Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wine Tasting - Willamette Valley Vineyards Library Magnum Party

Willamette Valley Vineyards

LIBRARY WINE MAGNUM PARTY - Willamette Valley Vineyards (11/16/2008)

A special Oregon Wine Guild (the WVV wine club) event, offering magnum-sized bottles from their library for reduced prices. Over 130 magnums of various wines were available for sale, from vintages back into the late 1990's through 2005. Willamette Valley Vineyards also owns Tualatin Estate Vineyards and Griffin Creek Winery in Southern Oregon, and they were represented here as well.


White Wines From Willamette Valley Vineyards, Tualatin Estate Vineyards and Griffin Creek Winery

Poured from 750ml bottle. I missed out on the regular (sweet) WVV Riesling, and magnum tastings of Tualatin Estate chardonnay and Griffin Creek viognier (mainly from lack of interest).

  • 2007 Willamette Valley Vineyards Riesling Dry Riesling - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Quite a bit drier than the regular bottling, this had just a touch of sweetness, reminding me more of a Viognier than a Riesling. It was good, but I prefer just a touch more sweetness. Floral, with pineapple and honeydew melon flavors, but they seemed muted somehow, without the sweetness to accompany them. (84 pts.)


New Release Pinot Noirs From Willamette Valley Vineyards

A variety of 2006 single clone pinot noirs from Willamette Valley Vineyards, poured from 750ml bottle.


Red Wines From Griffin Creek Winery

Poured from magnums! I wish there had been more variety to taste...

  • 2000 Griffin Creek Merlot - USA, Oregon, Southern Oregon, Rogue Valley
    I actually had two tastes of this, and I'm basing my review on the second sample, as my first one was nothing but sediment. Such poor etiquette...I swear, the next time I see someone turn a bottle of 8 year-old red wine completely upside down to pour every last drop into someone's glass, I'm going to smack them. Learn to pour properly! Sorry for the rant...The wine was pleasant, and easy to quaff. Smooth, and decently integrated. Starting to show some of its age, however, with the tasty blackberry fruit dropping off into a very short finish, and the acidity tending to show through a bit too much. (90 pts.)

  • 2001 Griffin Creek Griffin - USA, Oregon, Southern Oregon, Rogue Valley
    Cool looking bottle/label, very understated. Dark color, extremely nice nose, with berries, violets, and some earth/minerality that all comes together on the palate. This was a joy to drink, and attempts at securing another pour were deflected. Major bummer. I guess at $65 per 750ml bottle (the magnums were "on sale" for $112.50), the winery wanted to control how much they poured pretty closely. A great wine, though a very poor QPR. If this was down in the $40-$50 range (where it should be), I would have jumped on several bottles. When leaving the tasting, I did notice that most of the 131 original magnum bottles available for sale had been sold. The remaining bottles? The Griffin Creek "Griffin" and Viognier. Surprised, I was not. (93 pts.)


The event as a whole was a touch underwhelming. We all expected more tastings of the vintage wine (I'm not buying a magnum of a library wine unless I've tasted it first), and more/better quality food. As it was, the cheese & cracker trays were okay, but we all left there wanting lunch. I guess for $10 (for non-Guild members), what do you expect?

Tasting notes posted from CellarTracker