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Photos: Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Wines, & People

Wine geeks need to get their nose out of the glass. When their eyes shift above the rim of the Riedel they just might notice the great people behind the counters, managing the wineries, not to mention the great areas where our favorite wines are made. Sometimes we don't tell the story and other times, I believe, we tell the wrong story. But often, a picture tells a great story.
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2010 Youngberg Hill Aspen Pinot Gris

Clear, bright, medium intensity golden yellow. Aromas of tropical fruit inundate the nose: pineapple, mango, banana, and guava all blended together. Soft hints of ripe, juicy melons and pears that run down your chin when you bite them. On the palate there is definitely a little residual sugar, but medium-high acidity balances it nicely. Medium-full bodied, with tropical fruit driven flavors, honeysuckle, and sweet apples. Match with a mango chutney or pineapple galette. Highly recommended.
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2008 Stoller Vineyards JV Estate Pinot Noir

The screwcap signals “drink now.” Typical Pinot Noir aromas of charred oak, tar, and cotton candy greet the nose, with a touch of earth too. It’s pretty fruity, with a burnt sugar undertone and a medium-light body. But though it’s fruity, the wine is never too sweet. Finish is a tad hot. Drink with light meats, medium fish, tomatoes, too. Recommended.
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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.
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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.
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2008 Torii Mor Pinot Gris

Clear, medium-light golden yellow in color. Clean, medium-light aromas of waxy yellow apples, green melon, fresh pear, and dried ginger. Dry on the palate with medium-light body and acidity; very soft flavors of fresh apples, lemon candies, and tropical fruit to a medium finish. Easy and refreshing. Pair with salmon or tofu in a sesame ginger glaze. Recommended.
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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.
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2010 Maysara Arsheen Pinot Gris

Clear, brilliant, gold color. Clean, medium to medium-full intensity aromas of prickly pear, pear, mango, tropical fruit, mineral, floral, and lime. Dry, medium-high acidity, and flavors of pear, lemon, lime, citrus peel, tart peach pit, tropical fruit, mango, medium-long finish. Pair with a bright salmon ceviche. Recommended.