Tag Archive | Oregon Pinot

The Bet…

The last couple of weeks have been difficult.  Work stuff, which escalated to a whole new level. Personal stuff too, which I’ll get to in a different post. Meanwhile, during some of the worst days, someone important to me made a commitment, and I questioned whether it would be kept…

I was chatting with a dear friend and mentioned the commitment, and how I was skeptical that the promise would be kept.  A bet was born.  My friend was more hopeful than I was that the commitment would be kept.  If the promise was honored, I lost the bet, and owed my friend a bottle of whisky.  If the commitment were to be broken, then I won a bottle of wine (while still sadly losing).  The specifications were either a French Champagne, or an Oregon Pinot Noir, chosen by my friend.  My favorites!

I won the bet, while sadly still losing, because the commitment was broken.  A few days later a bottle of St. Innocent 2014 Momtazi Vineyard Pinot Noir arrived.  My friend chose the bottle based on the name of the winery, without knowing that this is a winery I have been wanting to try for years…

The Tasting Notes:

This is a complex wine that reflects the heat of the afternoon sun, the cool, windy evenings, and the rustic soils of the McMinnville hills while retaining the dark beauty of its intense, ripe fruit. It is aromatically complex with layers of blue and black fruit, Indian spices, coffee hints, and pepper. In the mouth the blue/black fruit flavors and eastern spice notes are layered with a “sauvage” sense of wildness. Texturally layered, its flavors vary in intensity and quality over your tongue and palate. Ample ripe tannins balance with its acidity.

The Technical Details:

Our Momtazi Vineyard grapes come from four blocks at the top of the vineyard on steep, exposed hillsides that become quite windblown. The de-stemmed grapes were fermented in small stainless steel and Burgundy oak fermenters. After gently pressing and settling the wine aged in French oak barrels, 28% which were new, for 16 months before bottling by gravity.

Crop Level: 2.4 tons/acre
Harvest: 9/27/14
Bottled: February 2016

 

 

I opened it last night, when the work stuff had settled a bit…  I opened it while chatting with my friend – a virtual toast from thousands of miles away.  This wine turned out to be everything a perfect Pinot Noir should be.  Delicate cherry, with lots of smoky, earth tones.  The light tannins balance out the acidity.  It is very smooth, and at 13% ABV, it packs a subtle kick that creeps up on you just a little…  I think it is my new favorite Pinot Noir.

The only disappointment?  I didn’t get to share it with my friend.

Cheers.  To dear friends and a clean slate…

 

Stoller Family Estate 2015 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

With our cold snap continuing here, I went for a walk with a girlfriend this morning, stopped by the grocery store and then spent the rest of the bright, sunny, below-freezing day doing some early spring cleaning.  Rearranging, purging the old, deep cleaning, tossing old paperwork to be recycled or shredded, and hanging artwork that hasn’t seen the light of day in awhile.  It felt good to be motivated to get some more meaningful housework done.

I had some crockpot chili that I cooked up the other day, and felt like splurging a bit on a nice bottle of wine tonight.  I opened up the Stoller Family Estate 2015 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir.  It has a nose and flavors of light smoke and earth, with dark cherries and overripe blackberries.  With heavier tannins than many Pinot Noirs, it held up to the strong flavors in the chili.  I loved this wonderfully robust Willamette Valley Pinot!

Stoller Family Estate 2015 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

Stoller Family Estate 2015 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

I got mine during Safeway’s 30% off all wines over $20 sale, that they run in November (and December?).  You get an extra 10% off if you buy 6 wines too (mix and match is fine).  Fortunately for me, my brother lives in Oregon, so I stopped by their local Safeway to see what they had before heading out to drive home last time I was there.  Unfortunately for me, this is the only bottle I got of this one…

Stoller doesn’t have it on their website, although they do have the 2014 vintage.  I assume that means that they already sold out.  If you can find it, grab it!  It is delicious!

Stay warm!

Foris Vineyards 2010 Pinot Noir

I came home yesterday after a long day at work to find a full glass of this – the Foris Vineyards 2010 Pinot Noir.  Jon had wanted a Pinot, and this one fit the bill.

Foris 2010 Pinot Noir

Jon and I visited Foris in August, and enjoyed the great wine and laid back atmosphere of the tasting room.

It is a deep strawberry red – a truly beautiful color.  On the nose, it is fairly mellow, with scents of ripe sweet cherries and sun-warmed blackberries.  On the palate – it was delicious.  It is a nice medium-bodied Pinot, with predominantly cherry flavors but enough earth and spice to make it really interesting.

It was aged in a combination of once-used and neutral oak French barrels, which really displays the fruit flavors.  It is lovely at 13% alcohol, but if you are like me and find that your husband poured a larger glass than you expected, and you didn’t eat much for dinner, you might find yourself a little tipsy!  Not that you would admit it, of course…

If you have tried this wine, I hope you will let me know what you thought!  Cheers – it’s almost the weekend!

2006 Carter Vineyard Hillblock Pinot Noir

So, usually you hear about the winery being the star of the show.  Tonight’s wine turned that all on it’s head.  Tonight I’m drinking the 2006 Carter Vineyard Hillblock Pinot Noir.  Yes, that’s right, this wine is named for its vineyard.  This vineyard was planted in 1983 (long before I ever learned to like wine) and the wine is produced by Ken Wright.  Ken Wright also makes a Carter Vineyard Pinot Noir under the Ken Wright label.

This Pinot has a nose of earth, black cherry, raspberry and smoke, and it has a silky texture and a tart acidity.  It tastes of subtle raspberry, spice and smoke.  The new French oak that this wine was aged in provides a nice balance to the tannins.  2006 was a year for big, bold Pinots and this wine is no exception. I suppose my only critique would be that it is a bit short on the finish.

Jon opened it on a whim and it paired nicely with my frozen pepperoni and veggie pizza (in case you were thinking I was a wine snob, I think I just gave myself away!).  Tomorrow perhaps I’ll have my other glass with something more sophisticated – macaroni and cheese with cut up hotdogs maybe!  Ha!

All kidding aside – excellent vineyard, excellent winemaker, excellent wine.  Really, you can’t go wrong with Ken Wright produced wines, and I believe Carter Vineyard also supplies grapes to Domaine Serene, another standout wine producer.  Makes me wish we had more…