Saturday, March 22, 2008

Oregon Pinot Noir

My uncle was a wine lover. I’ve only recently begun my wine quest adventures and with his recent passing, I do feel a bit of remorse that I wasn’t able to talk to him more about his wine knowledge and learn from him a bit. I did learn, however, that he was a bit put out my recent panning of the Pinot Noir varietal ( and suggested I needed to try some Oregon Pinot Noir’s. So, while visiting Eugene for his memorial, that’s what I did.

King Estate Winery ( is only about 20 minutes from my uncle’s house. It was started by the King Family (of aviation radio fame King Radio) in 1991. They are most known for their Pinot Gris but have a large estate and produce several other varietals including Pinot Noir.

We tried three different Pinot Noir’s from this vineyard – their entry level Pinot, their Signature series, and a Pinot made by the winemaker. All were excellent and didn’t leave me with disappointed expectations. I also think that my price scale needed to adjust – the cheapest bottle of the three I tried was $20. Pinot Noir is a more difficult grape and so to get a decent bottle the cost goes up to the $20-$50 range.

We tried the King’s Next Pinot Noir and did a little interesting comparison. We decanted one bottle and then compared it against the pop-and-pour bottle. The PAP bottle had a steely metallic finish that made it quite unpleasant, to be honest, and would have reaffirmed all my assumptions of PN. But, decanting the wine brought out some subtle but ripe fruit in the mouth and completely removed the metallic aftertaste in the finish. For me, it was a very nice wine when decanted but almost undrinkable right out of the bottle.

Stay tuned for more on the Oregon Pinot’s… in honor of my uncle I plan on continuing a quest of discovering the allure and intrigue of this grape and Oregon’s Bordeaux-like growing region.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Chateau de Seward

2 members spent 2 days working in Seward and, at the last minute, were sent with a bottle
of Orphelin '04 by Chateau Ste.Michelle. Thanks to fellow member(my spouse)
for thinking of it!!
A huge blend of many, many varietals that claims to be Rhone-style.
It's slightly fruity but does have a very "Old World" finish. We enjoyed it with
Trader Joe's Dark chocolate and it went well.
True to our group, we relish chances to drink and eat well with good friends.