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Articles in category: Wine Reviews
In the last week of July, we flew from JFK to Portland, Oregon, then took that all-too-familiar slow drive on 99W towards Newburg. The night before the opening ceremonies of Willamette Valley's annual wine bash, the International Pinot Noir Celebration, the mood wasn't so much hopeful as celebratory. On the eve of the release of what many are calling "Oregon's first 100-point vintage," growers were beaming, already tallying profits to be reaped at their 2012 Pinot Noir release parties.(Read Full Article)
As we cellar-hopped on the days after the festival, working every angle to pry out small allocations of ...
It’s late on Thursday night as I’m penning this column and I’ve just come in from walking my restless dog. It’s wet and cool outside and I could see my breath under the glare of streetlamps.
I’m really tempted to take my laptop over to the fireplace and turn it on and pour a glass of rich red wine.
I’m not a wine snob. More of a wine lush. The wine doesn’t have to have a pedigree. If I like it — I’ll drink it — usually lots of it, too.
Having said that ...(Read Full Article)
- Winemakers are fascinated by its diversity, winegrowers love its transparency, restaurant sommeliers appreciate its friendliness for food, and wine enthusiasts cherish it for its approachable smoothness and range in levels of sweetness. Oregon Riesling is on the rise, and everyone from vintners to consumers are taking note.(Read Full Article)
Riesling thrives in Oregon's cool climate and is a varietal known for its transparency and ability to take on the characteristics of where it has taken root - absorbing the unique terroir of Oregon's marine sediment and volcanic soils while adapting effortlessly to the state's checkered micro-climates. Back in the early ...
It's been said "All you need is Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay." Local producers here in Oregon agree. They're making some of the best Chard out there and it's not at all like yo mama's favorite buttery, oak bomb. Instead it's an elegant, fresh take on America's #1 white wine. Let Bon Appétit’s Wine Insider, David Lynch, lead you through a tasting of some of the state's best bottles and show you why Anything But Chardonnay is no way to drink.
With that kind of an introduction in the Feast Portland program ...(Read Full Article)
Riesling, an off-and-on success in Oregon, has started to shine brighter in recent vintages. Of the 40 Oregon Rieslings to receive scores of 90 points or higher (Outstanding on the Wine Spectator100-point scale), 26 have come since the 2010 vintage.
What's causing this? Partly, it's the emergence of wineries concentrating on the varietal, most notably Trisaetum (first vintage 2007). James Frey's operation makes eight different Rieslings, sorted by vineyard source and whether they're dry or off-dry, and no Chardonnay or Pinot Gris, Oregon's signature white wines.
Most Oregon Rieslings tend to correspond to typical ...(Read Full Article)
That Oregon Chardonnay is gaining in prominence and prestige is no longer news. If you've been drinking these wines for the last 7 or so years you've already known irrespective of national newspapers taking note very recently, that this variety from Oregon has the potential to be a fine wine, a damn fine wine. Chardonnay has been so maligned, so abused and mistreated that it has sadly become a bit of a scapegoat among the discerning wine drinking public.(Read Full Article)
It’s a moment that happens often in the life of a wine lover. You taste a bottle of Pinot Noir that might be called life-changing, and you decide to set out on a new path: seeking out nano-wineries, those smaller, harder-to-access producers who are making something truly exceptional.
In Oregon, that’s where you encounter your first problem. Of the 545 registered wineries in the state, roughly half of those could be considered nano-wineries, or wineries producing fewer than 350 to 400 cases annually. Where do you even start?
“It’s not that small batches of wine are better ...(Read Full Article)
In our corner of the Northwest, wine lovers have an abundance of riches. In our home state, Washington produces some of the best wines in the world and most of those wineries are right in our backyard. But it’s not just Washington that produces wines of distinction; our neighbors south in Oregon create wines that are just as worthy of our attention and their vineyards, estates, and tasting rooms are a few short hours south on I-5.(Read Full Article)
With this being Travel Monthfor Seattle Refined, we wanted to provide some wine getaways to have on your weekend destination radar ...
