Every year, I pay a visit to Ken Wright Cellars
to taste the new vintage from the barrel. On my visit this year we tasted through five barrels. When tasting en cuve, one must bear in mind that the wines are young, many times not done with malo, and have not been racked or fined. Freedom Hill
: Light, lively, pie cherry. Hints of scone. Overall, I found this to be somewhat mono-dimensional for this vineyard. Further development should occur after racking and bottling. Guadalupe Vineyard
: Very light body, hints of bell pepper were somewhat obscuring the cherry and deep fruit characteristic of this vineyard. Somewhat awkward (to be expected at this stage) with little integration of fruit and or other characteristics. Canary Hill Vineyard
: Showing very well, despite obvious malo. Medium purple, lush cherry pie fruit with very good, dusty tannins and hints of pie crust. Very nice length.Carter
: Dark purple, cherry kirsch liquor and subtle notes of cinnamon and tangerine. Good weight and length.Savoya
: My favorite. Very good development at this stage. Integrated kirsch, blood orange, and pie crust notes with gravelly tannins and very nice length. Showing some power at the end, this should develop added complexity after racking and bottling.
Also tasted: 2011 Pinot Blanc
: Linear, solid mineral underpinning to green apple fruit with crispness and snap in the finish. 2010 Celilo Chardonnay
: Always one of my favorites, the 2010 is unquestionably one of the best Chardonnay sites in Washington State. Beautiful nose with nuts and apples; medium body with pinpoint focus on the integration of fruit, nuts, and chalky tannins that coat the inside of the mouth and provide length at the end.
Another wonderful white from the south in France just landed. Domaine Delsol Picpoul de Pinet 2011
is deliciously detailed with pinpoint lemon and meringue framed by bone dry acidity. Any good shellfish with this will elevate the flavors to an exquisite level. 9.99/750ml.
Just inland and to the north, the eponymous limestone Pic rises above the hermitage of Pic Saint Loup. The brothers Ravaille (Xavier, Jean-Marc and Pierre) farm 20ha. of higher altitude vineyards with vines from 30 to 40 years old, planted on red clay. The Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup Tour de Pierres 2010
is made from 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, and 10% Mouvèdre. Natural fermentation, 12 months aging in foudres and barriques. Inky purple in the glass. Intense aromas of lavender, smoke and berry. Chewy, powerful tannins overlain with notes of oregano, black olive, leather and roast beef flavors. Very long on the finish. 17.99/750ml
From vineyards planted on 12ha. located in Castello Faletto, Piemonte, Monchiero Dolcetto d’Alba 2010
is ruby red in the glass, fresh and lively with berry and lightly tart at the end. 9.29/750ml
. The winery and vineyards were established in 1950 by two growers, the brothers Reno and Maggiorino, who became dissatisfied with just growing and decided to make wine as well.Les Vignerons du Quercy
is a co-op located in the district of Quercy in SW France. The 33 growers farm 135ha. in the AOC Coteaux du Quercy. The wines from this AOC are not predominantly Malbec, as they are in the better-known Cahors AOC (located within the larger district). Les Hauts Lastaur Coteaux du Quercy 2009
is made from 50% Cabernet Franc, 20% Malbec, 20% Gamay, and 10% Merlot. Vines are grown in argilo calcaire soils. Earthy, hints of lavender, black truffle, loads of cranberries, and stony length. 10.79/750ml
Stay tuned for our Festa Piedmontese event, happening at your
Willamette Market Friday, March 15. Winemakers from Azienda Agricola Deltetto, Poderi Ruggieri Corsini, Cascina Corte, and Cà del Baio will be present to pour wine and talk about their work. A master chef from the area will also be on hand to prepare and serve regional cuisine.
Can it get much better? You bet! 15% discount on unmixed wine cases of 12/750ml. and 10% on mixed cases. To place orders or for inquiries, please call 541-338-8455, 541-510-1616, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our tasting schedule this week:
Friday, Feb. 15, 4-7 pm – Fire Mountain Brewery
Saturday, Feb. 16, 5-7 pm – Viña Cartín Albariño 2011, Fanti Sassomagno Sant’Antimo Rosso 2010