Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love for Oregon Wines

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Happy Valentine's Day everyone!! It's no secret that I have a serious love affair with wine so upon my relocation to Portland, Or., it is also no surprise that I didn't waste much time diving right into some serious wine tasting. This past weekend, after visiting the beautiful but dormant rose garden, my family and I decided to warm up at the bar of Southpark Seafood. Being the wine geek that I am, the wine list provided some great reading material. (Seriously, if you want to have a conversation with me over dinner don't take me to a restaurant that has a great wine list, my nose will remain in the book for the majority of the meal.)

After a much agonizing decision making process, I settled on a 2010 Domaine des Cassagnoles Colombard, Petit Manseng and Ugni Blanc blend. I know, I know not from Oregon but from the Gascony region south of Bordeaux. But this was one hell of a wine retailing for around $12 a bottle! This wine encompassed everything I love about white wine. It has minerality, white flowers, chalk and even a grassy element. Doesn't sound like the most appealing combination but trust me on this one.

With my palate excited by this french white blend, I was ready to transition to some Oregon pinots. When in Rome, right? This lead me to taste two pinots from Belle Pente. Based in the Yamhill-Carlton region of the Willamette Valley and founded by Jill and Brain O'Donnell in 1994. It is an organic and biodynamic vineyard site with just over 16 acres planted with Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay. The 2007 Belle Pente Murto really stood out to me. Heavier in body than the 2008 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and paired great with the cheese plate. Both wines provided great complexity and subtleness, I highly recommend checking them out.

Lastly, I tasted a wine which truly blew me away! Immediately after smelling and tasting this wine, I was convinced it was from Europe. I would have argued it to my death but even best trained palates can be taken by surprise which is what I love so much about wine! This amazing wine was the 2008 Ransom Cabernet Franc. Unlike any Cab Franc I have tasted being produced in the states before. I immediately felt like I was sitting on the coast of Spain. This is a winery high on my list to visit. They were recently featured in this month's Oregon Wine Press, you can read more about them here. They also distill spirits which includes a Gewurztraminer Grappa! Oh my, here I come!

With many more winery visits lined up over the next couple of weeks, you can be sure I will be sharing more of my Oregon tasting experiences!

Sending each of you lots of love and may you experience some romance in a bottle today!

Santé!
Charlotte :)