The Oregon Pinot report 2009, parte uno

et fille Jess and Mona.jpgtBoW and Dotor√© visited Portland just when the Portland Indie Wine Festival was being held. 40 wineries selected to pour their best efforts by a panel of know-it-all wine snobs. Our kind of people. The kicker is the wineries have to produce no more than 2500 cases. So you can see they are going for the craftsman, or as we observed in this case, “crafts-couple” winemakers.
Here’s how the tBoW team rolls when hunting the wild Pinot Noir. We roust our local wine snob pals, in this case David Russell of Woodland Hills Wine Co, to put us in touch with one of his fellow wine snobs in Portland. Thank you David for Murray the K of Great Wine Buys at 16th and Broadway on Portland’s Eastside. Murray turns out to be da man helping us winnow through wineries pouring at the festival; listing the top dining spots; and, finally, suggesting wineries for the road trip into Willamette Valley. Murray made like Manny, as in Ramirez, and hit it outtadapark! [ed. wrote this before Manny’s 50 game suspension, could not let it go]
This Oregon Pinot Noir 2009 report will appear in three sections over at least three weeks. This first post covers most of the wineries sampled at the festival. The second post finishes off the festival including the “big discovery” and covers the top local dining choice. The third reviews the wineries in the Valley. Current trends in Oregon Pinot Noir we be.
The festival was held in a working wine co-op away from downtown. It was raining but we were inside except for a brief walk between tasting areas.
Most wineries poured 1 or 2 wines that made the cut. Wineries could submit more however no more than 3 wines could be poured. Only one wine tasted was not well made. The tBoW team sampled about half the wineries. We report only on the best of wines. Any wine reviewed is worth seeking out.
2008 Anam Cara Chehalem Mountains Rosé of Pinot Noir: The Anam Cara estate bottling is their first blush wine. Fruity, dark pinkish red. Unremarkable.
appoloni rose 07.jpg2008 Apolloni Oregon Rosé: Apoloni Vineyards is Italian influenced. 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Viognier. Light salmon color. Dry, sharp acid. Prefer this style. From 15 year old vines on 38 acres in Ribbon Ridge region. 13.7%
arborbrookpn2007-777.jpg2007 Arborbrook Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir $38: Not a ros√©. A Pinot Noir; what we came for. The world’s most exotic grape (not necessarily the most exotic wine because that could include Barolo, and not the greatest wine because that would include Mosel Rielsings). This Arborbrook VIneyard botting is lean style, a character we will learn is typical for the 2007 vintage. Nice. Some barnyard. Also Ribbon Ridge fruit. 460 cases 13.5%
boedeckerrose08.jpg2008 Boedeker Willamette Valley Reflection Rosé $13: Boedeker Cellars is a big name winery that enjoys widespread high regard. They entered 3 wines, the max. A hometown favorite. Fruity, acidic, fresh and balanced. Nice price. 12.3%
2006 Boedeker Willamette Valley Athena Pinot Noir $35: Caramel on the nose nad in the mouth. Too ripe. 18 months in oak so there is plenty of vanilla. 14%
2007 Boedeker Rogue Valley Grenache $22: Spicy and ripe.
Boedeker is too much like Santa Rita Hills wines. Not a fan of what was poured, at least. Two themes are emerging: we prefer the 2007 vintage to the 2006, cour de terre couple.jpgand we prefer Ribbon Ridge wines to other Willamette Valley wines. Interesting to note is the 2006 vintage is considered superior to 2007 by most winemakers present.
2006 Couere de Terre McMinville Riesling
$23: Coure de Terre VIneyards is another hubby-wife team! [ed. that’s them above!] Spousal teams are everywhere. Family winemakers abound with the low production wineries. Cool. Makes sense. This is a very interesting wine. More like an Alsatian than a Mosel or Saar or Pfalz style. Ginger and petrol on the nose and in the mouth. Plenty of bright acid. A very impressive effort. Now I wish I had taken some of this with me! 12.2%
cdtrenelles PN06.jpg2006 Couere de Terre McMinnville Renelle’s Block Pinot Noir $54: Big ticket. Big wine. Very new world style, creamy (new oak), sophisticated. From the ripe and forward 2006 vintage. Very good wine. Dotor√© bought one. tBoW will not turn down a glass. 1000 cases.
2007 Christopher Bridge Satori Springs Pinot Noir $27: Light red color common with 2007 wines.2006dukesthomas-wine.gif Sweet flavors. 350 cases. Sis and Dad. Also sweet.
2006 Dukes Dundee Hills Thomas Pinot Noir $45 at the show otherwise $52: The Dukes Family Vineyards couple is charming. Their wine is robust. Coffee toffee nose and flavors. Ripe. 400 cases. tBoW would like to taste their 2007 wines. 14.1%.
2007 et Fille Yamhill-Carlotn District “Kalita” Pinot Noir $34: This was the first truly special wine. Delicate, balanced, like a ballerina. Feminine wine. Seductive. The wine like et fille is a knockout. 07kalita-label.gif Father daughter winemaking team. Mom resists all attempts to deal on the price. We made our choice. Simply gorgeous. And the wine is nice too. Take another look…photo at top. We scooped a case even though it was just outside our $30 target. Easily worth it. May need more. 12.7%
06elton-label.gif2006 et Fille Eola Amity Hills “Elton” Pinot Noir $34: More intense like the 2006 vintage. More forward, heavier style. Nothing wrong with this wine especially if you prefer the stronger style. 1650 cases. They source the juice. 13.5%
Next post moves to the back room where there was more great food and one very nice surprise. We discover the next Paul Lato! We arrive at the forest floor. Stay tuned.

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