Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Willamette Valley Wine Tasting

Some friends and I attended a couple of wine events down in the Carlton area, and decided to hit up several other wineries in the general area as well. Although we visited the tasting room at Adelsheim Vineyards, I didn't purchase a tasting, and only had sips of the other's wine, so I didn't include them in this post.

Cana's Feast Winery
Cana's Feast Winery
Wine Club pickup party, with delicious winery chef-prepared food pairings (noted below in the tasting notes).
  • 2006 Cana's Feast Winery Bricco - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
    Paired with roasted eggplant salad with blackened tomato vinaigrette. Seems rather primal at this point, but was our first wine of the day. A blend of 89% Sangiovese, 7.5% Syrah and 3.5% Barbera, from Ciel du Cheval, Seven Hills, and Coyote Canyon vineyards. Very plummy, with a bit of earthiness also. Acidity was a bit too bright, and felt like it was burning my mouth. Tannins were smooth, and fruit was front and center. (85 pts.)

  • 2007 Cana's Feast Winery Barbera - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
    Paired with roasted chicken thighs stuffed with proscuitto di parma, porcini mushrooms and grana padano. Spicy red fruit, nice acidic zing, and well-integrated tannins make for a nice-drinking wine. Fruit sourced from Ciel du Cheval and Coyote Canyon vineyards. (88 pts.)

  • 2006 Cana's Feast Winery Pinot Noir Reserve - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Paired with chanterelle and morbier bread custard with speck. Very tasty and drinking well with some air. Cherry pie, tobacco and leather. Just a perfect Oregon Pinot. Fruit sourced from Elton Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. (90 pts.)

  • 2007 Cana's Feast Winery Sangiovese Grosso - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
    Paired with Ribollita (a bean soup with olive oil and homemade croutons). This was just bottled, according to the winemaker. Lots of black cherry and strawberry flavors, with lots of acid and some drying tannins. Fruit is from the first certified VCR6 clone (used primarily in Brunello wines) planting in the US. Will be interesting to see how this develops with age. Still showing its infancy now. (89 pts.)

  • 2006 Cana's Feast Winery Bricco Two Rivers Reserve - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
    Paired with braised boneless beef short ribs with red wine and bitter chocolate. What a difference 6+ months makes! This wine is really starting to drink nicely. The overabundant oak I got from a prior tasting was much better integrated, and the sweet (mostly) red mountain fruit was singing. Nice blackberries, cassis and vanilla. Drinking well now, but use even another 6-12 months of bottle age. (92 pts.)

Owen Roe Winery

Owen Roe Winery
This was the Autumn Open House/Release event, hosted at the AgriVino Event Center on Abbey Road Farm outside of Carlton.
  • 2008 O'Reilly's Pinot Gris - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Very peachy fruit...bright acidity, but just not a wine I can get into. Maybe I'm just not a fan of Pinot Gris? (83 pts.)

  • 2008 O'Reilly's Chardonnay - USA, Oregon
    Nice pear fruit in this light straw-colored Chardonnay. Zing of acidity is nice. The wine is quite refreshing on this 85 degree day. (86 pts.)

  • 2008 Owen Roe Pinot Noir "The Kilmore" - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Yamhill-Carlton
    I just LOVE the 2008 vintage Oregon Pinot noirs! I was (am) not a fan of the lighter, more burgundian 2007's. Just my tastes...I'm not a big fan of Burgundy either. This wine is everything 2007 wasn't. Big, fruity, dark, and mouthcoating. Lots of cherry fruit, and a wee bit of tannic bite. May need a year to settle down. (88 pts.)

  • 2008 Owen Roe Pinot Noir Dundee Hills - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
    Much lighter than the other 2008's, and more like a Burgundy. Some spicy cherry fruit, with a nice layer of saddle leather. (87 pts.)

  • 2008 Owen Roe Pinot Noir Chehalem Mountains - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains
    A tiny 4-barrel lot (70 cases) of Pinot noir sourced from Anna's Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains AVA, comes this very dark, spicy wine. Very tasty, and maybe tied for my favorite Owen Roe Pinot at this tasting. Sweet cherry fruit, lots of spices and acidity. (89 pts.)

  • 2007 Owen Roe Pinot Noir Solomon Hills Vineyard Santa Maria Valley - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley
    The California Pinot noir this year. Definitely not my favorite...higher acidity than is comfortable, with some cherry fruit wrapped around some lightly drying tannins. (85 pts.)

  • 2008 Owen Roe Pinot Noir "Sharecropper's" - USA, Oregon
    Probably my favorite Pinot at the tasting. It just seemed more evolved than the others. Strawberry fruit, a touch of leather and earth. Much deeper in flavor and color than the previous vintage. (89 pts.)

