My Market

The Italian soul

image001-1With one of my staff in Italy this week, I find myself anticipating a returning colleague with an expanded knowledge of the regions and wine varieties available, and some exciting regional food and wine permutations. Follow Aaron’s perambulatory adventures into the Italian soul at the new Market of Choice travel blog.

Not to be idle, I recently travelled to Portland’s Olympic Mills Commerce Center to taste a fantastic lineup of wines from importer Louis/Dressner. As you may be aware, Joe Dressner passed away in September of last year. An iconoclast all his life, Joe was fond of small producers making wines traditionally and with minimal interventions in the field and winery. I was happy to see that the company he founded has not abandoned his vision of what vintners should and should not be about.

With a few exceptions, noted below, these wines will be arriving over the next few months.

Domaine Du Closel Chateau du Vaults Savennieres Jalouisie 2010. Mineral driven Chenin Blanc with subtle lime accents driven hard by crisp acidity. 15-20 year old vines. $18.99/750ml. Available now.

Georges Descombes Morgon 2011. Very intense, young Gamay showing bright fruit and underlying earthiness and long on the finish. April.

Georges Descombes Morgon Vieilles Vignes 2009. Lovely, saturated purple. Earth, brambles, dark berry and scone. Long and luxurious. April.

Domaine Filliatreau Cab Franc Petillant Naturel 2011. I’ve not seen one of these. Lightly sparkling, tan, lazy mousse, earthy, dried strawberry, crisp and lively. May.

Domaine Fillilatreau Saumur Chateau Fouquet 2011
. Shows a beautiful brilliant transparent red. Subtle notes of earth, truffle, and tart cranberry. June, price to be determined.

Domaine de La Pépière Vin de Pays La Pepie Cot 2011 and La Pepie Cab Franc 2011.
Two very attractive wines from vines grown on the granite soils of Muscadet and that come from replanting of Cot vines taken from Clos Roche Blanche and Cabernet Franc from Domaine de la Paonerie in Anjou. April.

Puzelat-Bonhomme Pinot d’Aunis 2010.
Vines planted on flint and clay. Wild yeasts to initiate fermentation. Barrels and half barrels are used for aging. No filtration. Beautiful pale red hue. Tart cranberry and baked stone notes.

Roilette_FleurieMy favorite of the tasting: Clos de la Roilette. Three outstanding cuves: Fleurie 2010, Fleurie Cuvee Tardive 2011(en cuve), and Fleurie Griffe du Marquis 2010. Alain Couderts explained the dark color, rich notes of cassis, black cherry and nuts showing in these superb wines as a result of the unusual(for Beaujolais) combination of manganese and clay soils, and the 25 to 33 year old age of the vines.

Finally, a long time favorite from Beaujolais, Jean Paul Brun was showing his FRV100 sparkling Gamay, delightfully bubbly with gorgeous ripe peach and berry cobbler notes, and zippy acidity underneath with a hint of tartness. $16.99/750ml. and in stock now. Curious about that name? It makes perfect sense in French pronounced phonetically: Eff Err Vay Son (effervescent, get it?) Just a sampling of the wonderful wines available from this extraordinary importer.

A few good things for your table this week:

Marc Colin 2010 Bourgogne Blanc La Combe, $19.79/750ml. Ripe fuji apple with supple notes of scone and rippling mineral underneath.

Pierre Sparr 2009 Pinot Gris, $13.49/750ml. An incredible price on a top producer’s Pinot Gris. This is lovely nuanced Gris with interlaced, subtle notes of musk melon, apple, lemon, and Seville orange. Chalky bottom provides a base for the full bodied luscious fruit. Ends lightly tart.

Chateau Jougrand 2010 St. Chinian
$10.99/750ml. From the mountainous St. Chinian AOC region of France’s Languedoc region, the Chateau Jougrand is primarily Carignan and exhibits an earthy, complex aroma of herbs, chocolate and espresso notes. In the glass it’s almost black with purple rims. On the palate it’s shows gripping tannins with interleaved notes of rosemary and baked clay, black peppercorn, and hints of chocolate.

In the beer cellar this week:

Deschutes Chain Breaker White IPA, $8.49/6pack plus deposit.
Oskar Blues Deviant Dale IPA, $4.29/16oz.can, plus deposit.
Harvester Brewing Gluten Free Pale Ale, $5.99/22oz. bottle, plus deposit.
Caldera Hop Hash Ale, $4.29/22oz. plus deposit.

Our tasting schedule this week:
Sunday, April 1, 4-6pm - A selection of Kosher wines for Passover or other special occasions.

15% discount on unmixed wine cases of 12/750ml. or 10% on mixed cases. Call 541-338-8455, 541-510-1616 for phone orders, or contact me at to order online.