After the weekly golf game for the Oregon Wine Geeks at Centennial Golf course on Friday, two of the Oregon Wine Geeks and an Oregon Wine Goddess, (we just call her Sandi), headed for the Umpqua Valley for a quick trip to taste at 4 or 5 producers. We made it through 3, but it was a really exciting trip none the less. We took the Prius north to our first stop in the Umpqua Valley at Pyrenees South. It's a cute tasting room in an old barn like structure between the vineyard and the Umpqua River.
Tasting room at Pyrenees South
We had a full flight with Laura Ruiz behind the bar pouring us all wines we asked for and told us about each wine with clarity and knowledge. Our favorites for the stop were the 2009 Riesling, 2009 Meritage, and the 2008 Syrah. These folks are worth a stop, all summer they have entertainment on the weekends at both North and South locations. Pyrenees is an evolving producer whose offerings are improving with each tasting.
From Pyrenees we were back on the road toward Roseburg and on to Abacela Vineyards new tasting room. The new tasting room is tremendous with great views of the beautiful Abacela Property. The Spanish inspired varietal wines at Abacela are some of the most interesting and well received wines in Oregon. We picked up both the 2008 Malbec and 2008 Cabernet Franc for further tasting, we also liked the 2006 Garnarcha which is a library release available until the 2009 is released. It is well aged and very tasty at this point.
A view of Abacela's Vineyards looking North
From Abacela we headed east to Spangler Vineyards, having tasted Pat Spangler's award winning wines at the World of Wine Festival the week before. The plan was to have a flight and move on to Hillcrest Vineyards but Pat Spangler changed our plans. We were met by Pat's wife Loreen and Katie Shook in the tasting room and started in. We worked the whole flight when Pat came in from trimming clusters off the vines; the vineyards come right up next to the parking lot. He took us down the rabbit hole into the winery with him and we barrel tasted and got to learn about winemaking from an expert and really thoughtful guy. Pat let us taste the same wine in several different kinds of barrels, talking about the differences. He took use through nuance and his thoughts on how he would blend the barrels and varietals into the wonderful wines he produces. We are at this point after closing time for the tasting room but back we go for whites, unlabeled reds and more talking and tasting wine. Luckily Katie who we'd ask earlier for advice on a good dining spot had made us a reservation at Blackbird Bar and Grill in downtown Roseburg. We said our goodbyes and left with 16 bottles of wine looking forward to dinner.
Spangler Vineyards Facebook Profile
We picked up the following at Spangler, 2007 and 2008 Claret, 2006 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 Viognier, 2008 Petite Verdot, 2008 Petite Sirah, and the 2009 Grenache. Now don't think we didn't like the Cab Franc, we did but already had some. I don't want to leave out a really nice 2009 un-oaked Chardonnay which also was excellent. This is a producer to watch, some of the best reds we have in Southern Oregon. Every one of these wines on my notes is listed in 88+ column or better. They also have a tasting room in Newberg so there are no reasons to miss these fine wines so put them on your visit list. PS, those of us with kids along will like Spangler Vineyards where a kid's area is set aside for them while your tasting.
We went off to dinner at Blackbird Bar and Grillin Roseburg it's an upbeat place downtown on Jackson Street. The Service was great and the food best described as New American Cuisine of gourmet comfort food. We had a bottle of Spangler Cabernet Franc with a dinner of New York steaks and pork steaks, followed by pressed coffee and Chocolate Crème Brulee.
Blackbird Bar and Grill
It was a wonderful day all in all with a quiet drive home, but then the next day someone must put all of this wine into Cellarmaster and put it away in the racks. Need to get this done and still get out to Folin to do blending with the Ambassador's wine club there, then a Taste of Harry and David.. But that's another story.
Posted By: Ted Weldon @ 8:07:44 PM