  • 2008 Owen Roe Abbot's Table - USA, Oregon/Washington
    This wine typically needs 6+ months in the bottle to start coming around (unless it is the 2007, which never really did). After a wonderful 2006 vintage (heavy on the Zinfandel) of this wine, I loaded up with 6 bottles of the Sangiovese-based 2007 (untasted) and got burned. And it still isn't anywhere near the delicious 2006. So when the Zin-heavy 2008 was released, I was quite happy! But, learning from my 2007 mistake, I only picked up 4 bottles this time. I'm kind of glad I did, because I wasn't too impressed with the wine. Admittedly, it is still quite young, but the wine seemed rather flat and unexciting. I was hoping for the deep fruit of the 2006, but it fell short. Some sweet blue and black fruit was present, but the finish was quite bitter. I'm hoping this wine comes around by 2010. (87 pts.)

  • 2008 Owen Roe Sinister Hand - USA, Oregon, Columbia Valley
    I typically love the Sinister Hand Rhone blend (62% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 3% Mourvedre), and 2008 is no different. Showing it's youth, definitely, but going to be a great wine for sure. Black fruits, pepper, and nice mouthfeel. Can't wait to pick some up for a vertical... (90 pts.)

  • 2007 Owen Roe Syrah Ex Umbris - USA, Oregon/Washington, Columbia Valley
    Probably my wine of the tasting. Everything just works with this wine. Blackberry, pepper, some blueberry, smoke, all wrapped up with nice tannins and acidity. Drinking well now. (92 pts.)

  • 2008 Owen Roe Syrah "Lady Rosa" - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
    Not sure where the time went...I hadn't even had a chance to pickup any of the 2007 and the 2008 is already here. How time flies...This wine is quite young, but shows much promise. Peppery blackberry and cassis, with bacon fat and smoked meat. Makes me wonder if there is some Viognier in this. I like it, but it needs a year or so to come together. (89 pts.)

  • 2007 Owen Roe Red Wine Yakima Valley - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
    24% Merlot, 43% Cabernet Franc, and 33% Cabernet Sauvignon from Yakima Valley. Very young and tight...lots of drying tannins and bright acidity. The fruit is there too, in the form of gobs of earthy blackberries, but this wine is needing time to come together. Very disjointed right now. Hopefully we will see some progress in 6-12 months. I personally would hold this one until 2011. (91 pts.)

Adelsheim Vineyards

Adelsheim Vineyards
No tasting notes taken. I will say, however, that their winery is beautiful (and with the huge solar panel array, quite 'green', I'm sure), and the wines were very tasty. While I wasn't a huge fan of their 2007's (and most 2007's in general), their 2006 was a knockout. I can't wait to try their 2008's!

ArborBrook Vineyards

ArborBrook Vineyards
After leaving Adelsheim Vineyards, we decided to continue up the road and do a random drop-in tasting at ArborBrook.
  • 2008 ArborBrook Vineyards Pinot Gris Croft - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Yamhill-Carlton
    Definitely not my style of wine. Seems lacking...bright fruit and acidity, but missing depth in the midpalate. (82 pts.)

  • 2008 ArborBrook Vineyards Pinot Gris Ana Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
    This is more like it. Oak barrel-fermented, boosting up the midpalate nicely. (86 pts.)

  • 2007 ArborBrook Vineyards Pinot Noir Heritage Cuvée - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Rather thin and acidic. A touch of that signature leather, and light strawberry and cherry flavors. Missing something... (87 pts.)

  • 2007 ArborBrook Vineyards Pinot Noir Estate 777 Block - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains
    Now we're getting somewhere! Nice cherry and currant fruit, with a good deal of leather and tobacco. Lighter than the 2005 I enjoyed previously. (88 pts.)

  • 2007 ArborBrook Vineyards Pinot Noir Vintner's Select Arbor Brook Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Yamhill County
    Definitely from the best barrels of the year, with some additional aging. Big sour cherry fruit, with saddle leather funk. I like it! A bit darker and more mouthcoating than the other Pinots also. Looking forward to their 2008's! (89 pts.)

  • 2007 ArborBrook Vineyards Sémillon "Sydney" - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
    Wow, this was somewhat of a surprise! Late harvest, like November or something...from Klipsun Vineyard. Somewhat oily, and quite mouthcoating. I wouldn't be able to handle more than a 1/2 glass of this in one sitting. Just way too sweet for my palate, but what a wine! (88 pts.)

Tasting notes posted from my event on CellarTracker.