Monday, February 11, 2013

Ahh . . . it's been a long time since I've posted. Longer than I'd thought. Here's a little tidbit for anyone who is still reading.

Went on a little jaunt on my vacation day yesterday and tasted a few things. First stop was at Seven of Hearts (I work there sometimes) where I ran into Beau Carufel and Becky Kramer who were out abusing their livers as usual.

2011 Mahonia Vineyard Chardonnay
This is Byron's best chardonnay yet, from a guy who has a six-year run of nice chardonnays. Nice green apple and pear with a bit of citrus and the barest hint of oak. 

2011 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
An acid-head's dream. Will need some time in the bottle but it's a great buy for $20. A true food wine. Back up the truck if you like the style, which was greatly dictated by 2011's weather.

2011 Lia's Vineyard Pinot Noir
Really backward, as opposed to the 2010 that was open for business from the get-go. A mix of red and black fruits and very complete due to the two different co-ferments of four different clones.

2011 Armstrong Vineyard Pinot Noir
The polar opposite of the Lia's, being very approachable now whereas the 2010 was very backward in its youth. Big, powerful and dark but with considerable finesse. This is a very young vineyard destined to only get better.

2011 Durant Vineyard Pinot Noir
Quintessential Dundee Hills pinot, with lots of raspberry and strawberry flavors. Kinda hazy but that doesn't bother me at all. Also backward right now but with a great future ahead of it.

2010 Special Reserve Pinot Noir
Wow! A truly disgusting wine that borders on being an abomination ( [basic-smile.gif] for all of you who are not familiar with my pinot rating system, those are the two highest ratings). Big, round and juicy, yet powerful at the same time. 

2011 Chateau Figareaux "Tribute" (not yet released)
A blend of approximately 50% merlot, 35% cabernet sauvignon and 15% cabernet franc from the Columbia Gorge, I've been eagerly anticipating this one and I wasn't disappointed. Byron proved what he can do with Bordeaux varieties with his 2004 Harmony's Vineyard blend he made in California and this is a worthy follow-up. A far cry from the gloppy, choco-blueberry oakshakes that are so popular these days, it's a focused and pure expression of its lineage and a screaming deal at what I think will be a price point of $25. Needs bottle time or LOTS of air. 

2011 GSM (not yet released)
A real crowd-pleaser dominated by syrah. Yummy and gulpable.

Good things happening here these days from a producer previously well-known for its blackberry wine. They don't make it any more and I think that's sad, but the family is sick of me saying that. Second generation winemaker Kim Kramer has a deft hand and it shows. You need to visit if only to say hello to Kosmo and Brody, the winery dogs. Kosmo (the big one) moves at the speed of molasses. At the North Pole.

2010 Brut
Roughly half chardonnay and half pinot noir, this is a bone-dry and clean sparkler I'd be proud to serve any time. Can't find a better one for the $25 price.

2011 Rose of Pinot Noir
A big rose with lots of color that will stand up to all sorts of food. I thought I had a couple of bottles at home and couldn't find them, so I'm disappointed I didn't pick up a couple more. This would have been great with last night's jambalaya.

2010 Rebecca's Reserve Pinot Noir
Simply wonderful. Again, disgusting bordering on an abomination. Lots of spice and perfectly balanced. I'd serve this anywhere, any time, to anyone - even my burg snob friends. Well done!

Cheers, y'all. Just thought I'd share.