Catching up on Notes from the Road: Thursday and Friday

Thursday was PACKED with activity: a visit to Montinore Vineyard in the morning with some BEAUTIFUL wines. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED is their Borealis white blend: 38% Riesling, 24% Müller-Thurgau, 23% Pinot Gris, 15% Gewürztraminer. This wine was INTENSELY aromatic and equally flavorful with floral and green apple. At 11.5% and $13 or so, it is my new house white.

Next was the journey to the top of a mountain, complete with ear-popping and the group silently wondering if the bus would be able to make it to the top. I’m sure we were all
meditating, “I think I can.”

After a lunch and espresso, we visited Hawks View winery. We sampled several wines
including a white Pinot Noir (very interesting), which was pressed with skins for just two hours; Syrah, Cab, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and a huge Pinot Gris that was intensely fruity and aromatic with 13.5% ABV.

Then back to the hotel for check-in, then the 7:30 opening reception. Oregon winemakers are known for Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, but are experimenting successfully with Riesling. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED is the Argyle 2010 Medium-Dry Riesling ($18, 13%), which promised green apple and delivered that as well as lychee and spice. Just delicious and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, as is Anam Cara’s version.

Another HIGHLY RECOMMENDED selection from the reception: Amity Vineyards, 2009 Pinot Blanc (91% Pinot Bland, 9% Auxerrois, an Alsace variety), all stainless, no malo,
13.5%, $15.

Visited the Blakeslee Vineyard Estate table; we might be related, as we both have relatives who hail from Pennsylvania. Great wines, too.

At 10:00, a few of us were picked up by the sommelier and social media manager of Watershed Communications, and taken to the basement/cellar/tasting room of Portland Wine Storage, where we tasted vertical flights of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from 2002-2008. Details to follow.

Back to the hotel at 12:30, talked with roommate, discussed sleeping anomalies and temperature/white-sound preferences, and hit the sack.

On the schedule Friday: Argentine wine tasting, brunch, tango demonstrations in the morning; winemaker Randall Grahm (Bonny Doon) gave a keynote speech at 12:30; live wine blogging (whites and rosés) early afternoon; 2:30 boarded a “mystery bus” to a winery including a magical dinner and tasting; back to the hotel for the “Night of Many Bottles” featuring wines provided and shared by the 350 bloggers who are here. To be truthful I was so full of food, wine, and contentment (as well as still being on East Coast time) that when we arrived back at the hotel at 11, I went to bed rather than the “Night of Many Bottles.”

Details and photos to follow. Cheers!

This entry was posted in Gewurztraminer, Oregon, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris), Riesling, Tastings. Bookmark the permalink.

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