Oregon Pinot Noir/Burgundy -vs- Washington Rhones/Rhone:
What a fantastic way to kick off 2013 with fellow cellartrackers. The food at Sauvage was excellent as usual and this was a perfect venue for our event!
Too many wines, too little palate space. Sadly, with all the wines and limited time I missed 3 of the whites and the single Rhone:
2008 Domaine Thibert Père et Fils Bourgogne Blanc Saint-Veran, Burgundy, FR
2009 Erath White Pinot Noir Le Jour Magique Willamette Valley, OR
2009 Decalier Cote du Soliel White Rhone Blend Cote Du Soleil Clarksburg, CA
1999 M. Chapoutier La Sizeranne Hermitage, Rhone, FR
- 2011 Seven of Hearts Chatte d'Avignon Viognier & Roussanne - USA, Oregon, Columbia Valley
Pretty on the nose with peaches, pears, white tea and fresh cut wet grass. Flavors of apricots, pears, fresh herbs with a hint of sea salt and lime. Coating acidity, finishes cleanly and crisp.
- 2010 Crowley Chardonnay Four Winds - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
Saline fog, lime zest, sour apple and crushed basalt aromatics. Racy and layered with apples, fresh cut grass, lime and lemon curd. Finishes long, clean and bright.
- 2010 Maison Bleue Marsanne Petite Joie Boushey Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
Wafting floral notes of jasmine and orange blossom. Later revealing cantaloupe, lemon zest, amaretto and wet pavement. Essence of lovely crisp apples, pears with a good sense of minerality; slate and cement. Crisp and bright on the glycerine finish.
My favorite white of the night.
Oregon Pinot Noir and Burgundy
- 2008 Johan Vineyards Pinot Noir Three Barrel - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
Lightly scented with dark spices, brier, pomegranate and black cherry. Flavored flawlessly: crushed cranberry, cherry compote, caramel, star anise, mineral and brick notes. Powerfully framed, full and refined. Unadulterated elegance –a gorgeous wine.
My favorite Pinot Noir of the night.
- 2008 De Ponte Cellars Pinot Noir Estate - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
Lofty scents of dried cherries covered in dark chocolate with lovely elements of crushed toasted fennel seeds, dates and cherry blossoms. The persisting palate offers pomegranate, plenty of slate, mushrooms and cinnamon spiced toast. Finishes with strength, a touch of dryness and fine tannins.
- 2008 Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Noir La Bohème - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Yamhill-Carlton
Pretty cranberry, loamy soil, mushroom and black fruit immerse the nose. Red currants and light cranberry fruit flavors overlay orange peel with an inference of clove spice. Poised with a deep rooted finish.
- 2007 Antica Terra Pinot Noir - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
Pleasant brett and funk scents in line with exotic and simple baking spices and fresh cherry. Wild mushrooms, bright cherry, earth and brine on the silky refined palate. Interesting as well as boasts longevity for the acidic notes. Would love to revisit in a few years.
- 2007 Cameron Rouge Clos Electrique - USA, Oregon
Strawberry, warm caramel and intoxicating funk. Bright acids, cherries and mushrooms. Brimming with structure, density, a labyrinthine of layers, a dot of chewiness and gravely suave in texture.
- 2007 Bergström Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Yamhill-Carlton
Allspice, beaming cherry and tart blackberries. Fills the palate with chalk, slate, spiced red fruit and forest floor. Textured tannins and lovely acidity carries this through the genteel, polished and abiding finish.
- 2010 A.F. Nichols Pinot Noir Lillie's - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
Bright on the nose with pomegranate, roses, dried tarragon, stems and cherry top notes. Plenty of gleaming acidity, strawberry, cherry, loamy earth and minerals on the palate. Soft and lucid, intricately balanced with a slightly chewy finish. Needs time to integrate. Brilliant first release from a winemaker new to me.
- 1999 François Parent Pommard 1er Cru Les Rugiens - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Pommard 1er Cru
Opens with forest mushrooms, rootstalk, strawberries, urbane and funk aromas. Foreboding on the palate with lift, earth, tart raspberries and provocative underbrush. Masses of structure, enduring on the most becoming finish. This was a first for me and I feel most fortunate to have had the opportunity to sample this pedigree wine.
Washington Rhone and Rhone
- 2009 Mackey Concordia - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Starts off with warm exotic spices of cardamom, toasted coriander seed and five spice. Continues with plums, rehydrated cherries, molasses, light sage and primrose incense. Raspberry, peppered cherry and dark chocolate glide on the sanguine palate. A power driven and poised wine; with velvet qualities and a bit of brightness on the continuing finish.
- 2010 Fausse Piste Grenache Les Garçons Stoneridge - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Replete with blackberry, white pepper and fresh stems. Juicy black-raspberry, a fraction of grape candy, verdant greens, ripe with plenty of purity and refined acidity. Soft and plush on the winding finish. A speck of heat detected initially, which blew off after revisiting later in the evening.
- 2008 Cayuse Grenache God Only Knows - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
The 2008 GOK pervades the nostrils with a pure rawness, game meat, menthol, eucalyptus, blood on blood and beetroot. The palate endures with rare beef, game, smoked plums and savory. This wine is not for the shy; it is hearty, dirty, wild and untamed. Lucifer in character, this weighty Grenache is generous and seductive on the arresting finish. This will only get better over the next 5-15 years. My first Cayuse; my senses were rendered transposed.
- 2009 Maison Bleue Syrah Liberté Syrah Boushey Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
Showing a bit closed down at the top. With a bit of air: cherries, dark dried fruits, caramel and desert earth imparted. Bright cranberries, pomegranate, and vanilla spice with masculine overtones coax the palate. Smooth as cream with a bit of tannic grip on the hind palate. Give this another couple years to fully unify. This syrah is pure and breathtakingly beautiful.
- 2008 Nefarious Cellars Syrah Estate Rocky Mother - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Nicely savory with bramble, pencil shavings and spiced black fruit. Baking spices and blackberry flavors with tea leaves and wet cement at the juicy core. Tannic and slightly drying, give this plenty of air or a few more years to show its best.
- 2007 Rasa Vineyards QED - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Freshly turned top soil, raw beef, crisping bacon, graphite, Logan berries and pomegranate aromatics. Incredible symmetry, stacked with layers of olives, molasses, berry driven acidity, loam and fresh roasted coffee beans. This wine offers compelling complexity, an alluring depth and a faultless finish.
My favorite WA Rhone of the night.
Wine of the night for the entire cellartracker offline group.
- 2008 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah In the Rocks - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
This lively syrah opened with pleasant funk on the nose, game characteristics, herbs, soy sauce, cherry and rootbeer. Savory in flavor along with blackberry, undergrowth- garrigue, seeds and stems. Cultured and graceful on the almost buttery finish. Give this more lay down time to come around or at least a half a day of aeration.
- 2011 drinkSNOB.tv Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes Brut de Cuve - France, Languedoc Roussillon, Roussillon, Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes
Plums, toasted spice, brick and black tealeaf aromas intertwine with concentrated black fruit, plums and bright acidity on the palate. A slight bit of spiced heat detected, also boasting edgy tannins. Needs time to settle.
90% Grenache Noir, 10% Syrah: From the organic and biodynamic farmed vineyards of Domaine Olivier Pithon in Côtes Catalanes, Roussillon.
Very generously donated to our tasting group by the wonderful people at Sauvage/Fausse Piste. Wine made by Jeff Vejr 2011 in France.
A fantastic night was had by all. For additional information and photos see cellartracker forum for this event.