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Wine at Willamette

Jim Colby, Willamette Wine Steward, has a simple life philosophy, “I surround myself with good wine and good people.” From customers to wine producers, Jim spends his days celebrating all that is wine. Readers can find his opinionated take on wine, beer and coffee here.

Southern Rhone Valley, Chateauneuf du Pape 2012
Part the FirstSouthern Rhone      
2012: “Surpassing 2011 and producing rich, fruit-loaded and moderately concentrated wines, 2012 was a sunny, dry vintage that should slot in beside, or slightly behind, 2009, in terms of quality. Coming closest, in my mind, to a lighter styled 2010, the wines possess pretty, dark fruit and mineral-styled aromatics, medium to full-bodied richness and good, not great, concentration. The majority of these will be approachable on release, yet have graceful aging curves as well, with the top releases having 15-20 years of evolution. Alcohol levels are down, and the wines have good to moderate acidity with fine, polished tannins and overall approachable profiles. While a number of vignerons reported that the 2012s were hard to taste early on (and I found a number seemingly closed and aggressively tannic), they are increasingly liking how they're showing with additional time in tank and barrel. If the wines continue to gain mid-palate depth (and I think the best will), this could turn out to be a strong vintage. While Grenache fared well, it was a difficult vintage for Mourvèdre due to lack of water. While not a flat-out great vintage for reds, it is a great vintage for the whites. Showing beautiful purity, they're fresher than the 2011s, and while they lack the deep, concentrated richness of the top 2010s, they will deliver immense pleasure over the coming 2-3 years.” – Jeff Dunnuck in the Wine Advocate Oct 31, 2013

• Domaine La Consonnier Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012 47.99/750ml. 90-92pts WALafond Roc Epine
• Le Cote de l’Ange 2012 Chateauneuf-du-Pape 49.99/750ml. 91pts WS.
• Domaine Lafond 2012 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Roc Epine 49.99/750ml. 91-94pts WA.
• Domaine Hillaire 2012 Chateauneuf-du-Pape 54.99/750ml. 93-95pts WA.
• Tour Saint-Michel La Tour du Lion 2012 Chateauneuf-du-Pape 64.99/750ml. 91-93pts.WA
• Chateau Sixtine 2012 Chateauneuf-du-Pape 69.99/750ml. 91pts WS, 91-94pts WA

• Marcarini Barolo Brunate 2010 57.29/750ml. 91pts WA.
• Fontodi Chianti Classico 2010 43.99/750ml. 92pts WA. Good to see this in the market again.

• Kistler Chardonnay 2011 McCrea Vineyard 77.99/750ml. 91pts WS, 93pts WA.
• Kistler Chardonnay 2011 Vine Hill 55.79/375ml. 91pts WS, 95pts WA.

These are not all on the shelf. I, or one of my trained staff members, will be happy to assist you in purchasing any of these wines; simply ask us about them.

• Domaine Graveirette Cotes du Rhone 2012 100% Grenache. Lovely concentrated fruit with length and breadth. 15.29/750ml.
• Chateau de Fontenille Entre-Deux-Mers 2013: 40% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Sauvignon Gris, 20% Muscadelle and 20% Semillon. Limpid, green-gold. Lively with citrus and creaminess in the mouth. 13.99/750ml.
• Planeta La Segreta Sicilia Blanco 2013. 50% Grecanico, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Viognier, 10% Fiano. Vines are wholly owned by Planeta and planted on mixed yellow and dark clay with fine limestone soil in Menfi. Vinification and aging in stainless. 89pts WS. 9.99/750ml.
• O’Reilly’s Pinot Noir 2013 Oregon, from Owen Roe. Sourced from Anna’s Vyd, Chehalem Mtn AVA, Merrimam Vyd. Yamhill/Carlton, and Lenne Vyd. Yamhill/Carlton. Very pretty cherry/raspberry nose with abundant fruit in the mouth. Medium length. 16.99/750ml.

On Thurs. Sept. 18, Market of Choice will present the The Great Taste, an annual event that benefits Eugene’s Relief Nursery. In addition to great food, there will be beverages, which means there will be wine!

Stewards from your favorite Market of Choice stores will be there, serving up some of their personal selections. As a precursor to this fine event, I will provide a sneak peek at the wines I have personally selected to pour. I hope you have an opportunity to come by and try them.

2013 St. Innocent Pinot Blanc
A varietal that is a bit underappreciated, this wine will show its acidity and balance with any creamy or seafood dish. It has a sophistication that differentiates it from some of its competitors in the category of Pinot Blanc. $22.99/750ml.

2010 Chateau La Haute Borie Monbazillac
This sweet Bordeaux white, delivers honey-like sweetness with a freshness of acidity that gives this wine balance. Though often drank as an aperitif, it will complement sharp cheddars and goudas with its soft touch. $22.99/750ml.

2011 J. Scott Petite Sirah
Oregon wine producer J. Scott provides this petite syrah with a fruit-filled beginning, followed by a black peppery finish. This style is known for its big structure and abundance of tannins, and this wine doesn’t disappoint. The easy pairing with a wine such as this, is steak, however it will also pair well with heavily spiced pasta dishes. $24.49/750ml.

2011 Chateau Vernous 
This Cabernet Sauvignon heavy Bordeaux blend offers a bold wine that softens on the finish with its Merlot and Cabernet Franc accompaniments. The lush fruit and complex nose round out a strong showing of the Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine will go well with braised lamb and a spicy bean salad. $24.49/750ml.
Cantina Rizzi 2010 Barbaresco Pajore:
Cantina Rizzi is located in the heart of Barbaresco and includes 35 hectares, of which 15 are planted in Nebbiolo. Of these, the Rizzi estate owns 3 hectares in the heart of Pajore at an average elevation of 300m, facing south-southwest. Hand-harvested with fermentation in stainless steel for 12-18 months in 30hl oak barrels, after which concrete and steel for 12 months. 49.99/750ml.

