2012 Oregon Pinot Noir (& one little 2013) ($15) Friday August 29th, 2014 4 pm – 7:30 pm

I know, I originally planned to pour a Red Burgundy as the premium but in the interest of having the best wines possible in the flight I couldn’t bring myself to do it. As I tasted thru loads of Pinots for this tasting I couldn’t find one Burgundy that warranted inclusion. 2011 is the current vintage for the reds from the Cote d’ Or and while the whites are stellar the reds are a bit tight and lean………….hum, reminds me of our own 11’s. One thing that’s important to remember when contemplating Burgundy; vintage quality for the whites and reds do not often match up. A great vintage for white does not mean a great vintage for red! But now back to our own Pinots. As I tasted thru our locals I was struck by the quality across the board of the 2012’s. It’s one of those vintages that what nature gave you was easy to turn into excellent wine. Not the case in 10 & 11. When I tasted the Brick House and the Lenne Estate I couldn’t bring myself to leave one of them out. So I decided to do dueling premiums. You can choose to do a flight of five, six or seven. If you look at the AVA’s (American Viticultural Area’s) we have covered many of the finest and it will be a good way to taste the difference in, say, the Pinots grown in Dundee to the ones grown in Chehalem etc. The flight is loaded with full, velvety 2012’s and it’s a great vintage for drinking early or laying down for the mid term. We were blessed with this vintage as the better 2010’s and 2011’s may turn out better in the long run than the 12’s but they need some long, cool sleep to show their best. Do not open your Thomas’ or Arterberry’s too soon. They need time but will reward those who can wait. As for the 12’s, have at em. Simply delish!

Sandy

The Lineup

2013 McKinlay, Willamette Valley $17
Newberg

2012 Lemelson, Six Vineyards $19
Yamhill- Carlton

2012 Colene Clemens, Margo $32
Chehalem Mountains

2012 Ayres, Estate “Lewis Rogers Lane” $33
Ribbon Ridge

2012 Willful Wine Company, Dundee Hills $33
Dundee Hills

Premium Pour/ Double the Pleasure ($5 for each wine)
2012 Brick House, “Cuvee du Tonnelier” $45
Ribbon Ridge
2012 Lenne Estate, “Karen’s Pommard” $55
Yamhill- Carlton

Re-Release of 2007 Artisanal, Pinot Noir “Adams Vineyard” Reserve at an Amazing Price

I couldn’t believe it. Last week I got a call from the sales rep from Artisanal. He said, “Tom (Feller/winemaker) found some cases of the 07 Adams Vineyard Pinot buried in the cool, dark at the winery.” I’m like, “the Reserve or the regular?” The reserve! OMG, this wine was a legend when we offered it the first time around. To this day people who bought it still talk about it. And the amazing thing is they found 50 cases!!!! And I get them all! But first, I wanted to taste the wine as I haven’t had it for a while. He brought me a sample last Friday and let me tell you, it’s better than ever having put on secondary aromas and flavors with added bottle age. In a cool cellar it can go at least another 7+ years (it’s a perfect seven year old now). As I write this it almost sounds too good to be true. 50 cases of wine from a total production of 175 cases! Stored perfectly annnnnnndddd, the best part of all; the price. $25 per bottle by the case. Pinch me. Winery needs some cash flow, our bonus. I’m going to paste some comments below from our offer back in 09. I think I mentioned then that it was a steal at $32 per bottle by the case. Well uh………….$25? Everything remains true except the wine has gotten better. I only have 50 cases so it will go very fast. Let me know your needs and I’ll do my best to accommodate.

