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Articles in category: Wine Reviews
Pinot Noir may be Willamette Valley’s most renowned wine variety, but there’s more to Oregon than meets the mass market, and much of it is happening in the south.
From the edge of Eugene to the California border lies the Southern Oregon AVA, a thriving stretch of vineyards planted on diverse sites and soils. The designated sub-appellations here—Umpqua Valley,Applegate Valley, Rogue Valley, Elkton and Red Hills—have planted more than 60 red and white varieties (many of which are atypical for the region), creating a range of unique, delicious and affordable wines. These may very well ...(Read Full Article)
Moonlite Winery, which has been open for less than a year in Oregon’s Umpqua Valley, recently topped the Pacific Northwest’s oldest wine event when its 2013 Barbera won the Platinum Award at the Greatest of the Grape wine competition.
Each of the 28 members of the Umpqua Valley Winegrowers Association nominated one of its own wines for the competition, the centerpiece for the 45th annual Greatest of the Grape. Ed and Amy Coughlin are new members after having been inspired through visits to Umpqua Valley wineries Delfino Vineyards and Girardet Wine Cellars. The Coughlins planted their 9-acre Evensong ...(Read Full Article)
For more than a decade, Casey and Vicky McClellan had the only winery on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla Valley.
But being in Milton-Freewater was a bit of a no-man’s land. Seven Hills Winery was not a Washington winery, so it couldn’t easily be involved in Washington wine events. And it was more than 200 miles away from Portland and the Willamette Valley and, thus, was virtually ignored by the Oregon wine industry.
So in May 2000, the McClellans moved to downtown Walla Walla, sharing a building with Whitehouse-Crawford, one of the best restaurants in Eastern ...(Read Full Article)
When we think of well-made Chardonnay our minds might take us to the steely wines of Chablis, creamy yet mineral rich wines of Montrachet, or juicy, lively wines of Napa and Sonoma. Including Oregon in this discussion may not have happened a handful of years ago, as the Chardonnay grown in Willamette Valley until recent years has been rather flabby, flat and uninteresting.
Thankfully, with the help of a handful of winemakers like David Adelsheim, Bill Stoller and Josh Bergstrom, this has changed. After identifying the problem, that Chardonnay vines brought in to the state early on were essentially the ...(Read Full Article)
The acclaimed Joel Palmer House in Dayton, Ore., which has continued its tradition of championing Oregon wines since first opening in 1996, recently received the inauguralOregon Wine A-List Restaurant of the Year award.
The Oregon Wine Board capped the first year of its program spotlighting restaurants and trade members most supportive of Oregon wines by announcing the category winners during the Oregon Wine Industry Awards dinner Feb. 25 in Portland.
Christopher Czarnecki, the Joel Palmer House’s second-generation chef/owner who maintains a wine list with more than 600 entries from Oregon, accepted the award.
Another wine country restaurant ...(Read Full Article)
Oregon wine country is, by far, dedicated to Pinot Noir. More than 65 percent of the wine produced in the state is Pinot Noir, and the vast majority of that is crafted in the northern Willamette Valley.
Surrounding such towns as Dundee, Newberg, McMinnville, Carlton, Yamhill, Dayton and Lafayette are six small wine-producing regions. They are:
- Dundee Hills
- Eola-Amity Hills
- Ribbon Ridge
- Chehalem Mountains
In addition to these American Viticultural Areas are other interesting small pockets of vineyards and special places.
None of this is far from the Pacific Ocean. In fact, a small set of hills – called ...(Read Full Article)
Under French law, only six wine grape varieties are allowed for Bordeaux reds: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carménère. Though still technically legal, very little Malbec remains in Bordeaux, having been almost totally destroyed by a 1956 frost. Carménère, too, is rarely used. Thus, for the purposes of this tasting, only examples of the first four have been evaluated.
Foris 2011 Rogue Valley Cabernet Sauvignon(Read Full Article)
Understanding vintage influence and knowing whether to pour or store a bottle is challenging, but you don’t have to take a master class in winemaking for an insider view. This is why a group of wine enthusiasts recently met at Adelsheim Winery for a guided vertical tasting of Elizabeth’s Reserve Pinot Noir from 2008 to 2012.
