Category Archives: Willamette Valley

Quarterly Wine Collector’s Tasting

Wine List

  1. Champagne – 2013 Cedric Bouchard Roses de Jeanne Val Vilaine

  2. Cru Beaujolais – 2015 Marcel Lapierre Morgon Cuvée Marcel Lapierre

  3. OR Pinot Noir – 2014 Thomas Pinot Noir Dundee Hills

  4. Barolo – 1971 Barisone Barolo

  5. Barolo – 1970 Cantine Villadoria Riserva Speciale

  6. Barolo – 2000 Paolo Scavino Cannubi

  7. CA Syrah – 2014 Sine Qua Non Syrah Piranha Waterdance

  8. Vintage Port – 1985 Fonseca Porto Vintage

Barolo Education

Comparing the older style 47 and 48 year old Baroli to the newer style 18 year old was fascinating. The first two were definitely pushing the limit on age. The Barisone had lost most of its fruit and was highly oxidized, but the Cantine Villadoria still had some fruit on the palate and although it was oxidized too… there was still a fresher fruit aspect. The 2000 Scavino was very nice and just hitting its stride for my palate. Just the right balance of fruit, acidity and tannin. It was interesting to compare the aged bottles. Granted, a single instance with only a small sample, but it would appear the vicinity of 20 years seems to produce amazing Baroli for my palate.

Grower – Producer Champagne

The Bouchard Champagne to start off the night was excellent. No dosage, but still had a fruity-sweet character for a Brut. The bubbles were so fine, it was definitely a signature for this producer. This has opened a new category of Champagne for me. I intend to look for more small production, grower vintage Champagne.

Cru Beaujolais Intro

For under $30, these premium Beaujolais seem to be an interesting category to explore. I have never really been down this path, having been heavily influenced by Beaujolais Nouveau which I do not enjoy. The clean, freshness of the fruit with a nice acidic backbone – this reminded me of a quality Carneros Pinot Noir, with more of a strawberry/raspberry fruit profile. Another wine category I intend to explore moving forward.

Sine Qua Non

Second time I have tasted this producer and this was consistent with the first impression. Very fruity, but reasonably balanced profile. NOT a food wine. I would like to be aware of the hospitality expressed in sharing this wine… this is an expensive bottle, but I have to tell you… this reminds me of some Australian d’Arenberg Syrah I have in my cellar at a more reasonable price point.

Vintage Port Finish

Perfect topper for the evening. Beautiful soft, vintage port wine to finish our evening. Not overly oxidized, with a good balance of fresh & stewed fruit. This was right on what a vintage port should be!

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Filed under Barolo, Cool Climate Wine, International Wines by Region, Italian Wine, Nebbiolo, Piedmonte, Pinot Noir, Syrah/Shiraz, U.S. Wines by Region, Willamette Valley, Wine by Varietal, Wine Collecting, Wine Education, Wine Tasting, Wine Tasting Notes

2010 Sokol Blosser Rose of Pinot Noir Estate Cuvee

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Sokol Blosser Rose of Pinot Noir Estate Cuvee

Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills

Wine Tasting Note:

I was looking at some recent tasting notes on this wine and I definitely have a different view. There are those that record the gradual loss of fruit in a white/rose wine as a marker of the descent into oxidization and eventual fault. I don’t understand this thinking. Wine does not need to be a fruit bomb to be appreciated. In many quality wines, bottle age promotes balance and softens structure – qualities I enjoy very much. Apparently, this thinking does not follow the palate of many wine consumers. I prefer some bottle-age on fine whites and rose! Take a well made white/rose with solid acidity, nice texture, lower alcohol, a minimum of oak and without any one characteristic overpowering the other… put some age on it and I am sold! Doesn’t matter whether white, rose, or bubbly. The right wines almost always do improve. So, this one knocked my socks off! It is a different tasting experience than the first bottle back in 2011. Beautiful, delicate nose of strawberry, hay and herbal mint. The palate is losing the fruit, but still begins with tart strawberry and now just a hint of watermelon. A touch of butter comes through from the lees. The huge acidity has toned down a bit, but still assertive enough to surpass most of the rose I taste. This is wonderfully dry, with enough fruit to mask any bitterness. The texture on this rose is wonderful! What the winemaker did with leaving this on the lees to age for a time before bottling, is almost god-like in its brilliance. IMO, the optimal window for drinking this wine is 2014-2015. Don’t let it sit much longer, or too much of the fruit will resolve. What a great value in Rose! Oregon shines again!

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Filed under Dundee Hills, Pinot Noir, U.S. Wines by Region, Willamette Valley, Wine Tasting, Wine Tasting Notes

2008 Pamplin Family Winery Proprietary Red

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Pamplin Family Winery

Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills

Wine Tasting Note:

Nose is hot, but after the alcohol clears, the glass is full of ripe plum and blackberry, with cassis, herbal mint and a faint floral tinge. The alcohol is more integrated on the palate. The texture is soft, silky and feels wonderful in the mouth. Medium-high tannins and bright acidity. Fruit forward in the mouth with plum, blackberry and vanilla migrating to a mid-palate of milk chocolate and a medium length bitter finish with herbal and earthy over-tones. Although this was purchased from a tasting room in Oregon, I was told the the fruit was sourced from Washington State… and you can tell. I could not find information about the blend, but this has to be merlot based and whatever they blend with provides additional structure and tannins. This could use another 3-5 years in the cellar and will continue to improve.

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Filed under Bordeaux/Meritage Blend, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Wine Tasting

2009 Domaine Drouhin Laurene Oregon Pinot Noir

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Domaine Drouhin Laurene Pinot Noir

Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills

Wine Tasting Note:

The nose has red fruit and earth, with a floral influence. The palate begins with fresh red cherry under-pinned with a delicate floral note. The mid-palate transitions to black cherry and spice, then a medium short finish of earth and bitter chocolate. Medium-high acidity with slightly dusty tannins. The texture was initially silky, but became watery quickly on the mid-palate. You notice the alcohol on the finish. This wine needs more time in the cellar to reach its potential. There was a lot more going on here than a simple, fruity new-world pinot. This was very feminine in character, with a solid backbone. Another 5 years of bottle-aging and I would expect this will be very elegant and composed. I can envision this as a 10 year old pinot reaching its drinking window… add a little barnyard on the nose and Burgundy comes to mind!

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Filed under Dundee Hills, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Wine Tasting, Wine Tasting Notes