Drink Northwest: A Wine Blog
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A Pinot To Be Proud Of
Monday, September 24th 2012 by NW Wine Correspontent - Allie Merrick
Here's the story on the Winter's Hill Vineyard 2006 Cuvee du Vigneron.
For Round 9 of the Northwest Wines to You 2012 Tasting Games, Joey Finkbeiner and his tasting team, Vino de Paisano, sipped three selections of wine from Winter's Hill Vineyard - the 2011 Pinot Gris, the 2008 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir and the 2006 Cuvee du Vigneron Pinot Noir.
Photo Courtesy of Joey Finkbeiner
Q: Which was their favorite of the night?
A: 2006 Cuvee du Vigneron Pinot Noir
Here's their official review:
This definitely seemed like something the vintner would be proud of. Body was near perfect for what a pinot should be all about. Nose gave us full round aroma, berries, "luscious" and smelled like it would be a great sipper. Made my mouth water. On our 5 scale, we rated this a 4.5+.A special thanks to Vino de Paisano for tasting with us!
NW Wine Correspondent
2012 Harvest Highlights: 114
Thursday, September 27th 2012 by NW Wine Correspondent - Allie Merrick
Want the 411 on '114'?
Get clarification on this clone from Ghost Hill Cellars.
"The Dijon Clone 114 is planted in the western most lower block of the Bayliss-Bower Vineyard
and the rows we use for GHC are the western most rows in that block.
The vines here produce small tight clusters that give us 2 major components for our Bayliss-Bower blend -
beautiful perfumed floral aromatics and a muscular austere structure for the back bone of our Pinot Noir."
- Rebecca Marie Pittock Shouldis (Winemaker)
Photo: Pinot Noir from the Bayliss-Bower Vineyard
Credit: Rebecca Marie Pittock Shouldis
2012 Harvest Highlights: Lignation
Friday, October 5th 2012 by NW Wine Correspondent - Allie Merrick
Yesterday, the folks at Carlton Hill Estate Wine were busy pulling 5 acres of fruit from their new vineyard. However, they took a moment to get this great close-up shot of lignation to share with us.
What is 'lignation'? Get the answer here from the grower and winemaker himself - David Polite.
“It’s more than brix and acid profiles that tell us when our pinot noir grapes are ready to pull. Other signs of maturity include the taste of the berries, their firmness or texture, and lignation on the stems of the clusters.
Photo: Weadensville Pinot Noir grapes from Carlton Hill Vineyard
Credit: Tara Bloom
Labels: carlton hill wine company, carlton hill, david polite, pinot noir, harvest, willamette valley, northwest wines to youTweet
2012 Harvest Highlights: Inside Information
Saturday, October 6th 2012 by Allie Merrick - NWWTY Wine Correspondent
It's been said that timing is everything. When it comes to timing & harvest, how do you know when it's time to pick? Rebecca Shouldis, winemaker at Ghost Hill Cellars, provides an answer from the inside.
"In addition to Brix, acidity, Ph, and stem lignation we also take into account the texture of the pulp and hardness and color of the seeds. As the seeds mature they harden and turn brown, much like the stems. This, as well as the pulp of the fruit pulling away from the seeds and releasing is a good sign of readiness to harvest." - Rebecca Marie Pittock Shouldis
Photo: Pinot Noir
Credit: Rebecca Marie Pittock Shouldis
Labels: ghost hill cellars, harvest, pinot noir, rebecca marie pittock shouldis, northwest wines to youTweet
Tuesday, October 16th 2012 by David Polite
A Wine Time Story by David Polite
Whatever the reason for that inspiration, the opportunity to fulfill this little fantasy presented itself on the day I arrived here at Carlton Hill.
After signing the ownership papers of this once-prune-orchard and driving across country to begin the wine-making adventure, I admit anticipating finding a basket of fruit on the front porch with a note reading "Welcome to Oregon." Instead, I found a rather large hole filled with garbage and debris.
Not to be discouraged, it dawned upon me that it was time to bring in some explosives and a backhoe and make that imagined croquet court a reality.
Now, more than two decades later, the Carlton Hill croquet court has been the site of many parties, charity events, weddings, camp-outs, and yes, fierce--very fierce--croquet competitions.
'Tis The Season To Give Thanks
Tuesday, November 13 2012 by NW Wine Correspondent - Allie Merrick
Happy New Vintage!
Tuesday, January 3rd 2012 by Allie Merrick - NWWTY Wine Correspondent
With the New Year comes a new vintage.
