Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wine Tasting - ZanZibar Cellars 2007 Barrel Sample Party

ZanZibar Cellars

ZANZIBAR CELLARS 2007 BARREL TASTING - Clark-Lewis Restaurant, Portland, OR (9/28/2008)

ZanZibar Cellars hosted their 2007 barrel sample party at Clark-Lewis this year. I attended with my girlfriend, Kristina, and tasted their 2007 wines from barrel, while hanging out with good friends. Winemaker Ziad Kierouz, and his business partner, Glen Boyd, were on hand to discuss the wines, the vintage, and to ensure the 75+ email list members present had a great time. Delicious small bites were served by Clark-Lewis, which opened on a Sunday just to host this event.

  • 2007 Zanzibar Cellars Casima - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
    Tasted from barrel sample. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese, from Yakima Valley vineyards, according to winemaker Ziad Keirouz. Raspberries on the nose, with a hint of something floral. Raspberries again on the palate, very bright, yet supple and feminine. Very smooth, with barely any tannic bite at all. Acidity is already noticable. This wine will go into bottle Novemeber/December 2008, where it will stay for 12-15 months before the planned release in the Fall of 2009. (91 pts.)

  • 2007 Zanzibar Cellars Sandra Alder Creek Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills
    Tasted from barrel sample. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Syrah. I am not certain this wine is sourced 100% from Alder Creek Vineyard anymore, but winemaker Ziad Kierouz mentioned it was a Columbia Valley wine. Very fruit-forward, with blackberry and some earthiness/leather on the nose. A definite fruit explosion on the palate, with firm tannins and bright acidity. Lots of different flavors floating around, chocolate, coffee, blueberry...very tasty. An incredible effort from one of the coldest vintages in Washington in the past decade. This wine will be bottled November/December 2008, and released Fall of 2009. (94 pts.)

After the tasting there was a small dinner served by Clark-Lewis that Kristina and I did not attend. Ziad mentioned he was going to serve some of his extremely limited Non-Vintage Sandra, which is a blend consisting of a barrel from each vintage of Sandra. Each year, Ziad removes one barrel of the blend for bottling, and then adds a barrel of the current year's vintage to the blend. Ingenious!

Tasting notes posted from CellarTracker

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wine Tasting - Owen Roe Wines at Hollywood Wine & Espresso's 3-Year Anniversary

Hollywood Wine & Espresso

3 YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY WITH OWEN ROE - Hollywood Wine & Espresso, Portland, OR (9/18/2008)

Hollywood Wine & Espresso celebrated their 3rd anniversary with a special Owen Roe Wines tasting event, that ran Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I attended Thursday with my girlfriend Kristina, and Friday with friends Mark, Trish and Phil. 10 Owen Roe wines featured, for a paltry $10 tasting fee.

O'Reilly's Wines

The first three wines are from Owen Roe's lower cost label, O'Reilly's, named for winemaker David O'Reilly.

  • 2006 O'Reilly's Pinot Gris - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Nice fruit, with some melon and citrus. Decently acidity as well. (83 pts.)

  • 2007 O'Reilly's Riesling - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
    Bright, slightly sweet. Much tastier than the Gris. (84 pts.)

  • 2007 O'Reilly's Pinot Noir Oregon - USA, Oregon
    Much lighter and thinner than the 2006, and much less flavorful. Almost bitter, but, this IS a very young wine. (85 pts.)

Sharecropper's Wines

The second pair of wines are from the mid-price label, Owen Roe Sharecropper's.

Owen Roe Wines

The final, and largest, flight was of true Owen Roe wines, with a mix of their lower-level tier, and one from their upper-level tier. Delicious, all!

  • 2007 Owen Roe Abbot's Table - USA, Oregon/Washington
    Much more integrated than the last time I tried this, with much lower tannin levels, and much smoother fruit. I think this is going to be outstanding in 6 months to a year! (90 pts.)

  • 2007 Owen Roe Sinister Hand - USA, Oregon, Columbia Valley
    A bit on the thin side for a Syrah/Grenache/Mourvedre blend. Nice fruit, some pepper and earthiness in there as well. Again, in 6-18 months, this will be drinking fine! (90 pts.)

  • 2006 Owen Roe Syrah Ex Umbris - USA, Oregon/Washington, Columbia Valley
    Delicious. Pepper and smoke on the nose, with dark fruits and a very long, tasty finish. Always one of my favorite Owen Roe wines. (93 pts.)

  • 2005 Owen Roe Zinfandel - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
    I'm not usually a Zin fan, but wow! This wine is intense...not the hyperfruity spice juice most Zins taste to me. Great berry fruit, some earth, pepper and low tannins make this one a serious 'drink now' candidate. (91 pts.)

  • 2005 Owen Roe Red Wine Yakima Valley - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
    Most definitely my Wine of the Night. Just incredible blend of fruit, acidity and tannins. So easy to drink, and with another year or so in the bottle, I can see this wine pulling down a 95 score from me. Outstanding!! (93 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wine Tasting - Rhone Valley Wines at GEM

GEM Wine Cellar & Wine Bar

REDS & WHITES OF THE RHONE VALLEY - GEM Wine Cellar, Portland OR (9/5/2008)

In celebration of his wife Janice's birthday, Gene at GEM Wine Cellar & Wine Bar featured a Rhone Valley wine tasting. Two incredible homemade cakes were served as well.

Posted from CellarTracker