When it happened, Oregon's 2013 Pinot Noir vintage looked like a flop. A warm growing season climaxed with a couple of heat spikes in mid-September. And then it rained. And rained. And rained some more. Some vineyards counted 9 inches of rain in a week. Most of Willamette Valley got around 4 inches. "I never saw rain so sideways here, and it hit when everything was pretty damn ripe," said Rollin Soles of Roco.
Now that the wines are ready to bottle, many 2013s I tasted last week displayed precise flavors and even the sort of delicacy that made ...(Read Full Article)
Respect for Pinot Gris
Pinot gris, aka. Pinot grigio, proves to be one of the most under celebrated of grapes. Thanks largely to a trend towards light touch, or sweet style mass produced wines from the variety, the grape now is often thought of as bland, or lifeless.
Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey, however, disagrees, naming Pinot grigio one of the noble varieties, capable of transporting direct expression of its site through its wine. Travels through Friuli support Stuckey’s view. Heritage houses in the region respect the grape. With the local tradition of Ramato style wines, for example, a little ...(Read Full Article)
The Vineyards of Eyrie
With the 2012 vintage, Eyrie Vineyards bottled separate Pinot Noir cuvées from each of their five vineyards for the first time. They have previously bottled Sisters, and Daphne in select vintages, and consistently offer the Original Vines Vineyard on its own as well.
The warm ease of 2012 in the Willamette Valley brings fruit to the fore of Pinot Noir in a region that readily celebrates notes of cedar and earthiness. It was a year that winemakers easily could have gone for riper, plush styles. For Eyrie, president and winemaker Jason Lett, kept the focus ...(Read Full Article)
Word of Minimus Wines, located in Oregon, came my way via the Northwest Wine Anthem. So when I saw one of their offerings, a Vermentino, available by the glass at Seattle’s Matt’s in the Market, I pounced. What a fantastic lunchtime wine. You don’t often see domestic versions of this Italian grape (aka “Rolle” in France), so the stars aligned concerning both a producer and a variety I wanted to know more about.
I love the front of this label. It reminds me of an entry from an old encylopedia. And if anyone gives me guff about ...(Read Full Article)
So, like, what is this stuff, anyway?
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes with you via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!
- 12 Bergstrom Sigrid ...
The Columbia River Gorge is perhaps one of the most dynamic wine growing areas in all the world. Certainly hard to beat in terms of dramatic landscape. The Columbia River Gorge AVA was established in 2004, it's slogan "a world of wines in 40 miles" hints at the kind of variety that this sort of dynamism allows for. From Albarino, to Pinot Noir, to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, the Gorge has a little bit of everything. The Gorge, is a study in contrasts, sort of.(Read Full Article)
Mention the words “Walla Walla Valley” in a wine-related conversation and you’re likely to receive a smile and a nod of approval.
Wines produced from the Washington wine region have developed quite a reputation over the last several years. And with that recognition you can expect to pay higher prices – some of it warranted and some of it, perhaps, based on what I refer to as a “reputation surcharge.”
