By now it is a well worn tale to Oregon wine aficionados: how in 1979 a pinot noir from The Eyrie Vineyards bested all but one red Burgundy in a GaultMillau tasting in Paris, thereby attracting the interest of Robert Drouhin to Oregon and sparking the legitimation of Willamette Valley pinot. What hasn’t been fully appreciated is that the winning wine, vintage 1975 South Block Reserve, was never sold on the open market. Indeed, The Eyrie South Block Reserve wines were made in vintages from 1970 to 2007—but only two vintages were ever released for sale. “The more Dad liked a wine,” explained son Jason Lett, “the more he wouldn’t sell it!” Winemaker, legend, and…
One of the most aromatically distinctive white wine grapes, Viognier’s perfumed scents range from flint and stone, to tropical fruits, honeysuckle, and other succulent floral aromas. Do you know how to say Vee-own-yay ? In our July/August issue you’ll see how with its variety of microclimates, the Pacific Northwest is well suited for making different styles of wine from the Viognier grape. By Jennifer Cossey Also food pairings and featured wine reviews of some of the Northwest’s finest Viognier producers. Now that you can say it…can you guess the Slam Dunk Viognier pairing? Legend has it Viognier derives its name from the Latin saying, “Via Gehennae,” which loosely translates to “road to Hell.” If Pinot Noir…
Helioterra 2009 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Matello 2009 Pinot Noir, Lazarus, Willamette Valley
There is no other winery like it in the world. Seven individual wines made by seven globally famous winemakers at one state-of-the-art winery using only fruit grown in Washington’s Columbia Valley AVA.
When Allen Shoup was approached by Gilles Nicault, he knew he had his winemaker. The French-born Nicault had both international and Washington-specific experience, having made wine in the state since 1994 and as winemaker for Woodward Canyon since 1999. “I knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with masters,” says Nicault.It has also been a challenging learning experience. “You might think that there is some traditional way to make wine that is similar in the way everyone does it,” says Nicault, “but I know now that no winemaker is the same. ”For instance, says Nicault, Randy Dunn “likes really concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon, but also is against high alcohols, so I have to be very…
Columbia Winery 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, Otis Vineyard, Yakima Valley
From Osoyoos and the Golden Mile Bench to Black Sage Road, the warm-climate South Okanagan Valley is British Columbia’s most alluring wine region.
By Teri Citterman From the EAT-PLAY-TASTE Washington feature in the September/October 2010 issue About three hours’ drive time from Seattle, in the southeastern corner of Washington, lies Yakima Valley and the town of Prosser—
David Lett put American Pinot Noir on the map. Not just Oregon Pinot, mind you, but American Pinot. Upon the occasion of his retirement, we get to taste every one of the vintages he made: a once-in-a-lifetime tasting.