The 2007 Bishop Creek Barrel Selection Pinot Noir spoke volumes. The wine was delicate, a bit thin and a light ruby color, yet incredibly complex and well integrated. The taste was undeniably gorgeous, opening up to reveal layers of tart cranberry, luscious pomegranate, fragrant rose petals, and a hint of forest floor in fall. At $22, this wine’s a very reasonable indulgence—especially for Oregon Pinot noir—and one you’ll want to have speak to you again and again. Read more at Tamara's blog, Sip with Me.
The 2006 Lange Three Hills Cuvee (90 points by Wine Advocate) is a great example of what Oregon is doing with pinot noir. This blend from three Lange estate vineyards is powerful on the nose with an earthy, dark cherry, and smoky taste. This rich-colored red wine is a fine expression of the jory soil in the Dundee Hills. There are more expensive wines on the Lange list and throughout the Dundee Hills, but few are any better. Read more at Howard's blog, Grape Sense.
With a rich and creamy mouth feel, the wine made its entrance with the typical apple and pear you’d expect at the surface. Underneath however, I detected entrancing layers of melon and tropical star fruit notes while the mouth offered additional exotic flavors of grapefruit, mango and a spicy, zingy ginger finish; a delicious, intriguing, and complex white wine with nice acidity and a moderate price point making it the perfect complement to lighter summer fare. Read more at Tamara's blog, Sip with Me.
The 2009 JK Carriere Glass White Pinot Noir holds all the promise of summer in one glass. The wine is produced using the same techniques as turn-of-the-century French rosé Champagne, and though it doesn’t actually have any bubbles, it does have lots zest and perhaps even a slight spritz which lifted the flavors to new heights. The magnificent peach color is complemented by aromas of mouthwatering watermelon Jolly Ranchers, bubble gum, white flowers and citrus. On the palate, there were strawberries, Key Lime pie, bright grapefruit and a delightful and lingering kiwi finish. Food-friendly acids and a great price make this a perfect summer sipper.
Moving to the Willamette Valley in Oregon, I fully expected to be surrounded by heavenly coffee, fantastic food, killer microbrews, and world-class Pinot noir. Lots of Pinot noir. What I did not expect was to discover a thriving scene of locally produced spirits and liqueurs. A recent trip to Portland’s Distillery Row with some friends opened my eyes to a whole new world of hard drinking.
Lots of red fruit, overripe strawberry and black cherry, with some sage, fennel and wax, on the nose. The palate matches the nose, plus a bit of allspice. It also has a certain savoriness, a silky umami, that makes the overall impression far more than the sum of the individual flavors.
Blend of Viognier 35%, Marsanne 30%, Roussanne 35% grapes. This wine is made at the certified biodynamic Cowhorn winery with natural yeasts and no malolactic fermentation. Light golden color with great clarity. Apple and pear flavors with some delicious honeysuckle on the nose. Refreshing acids make it a solid choice for roast chicken.
Great example of domestic syrah made at the certified biodynamic Cowhown winery. That means no synthetic chemicals were used in grape-growing and native yeasts were used in the cellar. Big, dark boysenberry and blackberry fruit flavors, which are nicely balanced by an earthy finish. Good acids and 13.5% alcohol make it a good food wine. Personally, I would love to see them ease up on the new oak (it is a blend of old and new oak barrels at the moment). But honestly, most people would find this wine to be a big crowd-pleaser.