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Black Cap Wine 2006
Why is it we so love Jason's Black Cap wines? Because his life is woven into the vines he grew up with and he has a visceral, gut understanding of his family's vineyards and the fruit they produce. Because he makes wines that evince a personal vision of Oregon while opening our palates to what Dundee Hills terroir is all about. Because, in his words, he wants "oak to be a veil, not an overcoat". Because his passion for Oregon wine bodes well for the 21st century.
Jason Lett makes about 10,000 cases of wine for his family's Eyrie Vineyards winery. The Black Cap label is his place to show a personal expression of Pinot noir and Chardonnay. A few barrels are made each year, using the family's best vines.
Black Cap Pinot noir 06 unfolds over hours and days. Complex and captivating, the scent is of pretty red fruit and earth nuances that, with air, open to a spicy display of lush cherry and raspberry. The aromas more than hint at what's to come in the satiny flavors: yummy raspberries and cherries build, picking up currant and a sliver of huckleberry jam while vibrant acidity maintains balance. Hints of sage, mint, and rose petal permeate the finish, and the tasty red fruit lingers. Very ageable, and highly recommended for the cellar.
Sophisticated, sensuous, and elegant, the Black Cap 06 flavors defy simple description. Each year we taste in barrel, then upon release, then watch and wait as it develops. You'll see that evolution if you spend a couple days with the bottle, or even a few hours over a nice dinner.
Black Cap Chardonnay 06 rises miles above the usual Oregon Chardonnay - and stands toe to toe with white Burgundies at five times the price.
Elegant, sensuous, and feminine, this richly textured wine explodes with pear and apricot, honey, minerals, toast, and earth scent and flavors. Careful tasting reveals fleeting hints of jasmine and rose petal. This is one of the most refined and cleanly focused Chardonnays we've ever experienced from the Pacific Northwest. If there's an aristocracy of Oregon wine, this Chardonnay ranks high among the noble.
Black Cap Chardonnay is made from one tiny block of Chardonnay vines planted in 1966. The vines were hand carried by David Lett from Callifornia, and are called the "Draper Clone". The vines predate even the old Davis Clone 108 Chardonnay. Two barrels of Black Cap Chardonnay were made in 2006.
Arterberry Maresh wines impress us. A recent article and email tell why. Like Jason Lett, Jim grew up playing in the family vineyard, helping out at harvest, making wine with neighbors. Now Jim and Jason are poised to rise to the top ranks of Oregon's winemakers for the 21st century.
Arterberry Maresh Pinot noir
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