Azelia 2010 Barolo: Founded in 1920 by Lorenzo Scavino, the winery is now piloted by his grandson Lorenzo. With 16 hectares in Castiglione Falleto and Serralunga, it features 55- to 60-year-old Nebbiolo vines on southwest-facing slopes of calcareous, clay soils. After manual harvest, rotofermenters are employed with aging in large oak for 24 months. 37.49/750ml.

I know you German Riesling wine lovers are out there. Here are a couple of classic estate wines that you won’t want to miss!

Reusher-Haart Piesporter Goldtröpfchen 2012 Kabinett: From 6 hectares, including parcels in the Donherr (cathedral) section of the Goldtropfchen, of south-facing, steep slopes directly behind the Reusher-Haart home. Entirely on soft blue slate with many of the 35+year-old vines planted in the middle section of the amphitheater, thus benefitting from direct sunlight but cooled by winds from the Mosel. Sustainable farming, wide row spacing, hand-harvested in several passes, ambient yeasts and fermentation in stainless all contribute to the charming interplay of fruit and succulent minerality of their wines. 19.99/750ml.

Alfred Merkelbach Urziger Wurzgarten 2012 Auslese: Taken from just below the sundial in the Wurzgarten, planted entirely on red slate. Here’s Terry Theise being hyperbolic: “The clearest imaginable look into pure Mosel. Vivid, toe-curling clarity of fruit and terroir make this my most beloved Mosel agency. These are just some of the keenest, spiciest, most helplessly beautiful wines you can ever drink. The iciest blade of electric, splashing acidity supports a fruit so clear, so sharply rendered that the entire experience is so vivid it makes your toenails laugh!” Find out for yourself! 24.99/750ml.
140602WillametteWine urzigerwurtzrudiwiestArguably one of the greatest vineyards for Riesling in the world, Urzinger Wurzgarten is located on southerly facing slopes rising precipitously above the town of Urzig. The soil consists chiefly of weathered slate and red sandstone and produces uniquely aromatic and honeyed wines of great intensity and graceful minerality. Johann Wilhelm Schild hand selects grapes from 50 to 70 year old Riesling vines. The 2011 Urziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett is packed with bright acidity, subtle slate and wet earth, with notes of honey and tropical fruit and a luscious finish that goes on and on. 16.99/750ml

150602WillametteWine johannschildAlmost equally famous, the Graacher Himmelreich vineyard, just before the bend in the Mosel south of Urzig and north of Bernkastel, is planted on legendary blue slate soils on southerly facing vertiginous slopes. Josef Bernard-Kieren is one of the most prestigious winemakers on the Mosel, and I’m excited to be introducing the wines to Eugene. The 2012 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett shows gold in the glass with green flashing highlights. Flowery bouquet fills the nostrils with exciting spring-like accents, with lovely layered fruit of orange, lemon and strawberry underlain with chalky minerality and a lively sprightliness. Finishes freshly long. 18.99/750ml.

150602WillametteWine RieslingGrapesFromtheMoselFinally, from Selbach-Oster, the 2011 Riesling Spatlese: Grapes are grown on the Zeltinger slopes between the Himmelreich and Sonnenuhr Vineyards. Again, the vines are planted on southerly facing slopes composed of blue Devonian slate. Grapes are hand-harvested. Beautiful, full bouquet with notes of ginger. Full-bodied, tropical, wild honey and lively acidity nicely balanced with wet stone and great length. The grapes were harvested at 88 degrees Oeshule, which means it is legally an Auslese, but Selbach decided to label it as Spatlese. 28.49/750ml.
Château Margüi 2013 Coteaux Varois Rosé: Cinsault, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Vermentino. Gravity winemaking made with indigenous yeasts and organically farmed grapes. Uses clarification by sedimentation with no filtration. 19.99/750ml.

Château Margüi 2013 Coteaux Varois Rouge: Organically farmed Syrah/Cabernet. Light pressing and vatting for a three-week fermentation. 100% malo. 33% oak-barrel aging for 18 months. Light filtration at bottling. 25.79/750ml.

Château Margüi wines sell out fast; so don’t wait too long.

UntitledChateau Coussin 2013 Sainte-Victoire Côtes de Provence: Gravelly alluvial deposits of clay and limestone soils. Average vine age of 30 years. Cépage is 70% Grenache, 25% Cinsault and 5% Syrah. Destemming and pressing with pneumatic press. 17.19/750ml.

Two gems from Catherine and Pierre Breton:

2012 Bourgueil “Trinch” Cabernet Franc: 30-year-old vines, gravel, cold maceration in stainless. No filtration. ‘Trinch’ is a German expression meaning ‘Cheers”. 23.49/750ml.

2010 Bourgueil “Franc de Pied”: Ungrafted Cabernet Franc from .17 ha. on gravel and sand. Traditional fermenting and aging in stainless for a year. No filtration. 32.79/750ml.

Very good selection of rosés. Please ask if you don’t see what you want. France: Chinon, Lirac, Ventoux, Sancerre, Provence. Spain: Bullas, Rioja, Castile. Italy: Veneto, Abruzzi, Sicily. Oregon: Evesham Wood, Capitello, Abacela, Elk Cove, Bergstôm. And more on the way!
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