Lot’s to talk about in this week’s Geek Note:
A visit to 4 Northern Willamette Producers
Our Visit and Tasting At Troon Vineyards
A stop at Rosella’s Vineyard
Merrill Cellars new tasting room in Jacksonville
The Buyers Guide Additions and FAQ
Upcoming Wines to be Tasted
Upcoming OWG Tasting Events
This wine geek found himself in Hillsboro on Wednesday last week, so with an ancient friend Steve I went out on the road and stopped by several Northern Willamette Valley wineries. Being Wednesday you have to check to see who’s open for tasting. It seems most of the producers up here are open Thursday through Sunday so I picked 5 out and we made it to 4. We started at Elk Cove Vineyards a really beautiful hillside estate outside Gaston. We had the full flight of wines, my friend was partial to the Pinot Noir Rose’ which was dry, light bodied and very tasty. I found the 2009 Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir to my liking and left with some.
Elk Cove Vineyard
Next was Kramer Vineyards a smaller estate just down the road, they offered up some very reasonably priced 2007 Pinot Noir Heritage Estate. Tasty and refreshing. They also had Muller-Thurgau white which we picked up for $9.00, follow the link for the tasting note on OWG. The last wine at this estate was the Carmine Rose’, and interesting varietal and well-made light wine. We wandered down the road away until we came upon a really picturesque winery and tasting room at Solena and had to stop.
Solena Winery and Tasting Room
The tasting room and winery are incredible buildings with an equal internal décor, their Pinot Noirs are very tasty and subtle. They also offered some Southern Oregon Wines from Wooldridge Creek which I’ve had often. The wine I went away with though was the 2005 Klipsun Cabernet from the Red Mountain Washington AVA made under the Solena label. A really nice visit worth a stop and a look around. By this time we are pushing 5:00 pm when most of the tasting rooms start to close so we made a quick stop at Oak Knoll.
Oak Knoll has a large facility but a small cozy tasting room. A fixture in the Oregon winemaking community since 1970. Started by Ronald and Marjorie Vuylsteke it was the first winery in Washington County. The wine here is good with excellent workmanship and worth a longer visit than we could make. I was in the Portland area for a golf tournament the next day at Pumpkin Ridge and came home Friday just in time for our trip through the Applegate to Troon, Rosella’s and Jacksonville.
The basic write up for this trip is at Wine Geeks Adventure through the Applegate. It follows here in its entirety with some additional pictures.
The wine geeks headed out Friday to Troon Vineyards for a wonderful chat and wine tasting with Christine Collier, Marketing and Events Coordinator and owner/vintner Chris Martin. We were treated to tastings of Troon’s fine wines and found several we particularly liked: The 2009 Druid’s Fluid is very much an approachable, enjoyable table wine; the Meritage we enjoyed immensely and the Reserve Zinfandel was outstanding. We spent quite a bit of time listening to Chris and Christine and their passion for wine and for Troon. Anytime I get a chance to hear from people who do this for a living, it is an event that makes a lasting impression.
But that wasn’t the end of our adventure as we headed out from Troon and arrived at Rosella’s Winery next. Sandy was serving on Friday and has Rosella’s usual selection of excellent wines. She treated us to some of her last Cabernet Sauvignons and some of the newer releases. The 2005 is ready to drink now and is soft, balanced with subtle complexity. I couldn’t live without the 2008 Merlot so I bought several bottles of that.
Rosella's Vineyard Wine Press
We had heard there was a new tasting room in Jacksonville behind the Umpqua tasting room, but hadn’t found it. We were certainly stopping by Herb Quady’s Tasting room to get more of Quady’s Starboard port, of which they were out. Oh the horror!, Ted through persistent hounding did determine that the Quady website in California still has stock though. But we did have a sip of their Silver medal winning Steelhead Vineyard Syrah (from the Oregon Wine Geeks Syrah tasting), as well as Quady North’s Flagship Syrah which can make you week at the knees it is so good. But we did make it to Merrill Cellars new tasting room which is tucked in behind the Umpqua tasting room and sampled some of O. Jay Merrill’s wines in what may be the “smallest tasting room in Jacksonville”. The Cotes Du Rogue name is worth a stop in of itself! Merrill Cellars is now on the OWG website for your perusal.
Some of you have noticed the new Buyer’s Guide on the site. These are the wine’s the Oregon Wine Geeks tasters would recommend to friends and fellow wine drinkers for purchase and sipping. If you want to know more about the selection process please have look at the FAQ for the Buyers Guide. The most recent additions to the buyers guide are wines we tasted last Friday Troon’s 2007 Old Vine Meritage and 2009 Druids Fluid. Pebblestone’s 2010 Rose of Syrah and Ledger David’s Rose’.
The current wines slated for tasting this week:
2006 and 2007 Troon Old Vine Meritage
2010 Ledger David Chenin Blanc Primoris
2009 Kramer Vineyards Carmine Little Red Rose’
Upcoming Oregon Wine Geeks Tasting Events:
Southern Oregon Grenache Versus World Grenache. This tasting will be a blind tasting of Australian, Spanish, and French Grenache versus a picked set of Southern Oregons finest in a similar price range.
First Annual Battle of the Southern Oregon Viognier. A blind taste off of the Southern Oregon’s premier white varietal. It should be epic but a really long day.
Both of these events will award medals and at the Viognier event Title of Geeks Best Viognier 2011.
I think I covered everything I set out too, with the help of my fellow geeks, (Tim wrote 98% of the Applegate trip), and wine community friends we thank you.
Chief Imagineering Officer, Oregon Wine Geeks, (also known as Bailey’s Dad).
Bailey's Dad "Hard at Work"
Posted By: Ted Weldon with Tim Morton @ 5:13:04 PM