Tasting Eyrie, Oregon's Pinot pioneer, with Jason Lett

Jason Lett

This week while I was in McMinnville I had a chance to taste through the Eyrie range with Jason Lett. Back in the mid-1960s Jason’s dad, David, planted the first Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the Willamette Valley, Oregon (there’s a bit of history, including pictures of the original plantings, here). Jason has [...]

Some wine folk, Oregon and beyond, snapped this week

I’m leaving Oregon tonight after a very successful International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC). Over the course of the last four days, at the celebration and also today in Portland, I met quite a few wine folk. Here are some of them, captured on camera.

Ehren Jordan, of Failla. Making beautifully balanced Californian wines, Ehren began his [...]

Blending Pinot Noir clones

During the International Pinot Noir Celebration in Oregon, one of the events is a vineyard visit. The delegates are split into groups and each visits a different vineyard. Our group went to Willakenzie in Yamhill-Carlton.

During the visit we went to the cellar for a fun exercise. We were given three cask samples of the 2016 [...]

Tasting the debut (2000) wines from Quinta de Chocapalha, Lisboa, Portugal

It was a real treat to try the first two wines made from this domaine. Back in 2002 I attended a dinner in the Douro at which several winemakers gathered to present their work. At the time, Sanrda Tavares was the winemaker at Quinta do Vale D Maria, working alongside Cristiano van Zeller. She brought [...]

i4C - more interesting Chardonnays from Canada and beyond

Here are some more notes on Chardonnays tasted at the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Symposium (i4C). Many are from Ontario, but there are also wines from other parts of Canada, and a few from other countries, too.

Joie En Famille Reserve Chardonnay 2015 Okanagan Valley, Canada
Ripe, sweetly fruited and nicely textured with pear and ripe apple, [...]

i4C cool climate Chardonnay conference, some highlights

If you are going to have a conference on a single white grape variety, from a drinking point of view, Chardonnay is probably the best choice. Over the weekend at the i4C we tasted and drank a lot of Chardonnay. These are some of the highlights.

Tara Atacama White Wine 1 2014 Atacama Valley, Chile
Wild yeast, [...]

i4C school of cool part 2, winemaking and Chardonnay

Earlier I reported on session 1 of School of Cool, part of the 2017 international cool climate Chardonnay celebration here in Niagara, Canada. Session 2 delved into winemaking decisions with Chardonnay. Winemakers on the panel discussed their winemaking choices and how these were reached, and what the effect on the wine is.

These included Adam Mariani [...]

i4C School of Cool, part 1: the influence of soil on the flavour of Chardonnay

The opening event of the Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (i4C), School of Cool, kicked off with a session on soil.

Dr Paul Anamosa began the session talking about the impact of soil on wine flavour. What does the soil provide to the vines? What does vineyard management have to do with this?

Paul talked about what the [...]

Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2015

Quinta do Noval have lately become known for what the English wine trade describe quaintly as ‘eccentric’ declarations. They released a vintage Port in 2013, for example. Now they’ve released 2015. It’s not a surprise, because 2015 was a really good vintage, and I’m surprised more people haven’t declared it. Of course, these days there’s [...]

Sidecar Tinto NV Portugal: a bi-regional, amphora-aged beauty

This is a lovely wine. It’s a collaboration between Susana Esteban (who works in the Alentejo), and Filipa Pato and William Wouters (who work in Bairrada). Half of the wine comes from Portalegre in the Alentejo, and half is Baga from Bairrada. It’s made in amphora.

Susana created the Sidecar brand with a view to working [...]