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Articles in category: Wine Reviews
American wine is reaching a golden age. So says Jon Bonné, wine editor of the esteemed San Francisco Chronicle as he unveils his 100 best wines of 2013.
Bonné, who began his wine writing career in Seattle in 1999 for MSNBC.com and has overseen the Chronicle’s superb wine coverage for the past seven years, selected 22 wines from Oregon and Washington for his annual list of wines that intrigued and spoke to him the most.
“The top wines coming from the West Coast right now are the best in a generation,” he wrote in his introduction to the ...(Read Full Article)
Over the years I’ve come to realize that Adelsheim makes delicious wine on a consistent basis. From crisp Wednesday night whites to single-vineyard Pinots, they cover all the bases. One of Oregon’s founding wineries, Adelsheim planted their first vines in the Chehalem Mountains in 1972. Today, Adelsheim farms 229 acres of vines from 11 vineyards across the Willamette Valley.
I recently tasted through a bunch of Adelsheim’s new releases, and I thoroughly enjoyed all of them. The wines were received as trade samples and tasted blind.
Review: 2012 Adelsheim Chardonnay(Read Full Article)
Oregon, Willamette Valley
Smells of ...
The same issue of the magazine has a four-page spread by its Oregon and Washington editor, Harvey Steiman, on the great syrahs being made in Walla Walla.(Read Full Article)
It’s no secret that Oregon, in particular the Willamette Valley, is known for having the ultimate climate and soils for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – two of the three main varietals used for making sparkling wine. The third varietal used in the production of sparkling wine is Pinot Meunier – another wine grape that flourishes in Oregon’s Willamette Valley that is vital in adding fresh and fruity characteristics to sparkling wine.
Surprisingly, there aren’t very many producers in Oregon that have a fundamental focus on the production of sparkling wine. But for those that do, the sparkling wines ...(Read Full Article)
Thanksgiving is a time for sharing–Why not share a wine that won’t break the bank?
After moving to Oregon, I was stunned not only by the incredible Pinots but also by the price of these beauties. I decided to go in search of the best values in the Willamette Valley. It is often a question I get asked from friends from out of state, and I decided it was time to create a list of some of my favorites. With the help of other bloggers and lots of visits to local wineries, I found four top values just ...(Read Full Article)
There has never been so much great wine being produced. Time and time again, I am surprised and excited, not only by wines from regions that I have never explored before, but also by those that I thought I knew inside-out!
For this reason, I always try to keep an open mind when it comes to tasting wine – I take an all-embracing stance. That said, I have learned from experience that when it comes down to brass tacks, I am unapologetically a Riesling and Pinot Noir guy. It’s just the way I’m programmed.
And when it comes to ...(Read Full Article)
Last week, my weekly column on Eugene Daily News, Wine Down Eugene, focused on a gem of a winery located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley – Airlie Winery. Operated by three women, Mary Olson (owner), Elizabeth Clark (winemaker) and Sue Shay (Marketing and Sales Director), Airlie is a boutique winery with thirty acres of grapes tucked into the Coastal Mountain Range at the west end of the Willamette Valley. Within those thirty acres, eight varietals are planted: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, Müller Thurgau, Gewürztraminer, Maréchal Foch, and Muscat Ottonel. (Read more about Airlie Winery here.)
Meeting ...(Read Full Article)
Anyone hoping to find a single perfect wine to serve with a classic Thanksgiving feast faces quite a challenge due the array of both sweet and savory dishes. But this year presents an even more interesting dilemma with Thanksgiving and Hanukkah falling on the same day. Because they coincide, we’ve seen a plethora of unique recipes that aim to combine the traditional foods of both holidays.
For example, recently published food articles have suggested such combinations as sweet potato latkes served with cranberry applesauce alongside the turkey or sweet and sour braised brisket with cranberries and pomegranate.
The bottom ...(Read Full Article)
In November, I have a tendency to gear my column toward one day only. Thanksgiving is, for many of us, the biggest food moment the month has to offer. But this year I want to feature a selection of wines that will not only work with the big bird but fit well in a month that sees our weather shift from sunny, bittersweet autumn to crisp, cold winter. I’ve selected some Oregon wines made from cold climate grapes yet they have a voluptuous, American flare. I think these Willamette Valley wines will pair perfectly with both the season and ...(Read Full Article)
- I recently read a well known blog [which will remain nameless] with a bit of amusement. Why, because it took their so-called panel of "experts" to come up with just five picks from the vast Oregon Wine Scene. I on the other hand, [brag alert] with only four days [the time I spent in Oregon just last month] I was able to come up an overflowing list of top rated must-haves labels.By the way; these are all wines presently sitting in my own cellar, because as it's said, "there is nothing like putting your money where your mouth ...(Read Full Article)
I’m nearing the end of my first case of Best Case Scenario Oregon Pinot Noirs. With a great theme, From Blockbuster to Beauty: The Evolving Style of Oregon Pinot Noir, I’ve sampled and learned about how twelve different Oregon wineries have evolved through the years with their winemaking styles used for producing some of Oregon’s finest wines.
