article placeholder

Trotting Towards Tannins

You have probably arrived at a winery in a car or in a limo, but have you ever trotted up on horseback? The next time you find yourselves in the rolling Red Hills of Dundee, Oregon for wine sampling, grab a set of Tennessee Walking reins and fall in line for an equestrian oenophile adventure.
article placeholder

2007 Stoller Vineyards SV Estate Pinot Noir

“SV” on the label signifies the estate-grown Stoller Vineyards grapes, and also the “senior vines” the grapes are grown on. The wine is warm and earthy with a hint of rose in the aroma. Fruit arrives first on the palate, then the underlying char from the barrels. There's a bit of spicy tannin on the finish. With good elements, the wine is still a bit delicate. All in all, this wine has a “narrow spectrum” of flavors, as Bill Stoller put it during a tasting in my kitchen yesterday. We both expect the wine can develop further over the next five years. Okay now, recommended with aging.
article placeholder

2007 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Laurène Cuvée Pinot Noir

Clear, bright, medium-pale ruby red. Clean nose with aromas of earth, minerality, pungent purple flowers, red fruits, and blueberries. Dry on the palate with medium acidity, tannin, and body. Flavors of blue and red fruits, rhubarb, and cranberry. Very gentle oak leads to a medium-long finish. Recommended.
article placeholder

2009 Von Holt Suacci Vineyard Pinot Noir

The color is a bright, clear ruby. On the nose, a small hint of funk is a corona to dried cherries, sage, and a bit of brown sugar. The palate leads with the dried cherry and a bit of dried cranberry, all with a wet black dirt undertone. Sage shows up on the mid-palate along with some river rock minerality, then the most interesting thing happens—just at the end of the wine in your mouth, really in the transition between mid-palate and finish, there is a pronounced, but ephemeral, flash of flavor, like sticking your tongue in a plate of crushed black pepper with a little red pepper and just a few finely chopped bits of jalapeño added to the mix. Then it is gone, instantly. The finish is of moderate length. Drink with cedar planked salmon. Highly Recommended.
article placeholder

2007 Argyle Cowhouse Pinot Noir

This wine club only selection was aged in 38% new oak for 12 to 16 months. It showed sweet rich red fruit, cherries and strawberries, just a touch of sage, and sweet caramelized pecans. On the finish, when all other flavors had faded, violets typical of Dundee Hills lingered on. Recommended.
article placeholder

2009 Ptujska Klet Pullus Modri Pinot Noir

Semi-transparent red purple wine, easy to open with its modern screwcap, despite being made by the oldest winery in Slovenia which dates from 1239. Warm, inviting aroma of cooked fruit with a trace of earthiness. Medium-light body, light structure. Flavor starts out mild but grows in intensity, with strawberry notes. Finishes long and hot—though it’s only 12.5% alcohol—and ultimately plummy. A cross between new world and old world pinot noir, in the best way. Good summer drinking. Recommended.