That’s why it’s so refreshing to taste and recommend wines from Watermill Winery. Not only are they absolutely stunning on every level, they’re extremely well-priced, considering the ...(Read Full Article)
Wine Name/Vineyard: "Dundee Hills Vineyards"
Wine Category: Pinot Noir
Grape blend: 100% Pinot Noir
Region: Dundee Hills
State or country: OR
Cases produced: 715
KWG Score: 89.5 (based on 2 reviews)
Ken's Wine Rating: Very Good+ (90)
Review date: October 1, 2014
Wine Review: This dark ruby colored Pinot Noir from Oregon opens with fragrant pomegranate and red currant bouquet. On the palate, this wine is light bodied, slightly acidic and savory. The flavor profile is a spicy black raspberry with notes of oak, black plum and black pepper. The finish ...(Read Full Article)
Of the numerous varieties in Oregon’s white wine world, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Melon de Bourgogne receive relatively little media attention. But each has played a lengthy, significant role in its region of origin and deserves ongoing inclusion in the blind tasting evaluations conducted by Oregon Wine Press.(Read Full Article)
Gone are the days of the wine critic’s monopoly on taste. Here in Oregon, nuance is king, oddball wines are winning, and old-school winemakers are defying expectations with lighter, more eclectic styles. For this year’s annual blind tasting of Oregon’s wide world of wine, we rallied 13 of our favorite grape-stained wretches to uncork more than a thousand bottles. The results were clear: great wine is great wine, regardless of hue, price, or region. We were so pleased and surprised with our final ranking that this year we decided not to divide our list by category, but ...(Read Full Article)
Rex Hill Winery is an easy access stop off Highway 99 before Newberg in theChehalem Mountains AVA. There was some nasty construction going on when we were there (sewer line, we were told), so we were guided around to the back of the building. It was here that we found a delightful and telling snippet of the winery's personality: the employees had garden plots in the back, their names displayed proudly among spices and vegetables. A quick look at who was growing what developed into a quick game of picking the personality in the tasting room. None were ...(Read Full Article)
Who wants more chardonnay?
OK, OK, calm down.
One of every five bottles of wine sold in the United States is chardonnay. With nearly 100,000 acres planted to the variety, California is meeting much of that demand. France, Italy, Chile and several other wine regions also are helping out.
Very little chardonnay from Oregon, however, is reaching the nation’s dining tables. Only about 1,200 acres of chardonnay are in Oregon, the same total as in 2001.
This is peculiar because Oregon is widely respected in wine circles for three other varietal wines that thrive in the same ...
The 2012 Pinot Noir growing season in Willamette Valley was one for the record books, with many suggesting that this will be Oregon's first 100-point vintage. A cool spring made for a small crop set, setting the stage for one of the more miraculous stretch runs in valley history. The summer turned warm and exceedingly dry. Low yields and drought conditions spiked concentration, leading to an early harvest of extreme ripeness — even as acids remained firm and piercing.(Read Full Article)
Only once in the last 20 years can we recall an Oregon vintage that has received so much critical acclaim — Wine ...
At dinner the night before the opening ceremonies of Oregon's annual wine bash — the International Pinot Noir Celebration — the mood among vintners was buoyant. With the release of the phenomenal 2012 Pinot Noirs just around the corner, and critics poised to post the highest scores since Wine Spectator's 97-point 2008 vintage, wineries were preparing for a cash-flow bonanza.(Read Full Article)
Stephen Tanzer, the world's most revered Burgundy critic, got the ball rolling. Often criticized by retailers and wineries for the stinginess of its ratings, Tanzer's International Wine Cellar had just let loose with a 94-point barrage, awarding the ...
There’s a place where all devout pinot-philes go. No – it’s not heaven (the golden slopes of Burgundy) or hell (where MegaPurple flows from the faucets).
It’s the International Pinot Noir Celebration, colloquially IPNC, and widely recognized as the one annual pinot noir event to notmiss. Affectionately and affirmably a Celebration (rather than a conference, forum, festival or event), the festive July event brings consumers, winemakers, sommeliers and pinot fans from around the globe to the campus of Linfield College in McMinneville, Oregon, for weekend of sharing and learning.
The historic school, an easy one hour drive ...(Read Full Article)
Among the six small sub-appellations of the northern Willamette Valley, one of the most fascinating is Yamhill-Carlton.
Based west of the Dundee Hills, Ribbon Ridge and Chehalem Mountains American Viticultural Areas, Yamhill-Carlton is horseshoe-shaped appellation that essentially surrounds the towns of Carlton and Yamhill. This is because the AVA is based on elevation – to be in the appellation, a vineyard must be planted between 200 and 1,000 feet above sea level. This makes it the most unusually shaped AVA in Oregon.
Some of Oregon’s finest wine producers are in Yamhill-Carlton, including Ken Wright Cellars, Elk Cove Vineyards, Belle ...(Read Full Article)