The Most Fabulous Oregon Pinot Noir

Those who know me well will tell you that I don’t like Oregon Pinot Noir. And, I will admit that I don’t care for most. I usually turn my nose up and consider them overrated and underwhelming. 

But the wines of Patricia Green....I adore! I remember my first taste. And I continue to be impressed by everything produced by this little winery in the Ribbon Ridge area of the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

I have the last few bottles of my very favorite:

Patricia Green Cellars “Weber” 2013, Dundee Hills, Oregon $40

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Ultra silky...with delicate orange peel, soft potpourri and red cherry notes and a subtle Burgundy-like minerality. Gorgeous! 

Gnarly old vines in the volcanic Jory soils of this vineyard bear fruit that leads to wines of incredible aromatics that are pure interweaving of fruit and soil. This is a special place in Oregon and the Dundee Hills AVA. The wines are incredibly unique. This is a special vineyard that has routinely produced one of their best wines each vintage.

Patricia recently passed away far too prematurely in an unexpected accident in early November....we will miss her talent and laud her influence.

Elise Loehr

Carménère... My Favorite of the Bordeaux Varietals

I like to think that Carmenère is what Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot wish they could be!

While Cabernet and Merlot seldomly ring my bell, unless of course they are terribly expensive (read: beyond my budget), Carménère draws me in like a Siren every time!

Once planted alongside Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot in the Bordeaux region of Southwest France, Carménère reached near extinction after the global phylloxera pandemic. This historic red varietal is actually a predecessor to Cabernet Sauvignon! Traditionally it was used in smaller increments in the great red wines of the Medoc, due to its difficulty to develop and ripen fully in the marginal, often chilly and wet climate of Bordeaux.

Now rediscovered and making a comeback standing on its own feet, most of the Carménère plantings are found in Chile, where the vines thrive in an ideal climate.

The most aromatic of the 6 red Bordeaux varietals, Carménère always makes an impression!

San Pedro ‘1865’ Single Vineyard Carménère 2015, Maule Valley, Chile.   $19

Dark ripe plum and black cassis aromas mingle with notes of ripe bell pepper, crushed gravel and polished leather. Smooth silky tannins linger on the palate.

A wonderful New World expression of Bordeaux and an exceptional value!

Red, Pink, and Somewhere In Between...

I love those "off-the-beaten-path" wines! Little unusual trinkets from all over the world are such a wine geek´s delight....are you one too?

My 3 picks for geek-week are all under $20!

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Fritz Müller Perlwein Rosa Trocken, Rheinhessen, Germany $19.99

Rojac Refošk, Istria, Slovenia $18.99

Pascal Janvier „Cuvée du Rosier“ Coteaux du Loir, Loire, France $18.99

     * Explorer’s Special: Buy 1 of each for $50 for the trio! 

Rosé: Fritz Müller Perlwein Rosa Trocken

Complicated name, simply tasty wine! 

Let me break it down for you....Perlwein means lightly sparkling; Rosa means...you guessed it....pink/rosé; and Trocken means dry! 

This fun wine is a big hit at Table 3, where we serve it by the glass. It’s a bit like rosé Prosecco...refreshing, delicious with smoked salmon, and quite gulpable!

Red: Rojac Refošk, Istria, Slovenia

That’s right...Slovenia! Dark magenta red and unlike anything else you’ve had. This Refosco reminds me a bit of Barolo, but with a big fat winter fur coat on. The aromas spill out of the glass with dark wild berry and aged sweet balsamic notes with polished leather, orange skin and clove to boot. I love the grippy tannins and the Nebbiolo-like bright flavors with the perfect acidity to match up to a venison roast with cranberry compote, or a well marbled rib-eye. 

And to boot, this wine is Certified Organic.

Somewhere-in-between: Pascal Janvier „Cuvée du Rosier“ Coteaux du Loir 

How to describe the color alone....it’s looks like pale red cherry juice. 

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But this Loire Valley indigenous red varietal called Pineau d’Aunis is anything BUT light in flavor! White and black peppercorn, rose water, wet grass and distinct chalky minerality ride along with the tart morello cherry and wild strawberry aromas that all follow through on the bone-dry, bright and tangy finish. Try this with fresh goat cheese and lingonberry spread on crostinis! Delicious ever so slightly chilled, by the way. 

Proßt y’all!

Elise Loehr