Tag Archive | Oregon wines

2011 Panther Creek Pinot Noir Winemaker’s Cuvée

My weeks have been tough lately.  Working long hours, on tough stuff.  I’m wiped out and it’s only Wednesday!

Jon opened up a 2011 Panther Creek Pinot Noir Winemaker’s Cuvée last night.  I was still finishing off a bottle of Chehalem Riesling (delicious!), so I didn’t have a glass of the Pinot until tonight.  I poured myself a glass to pair with a quick dinner of Gardenburger and edamame, and settled in to relax.  On the nose, this wine has that characteristic Pinot pickle aroma, as well as an earthy aroma.

On the palate, this wine is bold; earthy with lots of tobacco and spice on top of overripe cherries.  I love it.  It is delicious, making me wonder if it was even better last night!  This wine is definitely turning my evening around.

I couldn’t really find any information on this wine online, so I suppose you’ll have to take my word for it that it is great.  Panther Creek is located in McMinnville, Oregon, and they just opened a new tasting room in Dundee, Oregon too.

Have you had Panther Creek wines?  What are you drinking tonight?

Melrose Vineyards 2010 Pinot Gris

I’m ready for spring.  Apparently, Mother Nature is not.  It has been cold and rainy for days – stopping only long enough to taunt us into thinking the weather might improve.  As of April 11, it has already rained 1.82 inches for the month, when the average for the entire month of April is 2.59 inches.  Today the sky dumped a lot more rain, but that isn’t calculated into the total until tomorrow.

So to celebrate spring, and our commitment to keep trying new wines that we haven’t tried before, I opened a bottle of the Melrose Vineyards 2010 Pinot Gris.  I purchased it on our most recent trip to Costco for $14.99.  Melrose is in Roseburg, Oregon, on the banks of the South Umpqua River.  Melrose started growing grapes in 1996 for their first vintage in 1999; the winery was founded in 2000.  By the photos on their website, I think I would love a visit, especially because the tasting room is located in a 100 year old barn on the property.

At first taste, this wine had more than a hint of floral and light butter flavors.  Which was curious because this wine was aged in 100% Stainless Steel.  However, after being open for a couple of hours, those flavors had largely departed to leave a crisp Pinot Gris with apple and pear flavors.  After doing a little research, I discovered that Melrose aged 33% of the grapes Sur Lie for 4 months.  The lees are the dead yeast that are created by the fermentation process – to age a wine Sur Lie means that the winemaker does not filter out the lees through a process known as racking.  I think that yeasty flavor was what I was picking up at the beginning.

Melrose Vineyards 2010 Pinot Gris

Melrose Vineyards 2010 Pinot Gris

Overall, I enjoyed this wine quite a bit.  With my busy week at work, I didn’t have much time at home in the evenings, so I actually had this wine for four days before Jon polished off the bottle.  The wine held up very nicely until the end.  My recommendation would be to let the bottle breathe for a while after opening, particularly if you like a crisper style of Pinot Gris.  And if you try this wine, let me know what you think!