June 24, 2009

Wednesday's Wine - Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 2006

It's Wednesday, so it must be a wine post. Ooooo boy, another good bottle for under $10.00 right!?! Um, yes. And, uh no. I'm not in Colorado today...actually haven't been since Friday morning. Yeah, I'm in Portland, Oregon. Did you know that Oregon is known for Pinot Noir (they're also known for Rieslings, but I don't have a liking for sweet wines, so not much to share about those...)? Well, anyway, I spent the weekend with my half sister and her daughter's family. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, I ended up touring wineries on Sunday with only my sister. Somewhat surprisingly, it was fun (could be that happened because she was the designated driver...heh). We went to three wineries. The first of which was Secret House Vineyards (the others were LaVelle Vineyards and Sweet Cheeks Winery). In all, I think I tried close to 20 wines. It was mostly sips and small swallows, but you know they kind of add up...heh. My sister did try about 5 or 6...mostly Rieslings.

So back to the possibly under $10.00 bottle of wine, but might not be...hee. As you can see in the title, I had the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 2006 made by Secret House. But let's start at the beginning. It's quick, really. First I had the 2005 Pinot Noir and it was pretty good. THEN, I had the 2006 and my socks were blown off. It's OMG yummy. What makes it extra yummy is that I got it for $10.00. But, uh, you can't. So really, it's not fair, because I've devoted my Wednesday's Wine posts to wines you can get for under $10.00, at least in my part of the world (aka, Colorado). On the other hand, I did get it for $10.00 (exactly, because they don't have sale's tax in Oregon) and if a bottle of wine cost me $10.00 or less I believe I'm still obligated to share...at least the information...right??? Heh.

I must say, this is easily one of the best Pinot Noirs I've ever had. It might be one of the best red wines I've had in a really long time. It actually sells for more like upper $20's low $30's if I recall correctly. And because the owners are selling the winery, they marked all of their wines down to $10.00 a bottle regardless. If I wasn't flying home, I would have bought several bottles. As it is, I'm now staying at a hotel in Portland for a class and am nursing a bottle over a few days. The difference between a really good $10.00 (or under) wine and a mediocre wine over $30.00 isn't much. But the difference between a really good one in the $30.00 range and a good under $10.00 is definitely noticeable.

Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 2006 has a great berry type fruit taste on the front of the palate (I found out recently that this can mean it's "fruit forward"). However, it's NOT all fruit in the front. There is definitely a scent and taste of oak right at the beginning. It's kind of anticipatory of the complexities to come. This wine is somewhat bold in all the flavors without any one being overpowering and they all linger on the tongue. There is a bit of alcohol on the finish, but it's less than the burn of alcohol that lower cost wines often have. Here's what Ron Appetit (who must have an "appetite" for wine...heh) says on the back label about his wine:

"A lush, full-bodied Pinot Noir, with intense flavors of berry, black cherry and currants. A complex Pinot that will be wonderful with a robust meal. This varietal speaks to the mystery of wine in a most elegant voice."

Yeah, what Ron said! If any of my readers live ANYWHERE near Eugene, Oregon, I recommend visiting Secret House Vineyards by June 30th to pick up this wine. I found it went well with a meat pizza, as well as left over Turkey Schnitzel. I would have preferred it with a good steak, but in order to have the wine, I have to make do with carry out. Tomorrow, I'll probably have the rest with some kind of beef stir fry from the Chinese restaurant near by. By the way, you KNOW a wine is good when it's still yummy in a Styrofoam cup!



jennifer from pittsburgh said...

Wow, what a find! I do have to comment on one thing...leftover turkey schnitzel???

TheWeyrd1 said...

jennifer...WHAT!?! You have no Germans in your town??? Schnitzel is when a piece of meat (in this case turkey breast, although usually it's pork or veal) is pounded very thin before frying. Often it's breaded. In this case it was breaded. I had dinner with some other folks from the class on Monday evening and ended up with leftovers. I'm staying in a modified suite, so it has a mini-frig.

secret agent woman said...

I'm with you - I like pinot noirs, but don't do rieslings under any circumstances.

TheWeyrd1 said...

secret...I DID try ALL of the Rieslings, but I wouldn't buy one for myself...heh. They were okay if you think DESSERT!

KathSW said...

"It's kind of anticipatory of the complexities to come."

I came for the wine tasting, but what I loved was that one line.... Such a universal profundity.

TheWeyrd1 said...

Kath...thanks! I do occasionally have moments of brilliant word smithing...heh.

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

TW1 - I am part German, so I know schnitzel...the turkey part threw me ;)
It seems like you had a good trip!

Jannie Funster said...

Yes, those sips andn swallows do add up, and nicely so.

"Sweet Cheeks" I'd buy that wine on name only. That's what got me started on "Fat Bastard" wine.

Oregon. Oregon. I wish I were in Oregon.

Or on the Massachusetts shore.

Or in a winery, most anywhere.

Or on a yacht, a nice yacht. Yeah! With chefs and room service and such.

But maybe with little (and a little more,) Pinot Noir I shall be in those places in my mind.

TheWeyrd1 said...

Jennifer...thank goodness! I was seriously wondering how Pittsburgh somehow lost all it's German folk...heh. To further explain the turkey...it was a SPECIAL. So you know how restaurants are with SPECIALS...heh. They topped it with field greens, so I think it was their idea of healthy. And it was really good actually.

TheWeyrd1 said...

Jannie...I think you would LOVE Sweet Cheeks Vineyards. The view was quite nice AND they have regular entertainment. Too bad you don't live in Oregon, you could get on their entertainment line up!