Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Day In The Willamette Valley - Part 3, Wild Aire

By contrast with Byron's crowd, Wild Aire across the street had three occupants; Jean and Matt Driscoll and Matt's guitar. That was it and you know, it's too bad. These folks know how to make wine, but they're sure flying under the radar - at least in the "usual suspects" of Portland local retail. OTOH, they're pretty widely available in McMinnville, Eugene, Salem and at Wine Club and K&L in California along with some nice restaurants in Oregon and some PLCB stores. Go figure.

They're getting fruit from some pretty nice spots, I'll tell you. Shea, Momtazi, Clay Court, Zenith, Illahe and one I'm not familiar with in the Chehalem Mountain AVA, Lia's. The wines - at least the three pinot noirs I tasted - are right in my wheelhouse with gentle power, heady aromas, high acids and low oak levels. All were good and fairly-priced, but I was especially taken with the 2009 Clay Court, which comes from a Parrett Mountain vineyard formerly known as Eastburn and now owned by Elk Cove. The vineyard is Laurelwood over Jory, so the wine shows a lot of red fruit character and it's really pretty. Naturally it's the most expensive of the bunch at $42. The "Timothy", their basic bottling, is $20 and worth every cent. 

If they're available near you take a chance on a bottle or two - or get some shipped to you. You won't regret it.

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