This week, I’m focusing onAmity Vineyards 2010 Amity Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Noir. With a rich, lush mouthfeel, this wine displays gorgeous aromas of bright cherries and raspberries with subtle hints of earth. The flavors mimic the aromas ...(Read Full Article)
A few months ago, I had the privilege of visiting some stellar wineries in Oregon’s Chehalem Mountains AVA. Thanks to Carl Giavanti, of Carl Giavanti Consulting, I was able to taste some of the best wines I’ve ever had from some of Oregon’s most revered wineries. From the exclusive mountaintop Quailhurst Vineyards to Anam Cara’s urban tasting room, we had a whirlwind tasting tour of top-of-the-line wines, including many incredible Pinot Noirs.
Among some of my favorite Chehalem Mountains vineyards is Vidon Vineyard,“A Boutique Winery on a Petite Vineyard.” Sitting on 20 beautiful acres in ...(Read Full Article)
In Oregon in the 1960s, we hunted and harvested mushrooms, blackberries, blueberries. Wine grapes? The thought never occurred to us. Oregon had a couple of vineyards way back then, but we didn’t know of them and likely wouldn’t have been particularly interested had we known.
As relative newlyweds, just starting our family, wine was but a honeymoon memory, and a bottle of Lancers at that, but with abalone.
When we returned to California in the 1970s, Oregon had five wineries and fewer than 40 acres in wine grapes. Today, Oregon has 463 wineries and 20,400 acres in ...(Read Full Article)
Big Table Farm was a featured winery at the 2013 International Pinot Noir Celebration. The name of the winery is apropos since Brian and Claire continue to raise animals on their farm including calves and steers, pigs, laying hens, and horses, as well as set a big table for guests who visit. Big Table Farm is now leasing all 12 acres of the Wirtz Vineyard. 2012 will be the last vintage for Resonance Vineyard as that vineyard was purchased by Maison Louis Jadot who plan to use all the fruit for their own production. Kevin and Carla Chambers, who owned ...(Read Full Article)
Thanks be to Oregon’s Beaujolais-style, food-friendly red During the holiday season, there is a lot of talk about Pinot Noir as THE red wine to go with turkey. While there is no debating the wisdom of that pairing, there is another grape not to be overlooked: Gamay Noir.(Read Full Article)
“The only thing that should surprise me here is that some things still surprise me.” – Francois de La Rochefoucauld
Okay, so who doesn't like a good surprise? There are few things in life more delicious than a pleasantly unexpected experience or one that exceeds your expectations. When I drink a glass of wine and discover it exists in this happy place that lies somewhere between my predictions, assumptions and reality—I realize how much I love surprises.
To be honest, not many wines surprise me these days. But when they do, it’s not something I keep to myself ...(Read Full Article)
OREGON’S NEXT WHITE: It’s time to take Riesling seriously, and playfully. In fact take it any way you want
We tend to think of Pinot Noir when we think of Oregon and for good reason. Not only are Oregon’s Pinots outstanding, in a cool climate yet mostly modern style, but lots of people love to tell you about them. Yours truly included. Well here’s something else we should be talking about when it comes to Oregon: white wines. Pinot blanc has been Oregon’s flagship white, at least in the marketplace, and many folks are now recognizing the exceptional potential of oregon’s Chardonnay’s, but the next great thing is bound to be Oregon Riesling. At ...(Read Full Article)
2011 Bow & Arrow Gamay Noir ($19)
Scott Frank trained in France's Loire Valley before moving to Portland to make wines that emulate the Loire's fresh, clean Gamay style.
2011 Evening Land Gamay Noir ($23)
This dark-fruited Gamay, made in concrete vats, is from one of the original blocks of Evening Land's Seven Springs Vineyard, planted in 1983.
2012 Division Wine Co. Gamay Noir ($24)
Using the classic winemaking techniques they learned in Beaujolais, Tom and Kate Monroe produce just 63 cases of this cranberry-scented wine.
2010 Willakenzie Estate Gamay Noir ($26)(Read Full Article)
Burgundy-born Bernard Lacroute's winery specializes ...
In the enormously grand world of wine, there comes a point where “bigger-better-faster” is no longer relevant: at the top, things are just different but not necessarily better, because most of the time it’s all great. Value is another matter and that’s the nature of this list. These wines represent a great bang for the buck. Some are expensive, some are not, but with one exception, all are undervalued compared to their competitors. However, as is the case in this enormously grand world of wine, one man’s plonk is another man’s raison d’etre.(Read Full Article)
David Hill ...
It's easy to think of Oregon as a wine monoculture.
Indeed, of the state's 41,500 tons of wine grapes harvested in 2011, Pinot Noir accounted for 23,726 tons.
Yet one of the true gems in Oregon is Riesling, the state's No. 4 wine grape at 1,900 tons harvested in 2011. In total tonnage, it is far behind Pinot Gris but doesn't trail Chardonnay by much.
In quality, however, Oregon Riesling can stand alongside some of the best in the United States, including examples from Washington, New York, Michigan and Idaho.
Perhaps the biggest ...(Read Full Article)