When Jon and I were down in Seattle in October for the Calexico concert and the King Tut exhibit, we walked down to Pike Place Market one afternoon. While we were there, we stopped in for a minute at the Pike and Western Wine Shop, which is just to the north of the market. It advertises itself as having a local focus (Oregon and Washington wines), but it also has various wines from around the world.
A bottle of J. Albin Pinot Noir piqued my interest. We tried a few J. Albin wines a couple of years back at a Memorial Day weekend wine tasting at Carlton Cellars (you can read that post here), and I was pleased with the wines. So the fact that this one had a very reasonable price tag ($14 for an Oregon Pinot Noir) made me pick up the bottle and bring it home. Jon and I opened it up the other night.
The wine has flavors of strawberry, cherry and a light spice. Not a lot of structure, and I don’t think it will age (Pinots don’t age all that long anyway…), but it is very drinkable. It is grown in the Laurel Vineyard, which is one of the older vineyards in the Willamette Valley, on young vines. I think this a wine that could certainly improve as the vines mature. This will be one to watch for!
Tasting number six at Carlton Cellars was Barking Frog Winery. Barking Frog does Pinot, but they also do several Syrahs and a Cabernet and that’s what they were tasting that day. The wines were good, but this trip was more about the Pinots for us. Interestingly the source quite a bit of their fruit from Crawford Vineyard in Prosser, which is where Mt. Baker Vineyards gets a lot of its fruit. The taste of the wine is quite different, showing that it’s as much the winemaking as it is the grapes.
And finally, we hit number seven, J. Albin Winery. We started out here with a Pinot Gris, which I thought was fantastic. It had the right amount of sweetness, and it was one that I truly enjoyed. I got a bottle for myself and one for my sister in law and brother, as a thank you for letting us stay at their house. We also tried their Late Harvest Pinot Noir, which surprisingly, Jon wanted to buy. Jon doesn’t typically go for sweet wines, so when he wants to buy a dessert wine, I know it’s good. Of course, I didn’t need Jon’s tastebuds to tell me that, because I already knew that it was excellent.
And with that, we reached the end of the marathon. We were exhausted! Well, not really, but we were ready for a break. We rounded up our purchases, and headed back to the car. Good thing that it was almost time for dinner.