Vintage Variation(Read Full Article)
Oregon's cellars are all but bare when it comes to single-vineyard Pinot Noirs from the superb 2012 vintage. A growing season that some have called "Oregon's first 100-point harvest" made for a plethora of ultra-juicy, plump, wonderfully hedonistic Pinot Noirs, the best of which walk the tightrope between Russian River opulence and Burgundian minerality.(Read Full Article)
Considering the overheated market and heightened demand for the 2012s, we did pretty well for ourselves. A dozen top producers rewarded WineAccess with healthy allocations of their baseline Pinots, including some of the most compelling bargains of the year.
But when it came to ...
Is a $20 wine always better than an $8 wine? Generally, yes, assuming that all other variables are controlled—same grape or blend, same vintage, same general region.
But is a $60 or $100 bottle guaranteed to be better than a $30 bottle? Not always. All too often, a high price reflects relative scarcity rather than objective quality.
Wine lovers and collectors are usually happy to pay more for wines perceived to be rare. Who doesn’t have more interest in the small-production, hands-on wine, even if a mass-produced bottle of comparable or superior quality is available at a similar ...(Read Full Article)
My first experience with J. K. Carriere wines was at the 2013 IPNC (International Pinot Noir Celebration), during the Saturday evening Salmon Bake – the most highly anticipated event of IPNC. Strewn throughout the lawn under the old oak trees that grace the campus at Linfield Community College (where IPNC takes place annually), several bottles of varied wines graced each of the white clothed tables; and lucky me, my table had a bottle of J.K. Carriere’s 2008 Glass White Pinot Noir.
One of the many sommeliers that volunteer their time ...(Read Full Article)
The 2008 vintage in Oregon’s Willamette Valley was highly touted and some vintners even claimed it was the best vintage for Oregon Pinot Noir in the decade or even in Oregon’s modern 50-year winegrowing history. It was said to be the most perfect growing season ever in the Willamette Valley. Since then, the 2012 and 2014 vintages have claimed the crown of “best vintage ever.”
The vintage was not without its challenges. A late and cool spring led to a delayed bud break and cool summer producing a moderately large crop (17,571 tons compared to 20,368 ...(Read Full Article)
Broadley Vineyards, Monroe
13.9% alc., 50 cases, $30. A 10-acre vineyard owned by Janet and Larry Richards who meticulously farm the vines. Pommard clone. 30% whole cluster. Aged in 100% French oak barrels, 50% of which were new. ·Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very tight on the nose with demure aromas of black cherry and oak. Mid weight plus flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and pomegranate with a touch of spice and savory herbs and a generous oak overlay. A luscious, friendly wine which ...
- In putting together my series bringing you some of the exciting wines being made in Oregon, I came across a winery in Southern Oregon that's doing some really interesting things - Troon Vineyard. The first wine that I brought you from Troon was a delicious rosé made from atypical grape varieties for the style - the 2013 Foundation '72 Dry Rosé. I followed that up with bold zinfandel from the 2011 vintage - the 2011 Estate Zinfandel.
Today, we're headed back to Troon Vineyard for another well-made zinfandel:2012 Foundation '72 Zinfandel produced & bottled by Troon Vineyard (Grants Pass, Oregon ...(Read Full Article)
Oregon pinot noir may not be high on your list of wine priorities yet, but movie producer and wine entrepreneur Mark Tarlov is convinced it should be. That’s why he’s charging an eye-popping $300 each for his two just-launched Chapter 24 Double Zero pinots. “The price is a poke,’’ he tells me. “It’s a signal to say Oregon matters.”
It’s a pretty loud signal, since these are now the state’s most expensive wines. But are they worth the price of grand cru Burgundies?