And what will this one bring? That song is yet to be sung.
With 2011 still in barrel or held in bottle and 2012 in the vineyard,
the only tales that can be told are those from previous vintages.
Here is the tune of Oregon’s 2011 vintage, as hummed by Harvey Steiman (Wine Spectator):
“For four months, 2011 vintage looked like a disaster waiting to happen for Oregon vintners.
The vines produced a huge crop and it didn't look as if conditions would ever get warm
enough to ripen it. It was, in the end, the latest vintage in Oregon history. Most wineries
didn't start picking until after Oct. 15, and were still picking in the first week in November.
Most of the grapes were brought in under warm, sunny skies.
Rain was forecast in late September and early October, but only a few showers materialized.
Alcohols were low, about the same as in 2010, but color and flavor surprised vintners
with their depth. They are calling it a miracle vintage.”
The lyrics of the new vintage were sung out in this exclusive vineyard report
with Rebecca Marie Pittock-Shouldis (Winemaker at Ghost Hill Cellars).
Listen to audio captured onsite at the Bayliss-Bower Vineyard.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
If this cliche holds true, Oregon's 2011 vintage will be one worth singing praises to.
Let us await what comes with glasses half full (not half empty) with the fruits of labor we have in hand.
As we ring in the new vintage, let's reflect on vintages past one bottle at a time...
Anthony Dell Cellars - 2005 Rio Red
Artisanal Wine Cellars - 2006 Pinot Noir Adams Vineyard Reserve
Kelley Fox Wines - 2007 Pinot Noir Momtazi Vineyard
AlexEli Vineyard - 2008 Riesling
Stag Hollow Wines - 2009 Dolcetto Yamhill Carlton
Purple Hands Wines - 2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir
Cheers to vintages those old & those new!
Something old. Something new.
When it comes to wine, both will do.
As we wait for the new vintage to come at last,
Let’s enjoy what we sip from vintages past.
NWWTY Wine Correspondent
Labels: 2011 Vintage, Northwest Wines To You, Purple Hands Wines, Stag Hollow Wines, AlexEli Vineyard, Kelley Fox Wines, Artisanal Wine Cellars, Anthony Dell Cellars, Rebecca Marie Pittock-Shouldis, Ghost Hill Cellars, Allie MerrickTweet
In The Vineyard: Carlton Hill Wine Company
Monday, October 10th 2011 by Allie Merrick - NW Wine Correspondent
Raising a vineyard is much like raising a child, in that it requires a lot of work.
While the work requirement is great, the reward is too.
And the more you give, the more you'll get.
It's not a matter of nature vs. nurture.
It is more a matter of nurturing nature in a variety of ways in the vineyard.
This is a lesson I recently learned from David Polite, the owner & winemaker at Carlton Hill Wine Company. From lowering the number of shoots by selection to raising the hight of catch wires by hand, the workload is high. Watch & learn about what's involved for rearing the vines for a wine you can raise your glass to.
By: Allie MerrickTweet
The Voice Of Vino
Tuesday, October 25th 2011 by Allie Merrick - NW Wine Correspondent
The voice of reason would suggest that all things have a voice.
And so it is that for every wine sipped, there is something to be said.
However, as a bottle of vino can't vocalize for itself, who will speak on its behalf?
Not just one, but many. And most will have different things to say.
This is where the artistic nature of wine is apparent.
Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, perfection is on the palate of the taster.
In describing the same wine, there are those who will espouse great points & grandiose reviews,
while others will only mention the wine's mediocrity with opposition to expert opinion.
Who is right? Both perhaps. And perhaps that's the way it should be.
After all, a bottle of wine is like a piece of art. It ignites a conversation.
A single thirty second description of wine can lead to an hour of dialogue.
Take a look at the examples below:
Example #1: Ghost Hill Cellars 2010 Pinot Noir Blanc (described by Rebecca Marie Pittock Shouldis)
"...a bewitching bouquet of tangerine & lime with wildflowers..."
The flavor profile defined with tangerine, lime & wildflowers was given depth with its manner noted as 'bewitching'.
Example #2: CAW 2008 Pinot Noir (described by Norma Coats)
I suppose she could have said that the wine was 'smooth', but 'seamless texture' says far more.
Today, let's raise our glasses to using words worthy of the wines we love.
Let's also toast to opposing opinions that create conversations in which neither side is right or wrong.
NW Wine Correspondent
Labels: ghost hill cellars, CAW wines, rebecca marie pittock shouldis, norma coats, pinot noir, allie merrickTweet