23Feb- Oregon wine tasting at Motor and comment on chemistry
I’ve remarked on chemistry on countless occasions. I’m a firm believer in how powerful something as intangible as “getting along” is and I have to confess to making many decisions based on how well I might get along with someone. And, it would seem, that meeting a wine person with whom I get along really works for me. I was lucky enough to be invited to a little get-together to taste some Oregon wines at Motor a few days ago. Oregon, of course, has a deep and personal hold on me because of the little (any but all seems a little) bit of time that I’ve spent there. I could wax eloquent on each of the offerings but I won’t. Suffice it to say, I enjoyed everything (with the exception of, god bless ‘em, the 2002 Zivo Pinot Noir. It simply didn’t say either “pinot” or “Oregon” to me. Too extracted and rough&tumble for where my palate was that day.) and I encourage everyone to explore the works of Evening Land Vineyards (firm, serious tasting wines from a surprisingly young outfit), Walnut City Wine Works (lovely, refreshing pinot gris - to my taste I think Oregon puts out the best pinot gris in the country. Morgan in Monterey, CA does a very nice job but my money still goes to Oregon) and Brandborg Vineyard and Winery in regrettably still little-known but historically important Umpqua Valley (gorgeous Riesling with lovely petrol and focused Alsatian style - I’ll be carrying their gewurztraminer soon).
Above and beyond the quality of these wines I found myself in chummy manner with everyone who represented them: Michele Parent from Evening Land, Matt Blumhart from Walnut City, and Sue and Terry Brandborg from Brandborg. Now, of course they’re all working and on their best behavior and I do hope it isn’t hubris that makes me think we all got along, but we all did seem to get along. I am, at heart, a nerd whose interest in research helps me speak passable “wine” and I think people in the wine industry appreciate the interest and effort. I wish I could offer all of their wines but my menu isn’t big enough for that. I will get, from time to time, something from each of them to offer on my by the bottle list as I want to make these products available to columbia and, at least, within my easy reach. Partially because I truly support the quality of these products but also because the people representing them all seemed very honest, down-to-earth, and genuine people who possess a real, higher, and still warm understanding of what they do that includes but isn’t dominated by numbers and profits and competition. All people with whom I would like to spend time personally. Sue and Terry I was lucky enough to have spent time with at the restaurant later that night and for whom I opened 2008 Eyrie’s Muscat Ottonel and St. Innocent’s 1996 Pinot Noir from Brick House’s Vineyards, both were drinking beautifully. And I’m sorry that neither Michele Parent nor Matt Blumhart could’ve shared in it.
So. That happened. And I’m happy that it did. Be on the lookout on the by the bottle list, if you’re the type of person who looks at it, for some of these wines and the Brandborg Gewurztraminer will be going on the by-the-glass list soon.
And maybe later I'll describe how B.R. Cohn's rep (Bruce's son, Daniel) offended my sense of civility. Suffice it say, I won't be carrying any of their work.