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.

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

Cheers.

David Lancelot