Archive for April, 2016

another wine-ish weekend

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Passover is built around wine, right?

We needed to pick up our wine club shipment from Ardiri and they were having a trivia night, so we went there Friday night. Yes, the first night of Passover – we took some cheese and sausage and had some (store-bought, and unfortunately not very good) matzo ball soup when we got home. This club shipment includes their 2015 Pink Tractor rose and their 2012 Select Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. I’m not that fond of the Rose, at least not yet, but of course it may always mellow. After our tasting we ended up buying a bottle of a 2012 Pinot Noir, but I’m I think it was their usual Oregon Pinot, not the same Select as in the club shipment. I’m not completely sure because Ted bought it, and though we brought half the wine home and finished it later, it’s already gone out to the recycle bin. The one we bought was smooth and spicy, as usual – I say it’s the Oregon wine, because Ardiri generally has one wine from thhis part of Oregon, one from their California vineyard in Carneros, and one blend of the two. We did do fairly well in the trivia contest; I think most of the teams had more than our two people, but we were third or so. Trivia games always make me wish to have my family with me!

On Saturday, we went out to Gran Moraine for the release party for their 2014 Pinot Noir. It was a bit upscale, as their events tend to be. They were serving a Chardonnay and four Pinots Noir – their regular Pinot and their Estate Reserve, each in 2013 and 2014 incarnations. With these, they had several amuse-bouche-style pairings – things like a burrata cheese, lamb with a thing like an unfilled cream puff on top, a morsel of duck folded around a tiny mushroom with a strawberry on top, and so on. We bought a bottle of the 2014 (regular, not Reserve) to bring home for our not-quite-a-Seder roast chicken dinner. Ted’s still not sure, but I preferred the 2014 version to the 2013; it’s got a stronger fruit note and lacks an odd stone flavor that was very noticeable in the 2013. They’re both fairly young, though, so it will be interesting to see how they mature. Last year we really liked Gran Moraine’s Rose of Pinot Noir, but unfortunately that won’t be out until Memorial Day.

Gran Moraine
2014 Pinot Noir
Yamhill-Carlton, Oregon
bought at the vineyard
With roast chicken ad a roast potato/tomato salad with a mustard vinaigrette dressing. The wine has warm spice notes at the beginning that linger throughout, atop definite berry notes. Tannins build toward the finish. Ted thinks aging may improve the wine.
Paula: 4.0 – I think this was worth $25, though maybe not the $45 it actually cost
Ted: 3.0 at $20

Monday, April 18th, 2016

This was a regatta weekend, meaning that it was low on wine, even though none of us actually ended up racing, due to high wind conditions on both Saturday and Sunday. (Having actually started out and road in that water, I can report that they definitely made the right call.)

However, Saturday evening on the lake just wouldn’t be right without wine, so we did have just a little bit Saturday night with our food.

Cherry Hill
2013, Pinot Noir
Eola-Amity Hills, OR
Bought at Costco
With salad and various grilled skewered stuff. Cherry flavors in front with an earthy finish.
Paula: 3.0 Ted 2.8 Our friend Rebecca: 2.8

Even when you don’t race, regatta weekends are still very tiring (I logged 21000 steps on my tracker, over twice my daily goal and a new personal record) so the wine we had back home in Hillsboro Sunday night was well deserved. We didn’t actually have it with dinner, after deciding to have waffles – haven’t figured out what a good wine pairing for waffles would be, given that we don’t tend to like dessert wines.

Sokol Blosser
2015, rose of Pinot noir
Bought at the winery on our Dundee trip
On its own, without food
Like in flavor, peach in color. A bit tangy in the middle, with a hint of grapefruit and rhubarb syrup (I made some last year which is how we know that last bit). Not much finish.
Paula: 3.5 (would be just right on a hot afternoon) Ted: 2.9

catching up

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

Oops – haven’t written here in a couple of weeks! Worse, some of the wines we drank in that time were at the lake house, and I forgot to write about them or take notes (or photograph the page) so I could write them up later. However, we do have a few wines I hadn’t written up including the one from tonight.

Keeler Estate
2015 Pinot Noir
Eola-Amity Hills, OR
from the vineyard, on our Dundee trip
Sweet baking spices in front, rich flavors but not the usual fruit; some effervescence on the palate (pétillant – I learned a new word!) with earth and subtle flavors on the finish. We actually bought this more because the woman at the vineyard was very forceful (and because by then we’d bought wine at every vineyard and hated to break our streak), but we like it more at home than we did on first tasting.
Ted: 3.6 Paula 4

2015 Pinot Noir Rose
Eola-Amity Hills, OR
from the vineyard, Dundee trip
Aaand this one we liked less than our orginal tasting (we’d had a *lot* of wine by then).
We drank this by itself, without food. (Actually, I got stuck in a meeting at work until 8PM and Ted texted me “I have declared this Rose Night. Better hurry home before it’s all gone!”) Smooth and slippery texture. Flavor week at the start, concentrated at the end, with tart flavors of oak and citrus.
Paula 2.5, Ted 2.8

2012 Merlot
Washington State
probably bought at New Seasons
With grilled flatiron state, grilled kale rabe, and homemade bread. Dark fruit flavors in front, which transition to unbalanced tannins. Smooth enough with food but unpleasantly tannic on its own. We’d had a Diversion wine we really liked and decided to try a few others, but this one is not stellar.
Paula 2.8 Ted 2.8

Next weekend we’re racing, so we’ll probably be going easy on the wines.