Posted by Josh on October 16, 2016
... but you still want to know what the hip kids of Brooklyn are drinking these days? Well, check out this month's selection below! Of course, you'd have to join the club to take advantage of the discounts, free NYC delivery, and the only the finest bottles, always hand-selected around a different and exciting theme!
Wines of the Pacific Northwest
This month, we turn our attention to the Pacific Northwest. The wines of Oregon and Washington are – in regards to the history of the industry – still in their youth, with serious viticulture only taking root in the 1960s. After enduring growing pains but still managing to build a cult following during the 1970s, it was the late 80s and early 90s that marked the beginning not only of considerable expansion, but also the attention of the mainstream wine world.
Gradually, these once lightly-regarded bottlings became serious, sought-after wines. First and foremost, the wines captivated the palates of excited sommeliers and retailers, suggesting that Willamette Pinots can offer up the classic structure of good Burgundy, or powerful Meritage blends from the Columbia Valley that rival the Grands Crus Classés of Bordeaux, and at a fraction of the cost (unfortunately no longer the case). Soon thereafter, critics and the press began handing out (well-deserved) high scores and accolades.
Yet somehow, despite the region’s growth in production, quality, and respectability, it always seems to be an afterthought when pitted against the Californian behemoths, French classics, and Italian icons that dominate the wine world. So this month, with the weather basically perfect for the varied wine styles of Oregon and Washington, we cast a light on some of our favorite producers and their delectable wines. Cheers!
Cooper Mountain Vineyards Pinot Gris 2014
Willamette Valley, Oregon (Pinot Gris) Biodynamic
The Willamette Valley’s climactic conditions are notoriously difficult, often drawing direct comparison to Burgundy, given the cool temperatures and continual struggles with damp weather. This calls for careful, attentive work in the vineyard that best lends itself to the small estate model (again, another similarity to Burgundy). Cooper Mountain Vineyards exemplifies this AVA’s structure, function, and history: Founded in 1978 by a husband and wife team, they focus their work on growing excellent Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir, while also laying the foundation for sustainable and organic practices in the region. This wine offers up all of the lush stone fruit and pear notes of a fine Pinot Gris, but stainless steel fermentation maintains lively acidity that keeps it crisp on the finish, balancing its medium body. The perfect wine for salmon.
Sokol Blosser Pinot Gris 2014
Willamette Valley, Oregon (Pinot Gris) Sustainable
One of the first wineries in Oregon, Sokol Blosser was founded in 1971. It is now a second generation winery run by siblings Allison and Alex, both following in their parents’ footsteps through the vineyard and into winery. Fermenting whole clusters, this wine offers up a fuller-bodied style of Pinot Gris, featuring aromas and flavors of apple, pear, and fig backed by a spicy ginger note. A wonderful with chicken and pork preparations, esp. those featuring Szechuan or Thai spices.
Revelry Vintner’s Riesling 2014
Columbia Valley, Washington (Riesling)
In contrast with Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Columbia Valley offers hot summer days providing grapes an opportunity to attain full ripeness along with cold evenings that lend the needed acidic backbone. Columbia Valley is now also the leading producer of Riesling in the Western Hemisphere. Notes of lychee, under-ripe tropical fruit, and soft citrus precede a clean, mineral-driven finish; an easy, refreshing sipper as well as a versatile wine for the table.
Evesham Wood Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir 2014
Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon (Pinot Noir) Organic
Another Willamette husband and wife team, Russ and Mary Raney began the estate after purchasing a vineyard known as ‘Le Puits Sec’ ( ‘The Dry Well’) in the Eola-Amity Hills subappellation of the Willamette Valley, planting a selection of three different Dijon clones of Pinot Noir imported directly from Burgundy.Nearly 30 years later, the resulting 2014 Eola-Amity Hills Pinot begins with bright red and candied cherry notes balanced by headier Morello cherry hints and a touch of cinnamon. Elegant, silky, and immediately enjoyable, it is extremely versatile at the table, but would work beautifully with beef bourguignon.
Cooper Mountain Vineyards Gamay Noir 2015
Willamette Valley, Oregon (Gamay) Biodynamic
A great alternative to the region’s Pinot Noir, Gamay rarely grows outside of France but this is an outstanding example. Beautifully floral aromas give way to a smooth, medium bodied wine, bursting with red fruit before a nice mineral note on the finish. Would work wonderfully alongside salmon rillettes, pâté favorites, or perhaps at lunchtime with an old favorite, the jambon-beurre.
Revelry Vintner’s Merlot 2013
Columbia Valley, Washington (Merlot)
A classic take on Merlot from this young winery. Aromas of blueberry, cassis, and violet give way to a palate with bright bursts of wild berry preserves, damson plum, and baking spice. Time in barrel results in well-integrated tannins, vanilla notes, and a velveteen finish. Great with hearty classic American fare.