Tag Archive | Glacial Lake Missoula

Glacial Lake Missoula: 2011 Gamay Noir

Tonight Jon cracked open the Glacial Lake Missoula 2011 Gamay Noir.  It is the first vintage of this Gamay Noir, which is sourced from Rebecca’s Vineyard in Southern Oregon.

Glacial Lake Missoula is located in Blaine, Washington, near home.  This local winery produces small batch wines, sourcing from some of the best vineyards in Washington and Oregon.  The 2011 Gamay Noir is sourced from Rebecca’s Vineyard in the Umpqua Valley, in southern Oregon.  The higher temperatures make for a more robust wine than the grapes from the Willamette Valley further north.

The wine has a ripe blackberry nose, and is fruit forward with flavors of blackberry and cherry.  It has very low tannins and a mellow acidity.  It was made by bleeding off 25% of the juice, and aging the rest for eight months in new French Oak Hogsheads.

This is a drink now wine, so enjoy!

Warm New Home

So, now that we have moved, and gotten down to some semblance of order in the house, we decided to have a housewarming party.  We scheduled it for Dec. 10, exactly one month after we closed on the home and began moving in.  As with any party around the holidays, we actually scheduled a couple of weeks ago, to give everybody enough time to make plans to come.  I knew it was a tight timeline, but I figured that would give me some incentive to keep working on unpacking and organizing (and it did!)  The party was last weekend, and I hope a good time was had by all.  For me, it was a great opportunity to see friends and family that I haven’t had much of a chance to see during this whole insane moving process.  And it was an opportunity to open some good bottles of wine and enjoy them!  We had two large format bottles that we uncorked, a 2007 Glacial Lake Missoula Deluge(a Cab Sauv, Cab Franc blend) and a 2006 Westrey Pinot Noir.  Both were excellent, and I think everybody enjoyed them thoroughly.  I hadn’t tried the Westrey before, and it was a fine example of what a Willamette Valley Pinot should be – bold and tart, with tastes of cherry and black raspberry.  I will certainly seek out their Pinots again.  We also opened a 2006 Matthews Estate Syrah – their Blackboard edition.  Sumptuous.  One the white side, we enjoyed an Inox Chardonnay by Chehalem, a perennial favorite, and a Carlton Cellars Sauvignon Blanc called Proposal Rock.  My friend Tiffany was extremely disappointed that the Proposal Rock was a bottle we picked up on a trip in Oregon – I think she was very tempted to steal the bottle.  Who could blame her?  I bought a couple of bottles of that one when we were down in Oregon last, since I liked it so much.

We got to do “the tour” for everybody – who doesn’t love “the tour”?  I think everybody liked the home as much as we do.  And one of  the best parts is that now that we have a real guest room with more than a single bed, we can have more houseguests!  And they can even have their own bathroom!

Now I need to finish organizing the garage and get rid of the remaining piles of cardboard that are waiting to go to the curb.  But that can wait one more day.

A Home Buying Wine Tour

So, it’s one week until closing. We are just waiting, and getting the last bit of our packing finished. Our financing has been finalized for weeks, so other than packing, we really haven’t had a lot to do. Our buyer, however, is still not ready to go with her financing and it is making me nervous. Her mortgage officer is trying to reassure our agent that everything will be ready to go by closing, but I’m still nervous. I can’t understand why it should be taking so long if things are happening as they should. So, in the meantime, I’m trying not to think about it.  Yes, I’ll admit it – I try to be very organized about these things, and it annoys me to no end when other people are not, if it affects my world. And this certainly affects my world.

I have been a bit absorbed with this whole home process lately, and my wine and travel blog has been suffering. We haven’t had time to do much wine tasting! I’m looking forward to turning that around once we move and get some semblance of a normal life back. That said, we did do a local mini-tour last weekend in honor of harvest weekend with Jon’s mom and sister. We went to two local wineries – Willow Tree and Glacial Lake Missoula.

Willow Tree Vineyards is a new winery in the area, having opened their tasting room in April. As you drive in, it certainly doesn’t look like much. There is a ramshackle single-wide trailer on the driveway to the winery, and the winery itself is housed in a non-descript pole building. Which isn’t that uncommon for wineries in this area. Don’t let that deter you. Once you walk inside, the tasting room is tastefully decorated, with a fireplace, comfy seating, and a stand-up tasting bar. They also have had chocolates and cheese and crackers out each time I’ve been there, which is a huge bonus. I’m usually hungry in the afternoon, and the nibbles are great to hold me over until dinner. The co-owner is usually serving, and she is warm and friendly and knowledgeable about their wines. It is a winery where you feel welcome!

Willow Tree has several whites, including a Sauvignon Blanc, two vintages of Chardonnay and Viognier, and a Pinot Gerwurztraminer. My favorite of these is the Sauvignon Blanc, which has a crisp minerality that I enjoy. Jon likes their more heavily oaked Chardonnay. Willow Tree is currently having a labeling issue with the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency) on their “waiting to be released” Blue Heaven, which is a Blueberry Riesling. Yes, Riesling combined with Blueberry juice. We got to barrel taste it, and it was delicious. Which makes the fact that the ATF has now rejected 7 versions of the label especially frustrating for Jon’s mom and me, as we have to continue to wait to buy it! Willow Tree also has several good reds, including a Carmenere, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc. Unfortunately, all the reds are currently sold out except for the Cab Franc. So, we are eagerly awaiting next year’s releases. What a nice problem for a new winery to have!

After we left Willow Tree, we headed out to Blaine to visit our favorite local winery, Glacial Lake Missoula. Tracey was holding down the fort with a friend, as Tom took a trip down to Oregon to pick up grapes. They are branching out and producing a Chardonnay and a Gamay Noir. I’m very excited about both. The Chardonnay will be another “enrobed” wine, which is Tom’s name for a white wine that is colored (and flavored) with the skins of red grapes. A white wine that looks like a red. And depending on the temperature you serve it at, it can taste completely different. Their current “enrobed” wine is a Marsanne, which is excellent, so I can’t wait to see what they do with the Chardonnay. And Gamay Noir is one of my favorite varietals, so I’m super-excited to try this one. Of course, as they are just crushing now, both wines have awhile until release. It is just so hard to wait!

I’m sensing a theme with this post. Waiting…. One of my least favorite things to do. Hopefully in one more week, the wait for the house will be over. Stay tuned.

P.S.  After posting this, I learned that our buyer’s loan docs are finalized and at the title company!  So everything should be good to go now!