Noteworthy Wines

From an early age I have enjoyed wine and have grown to love and appreciate Oregon wine. Because of my sentimentality, I often remember wines more by the events and the people with whom the wine was enjoyed than the label and believe that a mediocre wine can be improved with good company, a bad wine is just bad, and while it may at times be a pity to waste an exceptional wine with someone who is not appreciative of the quality or flavors, it is more about the experience and sharing something you are passionate about.

This is not meant to highlight solely Oregon Wines, however it will likely have a high concentration of them, nor will I go into elaborate descriptions of the wine. Wine for me is very personal, each of us have our own history (sense memories), preferences and unique taste buds to draw our own individual conclusion. Personally, I am sensitive to mold and brettanomyces, but someone else may taste the very same wine and pick up that it is tannic when I did not because the brettanomyces was to over-powering for my nose and palate. Similarly, one person may enjoy a very fruit forward Washington Syrah, and anther person may prefer the more peppery style Syrah typical of Southern Oregon.

Along with enjoying wine, I thoroughly enjoy goat cheese ice-cream and would like to find more wines to complement it and increase the enjoyment. Any suggestions welcomed.

My Top Four of all time thus far

1986 Mouton Rothschild
For my younger sisters 21st birthday I tracked down a bottle of 1986 Rothschild. This may be the best gift I have ever given (granted it was with my parents help, but solely my initiative) She has been informed, that while I love her dearly, such extravagances would regrettably not be repeated for future birthdays and she would have to settle for a nice bottle of Dom Perignon at her wedding.

1966 ?Mystery? Burgundy and 1999 Domaine Serene, Grace Vineyard Pinot Noir
Thanksgiving, five years ago, I was invited to a friend’s vineyard for dinner. The host had apparently asked everyone to bring a bottle of Burgundy to be included in a blind tasting, but neglected to inform me of the specific style of wine. Oblivious to this specific request, I brought a 1999 Oregon bottle of Domaine Serene, Grace Vineyard Pinot Noir, which by the way was fantastic and universally enjoyed by everyone at the dinner. After the blind tasting, the host, who was born in 1966, shared a bottle of Burgundy of the same vintage, sadly the producer has excepted my memory. This 1966 wine was maybe not the best wine I have ever experience from beginning to end but was still absolutely incredible. With every sip the wine tasted different. The most significant flavor I remember was my very first sip because it reminded me of the bougainvillea flower in Europe, it was absolute bliss in a glass of wine. Sadly about half way through the glass, every consecutive sip the flavors diminished rapidly.

Biondi Santi
This wine will always have a special place in my heart and on my palate because of sentimental reasons. For my 21st birthday, a group of friends surprised me by throwing me a dinner party at an Italian restaurant, which had been closed, for the party. We celebrated my legitimacy as a full-fledged legal drinking adult by eating a lot food, dancing which I love, and drinking Biondi Santi wine. It was a beautiful night. Eventually, I acquired a couple of bottles for myself. Unfortunately my very last bottle, a 1997 Brunello, which I had been coveting, was mistakenly consumed by my parents. They continue to taunt me with how much they enjoyed it. My wine is no longer stored with them.

Noteworthy Picks

Ayoub, 2006 Pinot Nior
Thankfully I am beginning to see more of this label around more and more.

Shea, 2003 Block 32 Pinot Nior
I had this for the first time a few years ago at Bistro Masion, and have since tried other Shea wines and continue to be partial the ones from Block 32. Drew Voit, previously from Domaine Serene, is now the wine maker and I look forward to trying their wines now that he is making them.

DePonte, Melone
As far as white wine goes, this wine generally never lets me down, unless for some reason I do not get it chilled enough.

Remy Wines, Rose, I believe it was the 2008 vintage that was my favorite because of its graceful and refreshing flavors. All of Remy Wines are great, every single last one.

God King Slave, 2009 Syrah & Tempranillo. Aesthetically speaking if I am shopping for wine solely by the look of the label, I gravitate toward the classic and clean style, however this particular label is fresh and youthful. They have a tag line that reads: Command like a King. Work like a Slave. That alone has me sold.