December 1, 2020
Olivia Brion Pinot Noir Willamette

Olivia Brion Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2016

Bright, ethereal and snappy, the Olivia Brion Pinot Noir “Sunny Mountain” captures the classic light and intense Pinot Noir style that made Willamette Valley famous. Get bay leaf, raspberries, tarragon, cranberry pastry, ruby grapefruit and a savory, salty finish. This is a Pinot Noir I drink happily on its own – and with a mouthful of fatty fish (salmon typically) I drink it with great joy. A la Burgundy, this is a “food wine” first and foremost. More Information Best known for their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from their Estate “Heron Lake Vineyard” in Napa & Solano’s Wild Horse Valley, Olivia […]
March 12, 2019
Evening Land Seven Springs Pinot Noir

EVENING LAND Pinot Noir “Seven Springs” 2016

Deep, wild red cherry plus dried violets and sun-dried thyme introduce you to the Evening Land Pinot Noir Seven Springs. The taste is more pleasure still. Medium, rich body, fine tannins, perfectly ripe fruit and uplifting acidity all play together nicely. A little bit of savory dry-aged beef  (umami) on the long, mostly fruity finish brings on another dimension. Boy is this good…and easy for all Pinot Noir fans to enjoy. More Information Evening Land Vineyards is owned by Sashi Moorman and Raj Parr, two long-time and influential California wine veterans (Moorman as winemaker in Santa Barbara, Parr as Sommelier […]
October 23, 2018
Soter Brut Rose

SOTER Brut Rose “Mineral Springs” 2014

Unquestionably one of the best American sparkling wines made. This is 91% Pinot Noir, 9% Chardonnay from their Estate vineyard in Willamette’s Eola-Amity Hills sub-AVA. Barrel fermented and aged 8 months before 2nd fermentation in bottle. 2 years on its lees before disgorgement in spring 2017. The Soter Brut Rose comes out of the gate like a lightning bolt with fruit-forwardness (blood orange, wild cherry, raspberries) plus fresh pie crust, roast almonds and chamomile tea. You’ll really notice this wine – shy it is not. And with all its flavor, the acidity is running right alongside. Pour this next to […]
September 1, 2018
Anne Amie Muller Thurgau

ANNE AMIE Műller-Thurgau 2016

Műller-Thurgau, the 2nd most planted grape in Germany, is also grown in neighbor countries, and in spots around the world, like Oregon! I love what Anne Amie does with Műller-Thurgau. Smell and taste fresh green apples, honeysuckle, lemon zest, peach skins, maybe a little tangerine, white pepper and a rocky/earthy character on the finish, giving it an old-world, food-wine edge. Low alcohol (12.9?), bright acidity, no oak, killer price. Great brunch wine as it sings with salads, eggs, fresh and cured fish dishes. More Information I’ve become well acquainted with Anne Amie wines from tasting them frequently with their California […]
August 19, 2018
Anne Amie Pinot Noir

ANNE AMIE Pinot Noir “Winemaker’s” 2016

Generosity and balance are two descriptors that quickly come to mind as I taste the Anne Amie Pinot Noir Winemaker’s Selection. Lots of fruity smells and flavors like wild red cherries, cassis, black figs and strawberries. Beyond the fruit, get crushed thyme, black tea leaves, sassafras and nutmeg. Soft tannins start to finish, medium acidity, lightly oaked (under 20% new French oak), 13.5% alcohol and perfectly ripe (nod to the outstanding 2016 vintage in Willamette Valley). For $25 or thereabouts, can’t go wrong here. I notice the winery is sold out of this wine. However I do know it is […]
August 19, 2018
Anne Amie Dry Riesling

ANNE AMIE Dry Riesling 2014

Top 10 best American Dry Rieslings I’ve ever had. the Anne Amie is full of red & green apple, dried lemon peels, dried and crushed herbs, lemon tea, river rocks and petrol smells and flavors. Authentic and delicious. There are nearly infinite food pairings with the Anne Amie Dry Riesling, yet my mind goes to the traditional. Grilled sausages* and German potato salad. *Try to get the Bruce Aidell’s spicy mango with jalapeño sausage. I haven’t had it, but I bet it’s a great match! More Information I’ve become well acquainted with Anne Amie wines from tasting them frequently with […]
June 2, 2018
Lingua Franca Pinot Noir Avni

LINGUA FRANCA Pinot Noir “Avni” 2016

Dark wild cherries, dried red rose petals, mincemeat and truffle introduce you to this “entry level” Pinot Noir from Master Sommelier-turned-vintner Larry Stone. The taste continues on the flavors above along with dark plums and a background earthy/rocky flavor that defines its Pinot Noir-ness. Excellent balance of ripe fruit, invigorating acidity and mouth-filling texture. Drinking great now and will steadily improve through 2023, no doubt. I really like this Pinot Noir, and for $35 it’s a relative bargain. As noted above, Lingua Franca is the inspiration of Master Sommelier and great Wine Ambassador Larry Stone. (It’s also of significant note […]
June 2, 2018
Lingua Franca Chardonnay Bunker Hill

LINGUA FRANCA Chardonnay “Bunker Hill” 2016

Bright, rich and substantial. Smell and taste lemon-honey, Macintosh apples, grapefruit, lime, pineapple, fresh pie crust and hazelnut. The crisp citrus and orchard fruits burst out in the mouth along with bits of buttercream, brine and chalk. This is intense and full-bodied while at the same time being impressively “fit.” While giving due respects to owner Larry Stone and winemaker Thomas Savre, you can taste the “touch” of consulting winemaker Dominique Lafon. More Information Lingua Franca is the inspiration of Master Sommelier and great Wine Ambassador Larry Stone. (It’s also of significant note that Dominique Lafon of Burgundy’s Comtes Lafon, […]
March 14, 2018
Maison l'Envoye Pinot Noir

Maison l’ENVOYE Pinot Noir “Two Messengers” Willamette Valley 2016

Fruit comes first, spice flowers and earth come after in this generous, dark red berry/cherry flavored, just-plain-good Oregon Pinot Noir. Backing up the fruit are smells and flavors of red roses, violets, allspice and toasty barrel (all quite subtle). Perfect ripeness in my opinion so the fruit shines, yet avoiding raisin or jam flavors. Medium/full bodied, gentle tannins, medium acidity. An excellent buy for $30! Maison l’Envoye is an international wine project. The owners (Importer/Producer Old Bridge Cellars and Oregon Vintner Mark Tarlov) focus on the three Burgundy grapes (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Gamay) from the three most “Burgundian” wine […]
March 4, 2018
Anne Amie Pinot Noir

ANNE AMIE Pinot Noir “Two Estates” Willamette Valley 2014

A pleasantly ripe core of red wild cherries and red currants, combined with classic Willamette Valley “femininity” and bright acidity, make this Pinot a real standout at $25. Nose of fresh, ripe cherry, orange tea and watermelon continues on to the taste, adding coriander and currants. All is well and good at this point, then on the back palate (in other words just before you swallow the wine) a delicious deep red cherry flavor emerges. A little surprising, frankly, for a sub-$30 Willamette Pinot. But then look at the winery’s overall quality and the attention they put into this wine, […]