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We Taste a Lot of Wine – Barbera

It’s 10 am at Avalon and the first wine reps have arrived. We’re gathering at the back of the store, pulling wine glasses off the rack and finding our tasting notebooks. Each rep has a bag of samples- six, eight, ten different wines open for tasting. And they’re eager for us to try (and buy) [...]

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Belle Pente, Big Table: Wineries – and Farms as well

There’s a great article in today’s Oregonian about wineries that are also farms. Big Table Farm, Clare Carver and Brian Marcy’s young effort is featured –  we offer their delectable Big Table Farm Syrah 06, made from the same block of California’s White Hawk Vineyard as Antica Terra winemaker Maggie Harrison’s Lillian Syrah (available by [...]

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Shea Vineyards – New Pinot noirs

Shea Wine Cellars released two new 2007 Pinot noirs to us this week – the 2007 East Hill and the Pommard.  Shea Wine Cellars is the Shea Vineyard owner’s winery. Our tasting notes: Shea Wine Cellars Shea Vineyard East Hill Pinot noir $54.95/$49.45 Immediately enjoyable dark raspberry, blueberry and loganberry meld with exotic notes of incense [...]

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2007 WA State Mark Ryan Wild Eyed Syrah

Speaking of 2007 Washington reds, Mark Ryan released their Wild Eyed Syrah 07 and Crazy Mary Mourvedre 07 to us today. Mark Ryan’s early wines were burly and tannic – we loved them for their bold, gnarly appeal. With every successive vintage, winemaker Mark McNeely’s wines are a bit more polished while keeping their explosive edge. [...]

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Washington’s 2007 Vintage 95-100 pts – Wine Spectator

Washington State’s wine industry got a big boost with the addition of the 2007 vintage scores to Wine Spectator’s Vintage Chart Grid. Washington’s 2007 vintage  is rated at 95-100 points – their previous best score was 94 points for the 2006 vintage, with earlier scores hovering around 89-92 points. Most of the “serious” 2007 vintage [...]

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Hotter in Oregon than in Houston Today

We’re supposed to hit 101F today. Houston is only going to be 99F.  I asked Patty Green, Patricia Green Cellars, about it. (Patty manages not only her estate vineyard but has a permanent crew managing all the sites she buys from – she’s one of the most knowledgeable winemakers on vineyard care that I know). [...]

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Eyrie Chardonnay 1970-2007 Vertical Tasting

Eyrie Vineyards hosted a tasting of 37 vintages of their Chardonnay last week- 1970 through 2007. It was unforgettable.  Jason Lett spent weeks updating Eyrie’s cellar. He tasted through over 1500 bottles of wine from 1970 through the 2000′s, removing the flawed bottles and recorking those still good. In some vintages, over 50% of the [...]

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SF Examiner on Belle Pente

Belle Pente’s wines are personal favorites of mine. Brian is, like many other Oregon wine visionaries, a low key winemaker pursuing a personal path and crafting his wines without a lot of attention paid to the prevailing style (i.e. what gets the high Wine Spec ratings). Here’s what the SF Examiner said: “Belle Pente Cellars [...]

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“I’ll have a Grande Nonfat Pinot, Please”

Courtesy, Dr Vino’s Wine Blog: Starbucks is going local. In a store rolling out this week in Seattle, the chain will be trying out a “coffeehouse” format, eschewing the ‘Bucks name and logo. According to a story in the Seattle Times that includes tales of their local snooping, the location “will serve wine and beer, host [...]

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A Wine and Coffee Megastate

Interesting article from the Albert Lee, Minnesota newspaper – visiting Washington State from Minnesota, a midwesterner views Washington and the Pacific Northwest as “a wine and coffee megastate.” “If you are not drinking coffee on one corner, then the other corner has a wine place with a Washington state signature wine in it.” Here’s the [...]

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