own vineyard.
Wendy and Anndy Johnston, from BC brought a very tasty wine from their winery, Averill Creek, to the gathering. They are located on the northestern part of Vancouver Isalnd near Duncan. The wine is rich and soft with a generous helping of black fruit and a bit of jam. Two of the other winemakers today commented on how surprised they were with the maturity of taste from these vines. I want to visit them and find out their secret.
The next wine was Bethel Heights, an Oregon stalwart, who's wines are consistently rich and welcoming. This year was no exception. The '09's are packed with dark berry and a good tannin reserve and should be held for another two to three years. Ben and Mimi Casteel were pouring some teriffic wine.
Maison Ambroise was well represented by owner and winemaker Bertrand Ambroise pouring his wonderful Pinot Noir. One of the best wines I tasted. Replete with blackberry and a hint of roasted meat, this wine is dark and rich and lovely. He grows all his own fruit and follows organic farming from start to finish.
Ellen Brittan of Brittan Vineyards was swamped with people trying to get a taste of the wine she was showing. I have tasted both the Gestalt Block and the Basalt Block and loved them both. She gave me a bottle a few years ago for the one bottle project and it sold VERY well. Please try some of their wines, you will not be disappointed.
Ray Walsh
Ray Walsh was doing his best to keep up with the demand for tastes of his Capitello Wines and I heard from a lot of folks that his was among the best there. He makes wine in both NZ and Eugene and for a couple of other wineries in Oregon. His wine is consistently rich and elegant as it was today.
One of the wineries I am doing an etching of this year for SALUD! is Brooks, so I stopped by to say hello to Janie and let her know I had taken the perfect (for my purposes) shot of the winery. I just picked up the three pack of their Rieslings and can't wait to do a taste comparison.
Craig Camp
After a visit to Juniper Grove Farm and a few samples of the incredible goat cheese they make, it was back to tasting.
Craig Camp of Cornerstone was very excited about his Oregon Pinot made by Tony Rynders. Dark, with hazelnut, black fruit, and a sweet high note finish, this wine is presenting great Pinot Noir quality. I plan on visiting and getting some to keep (2015).

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