Anam Cara Vertical Tasting

Dietra's House, Portland OR
Tasted Saturday, February 21, 2009 by RPerro with 762 views

Introduction

Myself and wine-loving friends Trish and Dietra organized a vertical tasting of the Pinot Noirs of Anam Cara Cellars (Anam Cara is Gaellic for "friend of my soul"). We ended up with at least one bottle of every Pinot Noir the winery has released to date, as well as a Riesling and Late Harvest Gewurztraminer dessert wine. It was a great event! Thanks to Nick and Sheila Nicholas at Anam Cara Cellars for the tasting notes, as well as the very generous donation of a bottle of their 2003 Pinot Noir! Also, thanks to Timothy Nishimoto at Vino Paradiso for the nifty wine pouring spouts.

Flight 1 - Pre-Vertical Wines (3 Notes)

A selection of random wines to quaff as we waited for guests to arrive.

Flight 2 - 2004 Anam Cara Pinot Noir (2 Notes)

  • 2004 Anam Cara Pinot Noir Nicholas Estate 87 Points

    USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains

    Color is a brownish red, quite lighter than I remember. Nose of leather and cherries. On the palate, sweet cherry fruit, lots of leather and tobacco, and a sour cherry finish. No tannic structure to speak of, but nice acidity. Probably nearing the end of its drinking window.

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  • 2004 Anam Cara Pinot Noir Estate Reserve 89 Points

    USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains

    Color is a brick red, not as brownish as the regular 2004 Estate wine. Nose of subdued leather, with cherry and raspberry fruit. More body in the mouth than the Estate, and much smoother as well. This seems to be holding up better. Sweet cherry and raspberry fruit, and a touch of tannins on the finish.

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Flight 3 - 2005 Anam Cara Pinot Noir (3 Notes)

  • 2005 Anam Cara Pinot Noir Nicholas Estate 90 Points

    USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains

    Ruby red color. Nose is tight, not giving me anything at first, then grudgingly throwing me a tiny hint of raspberries. The taste is much better. More fresh and bright than the 2004s, although tighter as well. Fairly complex, with a chocolate raspberry dessert flavor, ending with a bitter, earthy/tobacco finish. I dig the complexity of this one.

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  • 2005 Anam Cara Pinot Noir Estate Reserve 90 Points

    USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains

    Color is identical to the 2005 Estate, ruby red. Nose is the best so far, with a lovely earthy raspberry and cherry aroma. Taste is quite tannic, with some cherry flavors, and a bit of alcohol heat on the finish. This may have been better if we had decanted it. It seemed to calm down as the night wore on, and I revisited it several times. One taster wanted to combine this nose with the flavors of the 2005 Estate to make 'the perfect wine'.

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  • 2005 Anam Cara Pinot Noir Heather's Vineyard 92 Points

    USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains

    Decanted 1 hour. Color is identical to the 2005 Reserve. The nose has similar aromas, but more sweetness than the Reserve. On the palate, I get fresh raspberries, tobacco, earth and a nice chocolatey finish.

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Flight 4 - 2006 Anam Cara Pinot Noir (4 Notes)

  • 2006 Anam Cara Pinot Noir Nicholas Estate 93 Points

    USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains

    Color is a bit darker ruby than the 2005s. Nose of toasty oak, leather and raspberry, following to the palate. The oak is really evident, and in my opinion, makes the wine very enjoyable. Long finish of sweet cherry fruit wrapped in saddle leather.

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  • 2006 Anam Cara Pinot Noir Heather's Vineyard 91 Points

    USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains

    Decanted 1 hour. Color is a bright ruby, shimmering in the glass. Nose of black cherry, oak and some pepper(?). In the mouth, this wine is tight and oaky, despite the decanting time. Black cherry flavors rule the roost, with some leather and pepper and a sharply tannic finish.

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  • 2006 Anam Cara Pinot Noir Estate Reserve 93 Points

    USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains

    Decanted 2 hours. Color is a dark maroon, the darkest so far. Nose of coffee or mocha...wow. Some leather there as well. Flavors of spicy black cherry, leather and a nice coffee finish. Some tannins evident, but controlled nicely by the acidity and fruit. Some oak is present as well, but not standing out as much as the 2006 Estate.

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  • 2006 Anam Cara Pinot Noir Mark I 94 Points

    USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains

    Decanted 2 hours. Color is a duplicate of the 2006 Reserve. Nose is huge! Peppery raspberries and earth. Taste is really spicy! Lots of pepper coming through, wrapping around the black cherry and raspberry fruit, and finishing with the zing of tobacco. Astounding wine...may be my Wine of the Night.

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Flight 5 - 2003 Anam Cara Pinot Noir (1 Note)

A donation from the winery!

  • 2003 Anam Cara Pinot Noir Nicholas Estate 93 Points

    USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains

    This was a gift from the winery, their first release. Color is the darkest Pinot Noir I'vr ever seen! Almost looks like a Cabernet. Nose is super-sweet and perfumed, very port-like. On the palate, this does NOT taste like Pinot! More like a port, with sweet blackberry fruit, and a lonnnng earthy finish. A great wine to end the red tasting with. Someone said this is a great wine to enjoy with a cigar after a big steak dinner. It was definitely the crowd favorite, coming in #2 for me.

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Flight 6 - Dessert Wine (1 Note)

Closing

View photos of the event at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rperro/sets/72157614223174991

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