I sipped and compared his two ’00’ wines, 2012 Shea Vineyard and ...(Read Full Article)
Anne was born in the islands. Her father was a French diplomat with exquisite taste in Burgundy. On weekends, the family dinner table featured bottles from the likes of Roumier, Méo-Camuzet, Morlet, and Barthod. While still in her teens, Anne stunned guests with her blind-tasting precision, often identifying vintages by color and smell before taking a first sip.(Read Full Article)
After earning her enology degree from the Faculté de Bordeaux under professor Denis Dubourdieu, in 2008 the adventurous young winemaker accepted a cellar position in Oregon with another French émigré, Laurent Montalieu. Four years later, in the 2012 vintage, Anne decided ...
After running through a trio of 2012 Pinot Noirs from Oregon’s Youngberg Hill received as samples, I was struck by one thing they all had in common: richness. These are not lacy, delicate wines! A quick internet search about the 2012 vintage in Oregon turned up a post where these words were trotted out to describe [...](Read Full Article)
This month’s Value Picks include wines made from grapes grown in Southern Oregon and the Columbia Valley, and whose heritages can be traced to France’s Rhône, Bordeaux and Savoie, Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero, and Italy’s Piedmont and Apulia wine regions.
Melrose 2012 Umpqua Valley Estate Tempranillo(Read Full Article)
Ken Wright’s 2012 Abbott Claim Vineyard Pinot Noir ranked first among Wine Enthusiast magazine’s Top 100 wines of 2014. Upon initial evaluation earlier in the year, Wright’s 2012 Yamhill-Carlton AVA Pinot was awarded a near-perfect 97 points and named an Editor’s Choice.
When the magazine went about determining its best 100 for the year, the 2012 Ken Wright Abbott Claim Pinot Noir emerged on top among a star-studded field of wines from around the world.(Read Full Article)
So many of my wine habits are dictated by the season: refreshing whites and Provencal rosé in the summer, warming reds in the winter, and a mix of all three during spring and fall. This past year I spent the better half of November and December drinking Spanish Tempranillo and room-temperature white Burgundy. Since the New Year, I’ve left the Old World for vines planted here in the states in one of my favorite regions: Oregon’s Pinot-loving Willamette Valley.
Those who drink Pinot from California and Burgundy should look at Oregon as a type of middle ground, a ...(Read Full Article)
The first time I was introduced to the Angela Estate wines was during a 2012 winter wine event in the small wine-centric town of Carlton, Oregon – a town I like to refer to as “the front porch to wine country.“ Ducking into one of the many tasting rooms that line the quaint downtown main street, I discovered Angela Estate wines via the Folin Cellars tasting room. Angela Estate did not yet have a tasting room – the camaraderie in this small town is impressive.(Read Full Article)
We got our first look at Oregon's spectacularly juicy 2012 Pinot Noirs last July, on the eve of the International Pinot Noir Celebration. Several months before many began calling 2012 the Willamette Valley's "first 100-point vintage," we were already scouring the valley, locking up every top 2012 from Ribbon Ridge to Eola-Amity Hills.(Read Full Article)
Rarely in the last seven years have we acted so decisively. Never more opportunistically.
We've often said that for collectors, Robert Parker is the The King.But when it comes to teasing America's bargain hunters, nothing tops Wine Spectator. Yesterday's Spectator cover ...
The last time I visited the idyllic grounds and beautifully streamlined tasting room of Oregon pioneering winery Sokol Blosser, I was set amid tent after tent of famed local chefs working side by side with local farmers to present the bounties of Yamhill County for the popular event that benefits Susan Sokol Blosser’s Yamhill Enrichment Society, named – you guessed it – Bounty of Yamhill County. It was an incredible event that I wrote about in detail here.(Read Full Article)
You’ve long heard Oregon’s Willamette Valley is home to world-class Pinot Noir.
But admit it, when it’s time to order from the wine list, or pluck one from the shop shelf, something often stops you and, instead, you sip yet another Pinot from Burgundy or California’s Russian River Valley.
And you’re not alone, ya scaredy cat.
California and Burgundy (Pinot’s hallowed ground) are home to delicious wines and are the regions you know. But you’re really missing out on one of wine’s most exciting treasures: well-crafted sips that marry New World strengths ...(Read Full Article)