The comments below are from our original offer in 2009

2007 Artisanal, Pinot Noir “Adams Vineyard” Reserve/ Chehalem Mountains
175 cases (7 barrels) produced!

Many of my customers have been inquiring as to when we were going to do the 2007 Artisanal, Pinot Noir “Adams Vineyard” Reserve offering. This single wine has, over the years, caused quite a stir with our customers. It’s a great Oregon Pinot from an historic vineyard, for sure. But, I must say, it has to be the single greatest value EVER in top notch Oregon Pinot Noir! $32 a bottle by the case in this offering….geez, it’s hard to believe. Most Pinots of this quality retail for $50 and up.There are many reasons I speak of the value and probably the most important is the wine itself. It’s simply the type of wine that has made Oregon famous for growing this fickle grape. Those of you who have in the past purchased the 05 and 06 will, no doubt, agree. It’s got it all, a heavy nod towards Burgundy in its spicy, soil driven aromatics and flavors, yet maybe a bit more full and lush and able to be enjoyed and understood a bit sooner than some young Burgs. But the price is also astounding when you consider the source of the grapes. These are high ticket grapes here from a 35+ year old vineyard in the premium AVA of Chehalem Mountains! The Adams Vineyard was planted in the first wave of Oregon’s Pinot Noir history. Back in the 70’s when pioneers like David Lett of Eyrie, Dick Ponzi and Dick Erath had the foresight to plant this great and noble grape in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Peter and Carol Adams had the insight to join in. When I first moved to Oregon in 1994 I heard all about the great Pinots from the Adams Vineyard but by then Peter and Carol had decided to just grow the grapes and sell the total production. Unfortunately, Rex Hill got it all and blended it into the mediocrity that has become the Rex Hill hallmark. When the contract expired with the 2005 vintage the line formed quickly and Tom Feller of Artisanal Winery came out the winner. And so here you have it. The better 07’s are some of my favorite of the recent 10 year period. And this is one of the best! It’s got the best of both worlds. A total pleasure now but will improve for 10+ years in a cool cellar.

There is a piece of Oregon winemaking history in every bottle.

The Offer

2007 Artisanal, Pinot Noir “Adam’s Vineyard” Reserve/ Chehalem Mnts.

Case: $300 ($25 bottle)
SixPack: $165 ($27.50/ bottle)Sandy

White Burgundy From Small Domaines ($15) Friday August 15th, 2014 4 pm – 7:30 pm

You know me, Sandy, the White Burgundy fanatic (actually, all colors of Burgundy). Yep and proud of it. A lot has been going on in this famous land of endless, grand terroir. Recent vintages must be discussed in any dialogue concerning Burgundy. First, the current release vintages (we’re talking WHITE Burgs here); 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Four really solid years. 2010- Classic, great vintage for wines of total transparency. Pure, perfect balace, will develop into sublime beauty. The best of the four. 2011- a bit more forward and a delight to drink now. These wines will charm the pants off you. 2012- very small quantity, excellent quality. The first of the “hail” vintages. Wineries are low on stocks. Some were down over 50% in production in 2012. 2013- a bit early for assessment as just a few have been released but all you have to do is check out the Michel, number three in our flight, to know we have another solid vintage for four in a row. The second of the trio of “hail vintages.”

Now, a really serious discussion about the current state of economics in the region. It’s really unbelievable! 2014 is the third vintage in a row in which springtime hail has, in some cases, ruined the entire vintage. 2012 was the first. Then came 2013. At this point many small wineries were reeling from two vintages in a rwo with almost no wine to sell. They were all hoping for a nice crop in 2014. This was vital to some, who were barely hanging on and in need of a strong vintage of quantity. And then the devastating hail, again, in 2014. I’ve read that it was the final nail in the coffin for many small domaines. These are some of the “heart and soul” wineries of Burgundy. Many will be gobbled up by the big negociants like Jadot, Drouhin and the like. It’s really heartbreaking! The life of a wine grower. Not for the faint of heart!

I’ll end here by saying that this flight is a fantastic selection of beautiful, pure, delicious Chardonnay. I know I’ve probably bored many of you with the discussion above but it’s important to know what’s going on. You will see prices rising due to the severe lack of wine in the cellars of almost all Burgundy domaines. But, let’s end on a positive note and celebrate the beautiful wines of the region with the wines listed below.

Sandy

The Lineup

2012 Domaine Sangouard-Guyot, Macon Villages “Clos De La Bressande” $16
Vergisson

2011 Domaine Des 7 Terroirs, St. Veran $19
Saint Veran

2013 Domaine Michel et Fils, Macon Villages $22
Clessé

2012 Domaine Laurent Cognard, Montagny “Les Bassets” 1er Cru $32
Buxy

2012 Domaine Pattes Loup, Chablis “Beauregard” 1er Cru $43
Courgis

Premium Pour ($5)
2012 Domaine Marc Colin, St. Aubin “Les Combes” 1er Cru $49
Saint Aubin

Big Reds from Washington & Southern Oregon ($15) Friday August 8th, 2014 4 pm – 7:30 pm

