At a work dinner recently, we ordered a bottle of wine for our table. Being the most junior person, I of course didn’t have any say in the selection, so it was like a single blind tasting. It was a fun challenge, and I delighted in it, firstly because I guessed it right on my initial try, and secondly because it’s one of my favorite grapes and regions. Yep, it was a young Pinot Noir from Oregon. The recently released 2005 3 Vineyard Pinot Noir, with a suggested retail price of $27.
A beautiful deep red color, it had a slight smoldering, wet wood and earth sort of smell that I associate with a cool fall night in front of a campfire. The wine tasted full in my mouth, with smooth tannins, bright cherry and blackberries, with an almost sweet aftertaste that lingered pleasantly.
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I attended the Old Town Wine Crush last Saturday. For $20, we got 10 “tastings”. I said “tastings” because really, the pourings were beyond generous; we basically each ended up with full glasses of wine. In the afternoon no less.
But quantity, goes the age old adage, is not the same as quality. And disappointingly, most of the wines we tried were duds – intensely boring wines with simply no aromas, body, or finish. After a while, most of us gave up trying to sniff out any fruit/spice/whatever have you and just clinked our glasses and gulped deeply.
There was, however, one wine that stood out in my mind – maybe because I only got a mere whift of it, first from Donny’s glass and then from Jeff’s, the latter of whom got the last dregs of the entire wine festival. But what I tasted stuck with me: flavors of pear, honeysuckle, melon. The whole fruit basket. Beautiful, and not overwhelming on the alcohol side.
Smoking Loon 2003 Viognier; – and under $10. I’ve got to get me more of those.
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