IPNC: notes on 33 Pinot Noirs from Oregon

The International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) is held each July in McMinnville, Oregon. This was my third time at this remarkable event, which brings together consumers and trade in a happy celebration of this thrilling grape variety, in the lovely setting of the Linfield College grounds. Over the course of the weekend, I tried quite [...]

Brooks: Pinot Noir and Riesling from this top Oregon estate

The view from the Brooks tasting room

Brooks is one of Oregon’s unsung stars. Their 14 000 case production is split among many small lots, with the largest fermentation in the winery occurring in 2.5 ton fermenters. They source from a range of growers. They’ve also focused more on a direct to consumer model, which [...]

Texsom: some Oregon whites

Today’s team lunch at Texsom featured Oregon wines. But no reds! This was a chance to look at some of Oregon’s whites, and also to branch out beyond the Willamette Valley a little. The wines were presented by Bree Boskov, and these are my notes.

Big Table Farm Chardonnay 2015 Willamette Valley, Oregon
There’s a lovely intensity [...]

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 [...]

Highlights from the Washington State and Oregon tasting

These were some of the highlights from this week’s Washington State and Oregon tasting. Some really lovely wines from the Pacific Northwest.

Gramercy Cellars Forgotten Hills Syrah 2014 Walla Walla, Washington State, USA
From the coolest vineyard in Walla Walla this is a deliciously nuanced Syrah made from grapes harvested in October. It’s fresh, livey and peppery with [...]

Wines of the year (7) top wines from California and Oregon

Arnot Roberts Peter Martin Ray Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 Santa Cruz Mountains, California
This vineyard was planted in the 1940s by Rusty Ray, and the vines that make this wine were planted in 1979. It’s a three-acre block and they get three tons from it, and it’s described as organic by neglect (it’s disced, dry farmed, [...]

Underwood: Oregon wine in a can

Underwood wines come in 375 ml cans. It’s striking packaging. I was curious, so I bought a pair to try, for $5.99 each from World Foods in Portland, Oregon. They are made by Union Wine Company. They have the admirable goal of demystifying wine and making affordable, decent wine available so everyone can enjoy it, [...]

In Oregon: Beckham Estate Vineyard

Andrew and Annedria Beckham (pictured above) are making some of Oregon’s most compelling wines, and they have a great story, too.

We visited their property in Parrett Mountain (in the Chehalem Mountains AVA) on a gorgeous afternoon. They have 6.5 acres of Pinot Noir, plus an acre of Riesling, which they farm organically. They are planning [...]

The 2014s from Evening Land: Oregon's new pacesetter

Yesterday I got to taste the as yet unreleased 2014s from Evening Land Vineyards. This is the first step in a new phase of the project, which is based on the Seven Springs Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills of Oregon. Rajat Parr and Sashi Moorman (Domaine de la Côte and Sandhi from the Santa Rita [...]

Extended tasting note: Brooks Ara Riesling 2008 and Brooks Janus 2008, Willamette Valley, Oregon

Sometimes, short tasting notes don’t really tell you all that much about a wine. So, in the past, I’ve tried to write the occasional extended tasting note, bringing in the context of the drinking experience and dwelling a little longer on the wine. I tried this sitting outside in the late evening yesterday, here at [...]