Because full bodied grape varieties need some heat in order to fully ripen they are grown in warmer regions of the Pacific Northwest such as Oregon’s Umpqua and Rogue Valley’s in the southern part of the state and the eastern part of Washington. Many people don’t realize that part of Walla Walla Valley is in the state of Oregon but it’s true. Milton-Freewater is in Oregon AND Walla Walla Valley. I mention this because we have a wine, the Watermill, that’s from Walla Walla, Oregon. This week we’re featuring three blended wines, two Cabernet Sauvignons and a Syrah. First, a word about the blends. The Ransom is what’s referred to as a Bordeaux Blend, meaning that the grape varieties included are the ones used in the great wines of Bordeaux. Syncline is what we call a Rhone style blend made up of the grapes included in southern red Rhones such as Cotes Du Rhones, Chateauneuf-Du-Pape and the like. But I can’t honestly tell you what to call the Isenhower. Maybe the “kitchen sink” red blend? It’s hard to think of a red variety that isn’t a part of this interesting combo. The two Cabs are both fantastic values. The Watermill has been the single most popular red wine in the shop recently. I can’t remember anyone who has bought a bottle and hasn’t been back for more. I’ve always felt that the Artist Series Cab from Woodward Canyon is one of the best from Washington, proving time and time again that it has the ability to improve and gain complexity after many years in the bottle. I often find it one of the most “Bordeaux like” reds from the state. Usually when we pour Abacela we feature one of their Tempranillo’s, the grape they are most known for, but I felt it was time to switch it up a bit and do the Estate Syrah. I always find their wines made from the grapes they grow and own (estate) are far superior to the wines from purchased grapes. So there you have it. Quite a variety of wines for your pleasure. I did it for you so get on in here!
Sandy

The Lineup

2011 Ransom, Reds (Merlot, Cab Franc, Cab Sauv, Malbec) $17
Rogue Valley, Oregon

2012 Isenhower, Last Straw (Cab S, Barbera, Cab Franc, Grenache, Merlot, $18
Walla Walla Valley, Wa. (Mourvedre, Petite Verdot, Sangiovese, Tempranillo)

2012 Syncline, Subduction Red (Mourved, Gren, Syrah, Counoise, Carignan $20
Columbia Valley, Wa. Cinsault)

2009 Watermill Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon $25
Walla Walla, Oregon

2010 Abacela, Estate Syrah $30
Umpqua Valley, Oregon

Premium Pour ($5)
2012 Woodward Canyon, Cabernet Sauvignon “Artist Series” $52
Columbia Valley, Wa.

Lip Smacking, Thirst Quenching Rosé ($15 ) Friday August 1st, 2014 4 pm – 7:30 pm

Yep, I’ve been sampling and sampling these delicious rosé just so I can provide you all with the best tasting possible. It’s the sacrafice I make. Tough work!

I usually end up with six French rosé everytime I do this theme but miracle of all miracles there are only half devoted to my personal. spiritual homeland d’vigne. Ok, the French first. The O’upia has become my “go to” inexpensive refresher when I want that back deck experience at a great price. At the other end of the spectrum we have the “as good as it gets” category. Last pink tasting we poured the other Maquiliani. There are two and this is the blend and every bit as good as the 100% Sciaccarellu. The Pauline is half and half, Scia and Syrah. I can hardly describe the Clos Canarelli. It’s not your typical rosé. The texture is surreal. Dense, packed tight with amazing length. Unique! We’ve featured the beautiful wines of Mt. Etna’s Tenuta Terre Nere many times in our red tastings but this is a first for the pinky. This one is half and half as well. This time Norello Cappuccio and Norello Mascalese. I know you knew that. What a joy it is to drink the Punta Crena from the Italian Riveria. Just a touch sparkling, what the Italians call Frizzante. Just enough of a spritz to add even more refreshment to the impression. Delish. That leaves us with our man Eric Hamacher. Eric’s done a great job with this one. Often times I find rosé of Pinot Noir a touch rich and heavy. I promised you that you would smack lips and refresh with this flight and the Hamacher does just that. It’s on the Provence side of Pinot Noir Pink. And speaking of Provence……………..I almost always have a very tough time not pouring an entire flight from this spiritual home of rosé. Amazingly enough, not even one made the cut. Now that’s something!

Sandy

The Lineup

2013 Chateau d’Oupia, Minervois Rosé $14
Languedoc, France

2013 Tenuta Terre Nere, Etna Rosato $18
Mt. Etna- Sicily, Italy

2013 Hamacher, Rosé of Pinot Noir $18
Willamette Valley, Oregon

2013 Punta Crena, Pettirosso Frizzante $18
Ligurian Coast, Italy

2013 Marquiliani, Le Rosé de Pauline $30
lle de Beauté- Corsica, France

Premium Pour ($4)
2013 Clos Canarelli, Corse Figari Rosé $40
Figari- Corsica, France