Avalon’s Wine Clubs are shipping a combined June and July package this year. Here are the wines:
Dusky Goose Rambouillet Vineyard Pinot noir 06 $74.95 Dusky Goose Rambouillet Vineyard Pinot noir 06 is the first Pinot noir from Dusky Goose’s estate Rambouillet Vineyard. A beautiful, seamless Pinot noir with an array of red fruits, baking spices, mineral complexity, and lovely balance for long term aging. Collectible.
Arterberry Maresh Maresh Vineyard Pinot noir 07 $74.95 - Voluptuous. There’s a sexy sweetness that can only be found in the best Pinot noir. It’s an indescribable nuance that inspires, that turns wine lovers into Pinot-crazed fanatics. The aromas are gorgeous and mouthwatering, with red fruit perfume filling your senses. Stunningly pure cherry, deep strawberry, and raspberry creme brulee builds, adding succulent darker berry accents and soft baking spice, showing great depth and concentration. The finish is persistent but delicate.
From the oldest vines in the Maresh Vineyard, the 07 “youngest” contributor is 30 years old. Only 115 cases made.
Thomas Acme Pinot noir NV $17.95 – John Thomas makes his Acme second label from declassified estate grown Pinot noir. A blend of wine from 2006 and 2007, the Acme Pinot is a steal.
By blending 2006 and 2007 pinot noirs together, John pulls off a wine that incorporates the best of both vintages at a great price.
Tasting the Acme Pinot noir in Marcus’s new house amidst piles of boxes, we wrote this note: “Beautiful red fruit perfume and dried rose petal with incense, white pepper, and sweet earth. Red currant, cherry, raspberry, on a seamless, creamy frame. Both lush and bright, this has the complexity of a Pinot twice its price.”
Nicholas Cole Camille 04 $44.95 - Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate rating 92 points: “The 2004 Camille is a blend of 64% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc, and 13% Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose offers up toasty oak, some pleasant herbaceousness from the Cabernet Franc, as well as red and black currants and a hint of leather. On the palate there is excellent depth and concentration, broad spicy flavors, and a long, pure finish. The ripe tannins are nicely integrated and should allow for 5-7 years of further development. This classy effort should drink well through 2040.”
ZanZibar Sandra 06 $54.95 - Lush, huge and rich, another of Ziad Keirouz’ huge reds. ZIad is a longtime participant in the intense Burning Man Festival held in the Nevada desert every summer. His wines are as massive and exuberant as the fires are hot. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Syrah from Columbia Valley vineyards. Zanzibar Cellars is a small boutique winery based in the North Willamette Valley, making very concentrated red wines at the Owen Roe winery facility.
Trust Syrah Columbia Valley 07 $29.95 - This is incredible juice. Trust Syrah 07 follows the style of past vintages – it’s more like a great Northern Rhone Syrah (think Cornas) than most New World Syrahs. Smoky blackberry, black raspberry and sweet red cherry are woven with ribbons of five-spice and maple. It’s a big, richly textured wine, which stays fresh through the long finish with the help of nice acidity, mineral nuances and white pepper accents.
Nuthatch Walla Walla Syrah 07 $29.95 - Huge! This is burly, muscular blackberry-tinged Walla Walla Syrah is not for the faint of heart. Full bodied, with luscious blackberry fruit and a backbone of refined tannins, it has a long, sustained finish. 100% Syrah from Seven Hills Vineyard – 63 cases made.
Belle Pente Dundee Hills Pinot noir 07 $24.95 - A new offering from Belle Pente, with lots of berry and blue fruit flavors. The nose is all blueberry, herbs, and violets, the flavors are blackberry, blueberry, plum, and a sweet streak of spice. It’s so well balanced, a wine that shows the art of the winemaker in a difficult vintage. Excellent price/performance.
Belle Pente wines hold a special place in our thoughts, here at Avalon Wine. Since owners Jill and Brian O’Donnell sold their first wines in 1996, we’ve enjoyed their combination of reasonably priced, carefully crafted Pinot noirs and white wines, made with Brian’s unique vision.
Brian quietly, with little fanfare, makes delicious and intricately nuanced, Burgundy inspired Pinot noirs. His white wines provide the clean, fresh scents and flavors of Alsacian and German wines. Each year, Belle Pente’s reasonably priced wines get better, with increasing depth of scents and flavors .
Grochau RED $13.95 – RED is a party wine that works well with pizza, burgers, and just about anything else you can throw its way. An outstanding value.
The RED 07 is Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, and Merlot, all from Orchard View Vineyard in the Columbia Valley.
John Grochau worked as assistant winemaker to Doug Tunnell’s Brick House Wines before setting up Grochau Cellars. He makes a variety of red and white wines from grapes selected from a dozen or so vineyards in Oregon.
Crowley Wines Willamette Valley Pinot noir 07 $24.95 - The nose has a blend of resin and leather arromatics with a mix of cinnamon and spice, reminiscent of holiday potpourri. Lavender and thyme also enter the picture. There is a grace note of burnt match which is fleeting as the wine opens up.
On the palate, I like the way it has both bright and dark fruit, mostly cherry and raspberry. The earthiness is very present with a dusty woodiness (not oak) underneath. There are again traces of herbs, thyme and rosemary. The acidity and tannin are balanced with the fruit, and the wine has substantial length on the back pallet. With classic pinot noir framework, the alcohol is very much in check, keeping the wine refreshing. – Tyson
Nuthatch Walla Walla Syrah 07 (see above)