Everything Wine – Blog

Perfectly Pinot Part Two: Oregon Originals – Never Before In BC!

Hi Everyone!

Every time I go to Oregon I get real happy then I get real mad. Happy because I try so many outstanding Pinots and I really enjoy smiling. Mad because I have no access to a lot of these wines, as retailers can’t import into BC and no import agencies would bother with such small productions. We’ve slowly been changing that, working with smaller importers (and my South Surrey colleague Si Man Lee), and now I’m proud to offer some of the best wines that we tried down there, albeit in super small quantities. These wines are brand new to BC. Here’s the first batch:

Lingua Franca “Tongue ‘N Cheek” Pinot Noir 2015, Eola-Amity Hills. The buzz was already deafening – as can be expected when a Supergroup comprised of legendary Master Sommelier Larry Stone, Burgundy titan Dominique Lafon and David Honig starts a winery – and then their wine was prominently featured in the upcoming Somm 3 movie. Yikes. Working with vineyard manager Mimi Casteel – one of the most inspirational people I met down there – in one of Oregon’s oldest vineyards, Lingua Franca have positioned themselves as the new Winery Of Note in the Willamette – I’ve been calling them the next Beaux Freres. Boasting floral red and dark black fruit with a mules kick of smoke and spice, the body is big and round, the finish has just enough lift to remind you that – big as it is – it’s still Oregon. Gorgeous and smooth. 94 points Wine Spectator, 94 points Decanter, 2 6-packs available, $101.99 +tax

Domaine Serene “R” Pinot Noir Rosé, Dundee Hills. You didn’t know you needed a $60 dual-vintaged Pinot Rosé, but in all fairness you didn’t know you needed an iPad until it showed up. Same here. Using the moody, complex Bandol Rosés as their North Star, Ken and Grace Evenstad have thrown out the rule book and made a racy pink beast out of some 2016 Pinot with a splash of 2015 Chardonnay. Bold in front, creamy in the middle and crispy on the finish, smells like a strawberry-rhubarb miracle, see for yourself when we pour it this Saturday at 3pm in the River District Vintage Room. Not at all attempting the pastel popularity of Provence or the saccharine indulgences of a California Blush, “R” is the inscrutably cool kid in the back listening to The Cure that you’re afraid to say hi to. You should say hi, though, because this’ll go amazing with turkey, ham, pork, duck or really any holiday dinner unless your dinners consist entirely of cake. Exclusive to Everything Wine. 2 cases available, $60.99 +tax

Brittan Vineyards Basalt Block Pinot Noir 2014, McMinnville. I had the great pleasure of sitting for dinner with Robert Brittan, the long-time winemaker at Napa’s Stag’s Leap Winery who left 14 years ago to make wine in Oregon. We talked for hours about the politics behind Oregon’s AVAs (hey, I don’t judge what you do for fun) and he educated me on the McMinnville AVA, which we rarely see in BC. The McMinnville juice is so intense that it’s rarely blended with other AVAs in Willamette Pinot Noirs, it takes over the entire profile even in small percentages. The 2014 Pinot from this windy vineyard in the Coast Range foothills lives up to the area’s notoriety, it is a deep, brooding, herbal Pinot with Asian spice and black cherry – great fruit symmetry – and an austere tannin structure (like black tea) akin to a red Sancerre. Too serious for these silly years, I’d like to drink this after the next Winter Olympics. 94 points James Suckling, 1 case available, $89.49 +tax

Nicolas Jay Pinot Noir 2015, Willamette Valley. When Burgundian winemakers produce Oregon Pinots we expect them to make Burgundy, as if they brought all their dirt and climate with them in a magic bag, and we’re always so surprised when the Pinots they make are fruit-driven and clean. Perhaps that’s why this start-up winery downplays the fact that its co-founder and winemaker is none other than Jean-Nicolas Meo of Domaine Meo-Camuzet, a Côte d’Or winemaking family that dates back to the 1600s. This Willamette Pinot uses every AVA in that valley, fruit from such famous crus as Momtazi and Nysa contribute to the blend. Gosh this is pretty. Violet, raspberries, jasmine tea and crushed rocks, the one-third new oak adds some wood tannin to the finish but this Pinot is good to go, supple and delicious. 94 points James Suckling, 2 6-packs available, $105.49 +tax

Back next week with even more Oregon Pinots! Until then,

Happy Drinking!

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

TOP