Here are notes from Friday’s “live tasting” (think speed-dating and Twitter combined). Several bloggers sat at each table and were visited by a new winery every 5 minutes who presented a wine and its back story. Here are the wines I experienced:
2009 Brooks Dry Riesling. It’s true: “petrol.”
2010 Francis Ford Coppola “Votre Santé” Chardonnay. 6 mos., French oak, 6 mos., stainless. Also a PN in their lineup. Burgundian style. Grandmother grew up in French protectorate Tunisia, spoke 4 languages. Would alway raise a glass in family events, and say “A votre santé,” so the wine was named in honor of her.
Alexana. Dundee Hills AVA. 2011 Pinot Gris, light, fresh, crisp, good acid, good minerality, clean. Green apple, lemon zest. $26 retail. 75% stainless steel, 12.5% neutral/12.5%new French oak. Slight frizzante.
Johan. 2009 Chardonnay Reserve. Organic/biodynamic certified. Golden, rich, acidity, golden, oaked. A beautiful old-style wine. 12.5%, $32. Delicious. Served warmer than usual, yet cloudy with condensation at first. Neat! 62 acres. 3,000 cases/year of all. Sold mostly out of the winery.
Benton Lane Winery. 2011 Pinot Gris, although PN producer 95%. Distributed in all 50 states, international markets too. Owned by Girard. 140 acres, sustainably farmed, whole cluster, cool ferment. Takes a month to go to dryness, vs PN, week to 10 days. Crisp acidity, lemon tart, $17, 13.5% ABV. Aromatic, VERY fruity and flavorful.
Maryhill Winery 2011 Rosé of Sangiovese. New release; will be out in 3 weeks. 85,000 cases. 15th largest in Oregon. Still family owned and operated. Nose reminiscent of Sauv. Blanc, completely different from taste. HIGHLY flavorful; round, fruity; circus peanuts candy! Yum. Columbia Valley. 12.9% ABV. Somewhat sweet, but finishes dry with acidity. $9.99.
Dr. Loosen, 2011 Dry Riesling “Red Slate.” 12.5%, Mosel Valley, Germany, $15. Slightly frizzante. Seriously good. Very cool climate, long growing season, long hang-time. In the family for 200 years. Named after the red slate soil. A lot of potassium, oxidized iron (rust); different texture, rounder, full-bodied. Everything done by hand.
2011 Torrontes, Ricuerdo (“memories”), $15, 13.5% ABV, Mendoza. Winemaker: Santiago Achaval, one of the highest rated Argentine winemakers in history (Wine Spectator). Salt, slate, mineral, stone, green, veggies. Grape excels in high desert location. Crisp acidity, citrus, cleansing, refreshing, slightly spicy finish. More fruity as it opens, still steely on the tongue.
Pepi 2011 Sauv. Blanc. Clarksburg, Lake County, CA. $8.99, 13.8% ABV. Marketed as food friendly. Stainless. Really rich, citrus pop, very pronounced, sharp SB type, some might find it over the top. 33-million gallons of wine/year, 8th largest winery in country, O’Neill.