Spit Happens #54 – Oregon

Oregon is one region that the average wine consumer knows a tiny bit about but rarely gets an opportunity to taste. The wineries aren’t usually big enough to export to Canada and the retailers look to California due to regional recognition and industry marketing initiatives . If we are lucky we might find good Washington wines due to proximity. Oregon is the in between state. Here and there you will find agents who like and represent these wineries and retailers who seek out unrealized opportunities. Shanyn Ward from Cask and Barrel Liquor Store in Westbank BC and Colin Bussiere from Only Hearts Spirits Agency recently offered wine lovers in the Okanagan a taste of Oregon.

  • Raptor Ridge 2017 Tuscowallame Estate Gruner Veltliner from Chehalam , 24-48 days in stainless steel, no stems, light neutral nose,medium weight ,some clean citrus notes. Very seafood friendly. Early appeal. $39.69
  • Foris Vineyard 2016 Dry Gewurztraminer,fermented whole cluster, 30 days in stainless steel. Pungent melon, a bit herbal cilantro character with a preserved lemon nose. Slightly reminiscent of Thrills Gum. $32.89
  • Hamacher 2015 “H” Pinot Noir, cold soak 7 days and fermented with wild yeast. Lots of red fruit and wild herbs and a bit of wet leather, primarily Pommard clone and a Swiss clone $52.99
  • Hamacher 2013 Pinot Noir, cherry and strawberry rhubarb, medium weight. Most in the room thought it had lots of life left but I’m in the minority , I feel there are maybe 1-2 years of improvement left for this wine. Aged 3 years before release, 370 cases made. $95.79
  • Foris Vineyards 2016 Rogue Valley Pinot Noir, Blueberry notes and a bit of currant, supportive oak but not pushy ( 16% 2nd fill barrels). Estate grown $39.39
  • Raptor Ridge 2015 Barrel Select Pinot Noir, polished tannins, nice density with a mushroomy oriental 5 spice quality. Sourced from Meredith Mitchell and Shea Vineyards, 2 vineyards with
    great pedigree. $48.99 . This is my pick of the evening.
  • Brittan Vineyards 2014 Basalt Block Pinot Noir Mcminnville . Mineral and iron, big and dense. Firm raspy tannin from this single vineyard AVA. Lots of upside potential. $91.69.

Brittan Vineyards [Andrea Johnson Photography]

 

The continuing weak Canadian dollar doesn’t help these prices but if you are looking for a fresh perspective on American wines this is the place to start.

Thanks for your time.

If you have any feedback we would love to hear from you on our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/winecellardepot/ .

Also check out our Houzz Page for design ideas and planning. http://www.houzz.com/pro/winecellardepot/wine-cellar-depot

Remember Spit Happens, tell your friends, drink great wine and eat great food.

Cheers.

David Lancelot

Spit Happens #53 – Paso Robles

I recently spent 3 months in the US on a vacation. A large majority of that time was in the desert of New Mexico and Arizona, not quite a wine wilderness but darn close. On the way back we made a left turn and drove all the way to Paso Robles to visit some wineries and chill out in California wine country. Paso Robles has a different vibe than Napa Valley. A bit less Cabernet/Chardonnay and a bit more Syrah and Zinfandel. There is Cabernet there… just not the eye watering prices of Napa and the quality is outstanding.

One producer I always look for is Daou Winery  located on a mountaintop with breathtaking views for 75-100 miles in every direction this a winery committed to making dense age worthy reds .  The Cabernets are stellar and the Syrah/Grenache/Mourvedre is a surprising treat. Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands and Chardonnay round out the offerings. There are also library wines and magnum offering available to mailing list members. Definitely worth your time to visit and  deserving of a place in you cellar. Pretty highly regarded in the wine press as well. Not too subtle but can drink young or old.

My next choice is Justin Vineyards.  The property was planted in 1981 and the first commercial vintage was released in 1987, The Isosceles  Cabernet patterned after quality Left Bank Bordeaux is the most notable wine they make but the other wines are up to the task. A visit here is worth the effort. A beautiful facility and all the tools to make great wine.  Wine maker Scott Shirley came to Justin after a career at Hess Collection and Opus One. So he know a bit about wine making. The winery completed an upgrade in 2013 and now has accommodation and a top notch hospitality program.  What are you waiting for?

Number 3 winery is Turley Cellars. In the category I call big stupid wines for big stupid guys. Ladies fill your boots as well. Massive Zinfandels from all over California , rich robust Petite Syrah and even a Cabernet more recently. My old employer in Vancouver was  ( I think) the first export account for the winery. Early vintages of the PS from 1993 are still improving.  Always a treat to share these wines the big challenge is storage . They have super annoying shaped bottles that don’t stack in bins well and necks that don’t allow neck tags on them. Make sure Ramona gives you lots individual bottle storage options if you want to age these beasts…. PS The Old Vine Charbono ain’t half bad either. first .

Thanks for your time.

If you have any feedback we would love to hear from you on our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/winecellardepot/.

Also check out our Houzz Page for design ideas and planning. http://www.houzz.com/pro/winecellardepot/wine-cellar-depot

Remember Spit Happens, tell your friends, drink great wine and eat great food.

Cheers

David Lancelot

12345...1020...