Unless the Gregorian Calendar isn’t your thing, you’re probably aware that early October is solidly underway. October, that slow golden minx of the fall, is a month that plays many roles: end of summer milepost, harvest provider, surprise giver of warm days and perhaps most significantly, we remember October as the month that thought it was a good idea to carve menacing faces on unsuspecting pumpkins. Yes, the most wily and sinister of wine holidays is approaching….Halloween.
This year I suggest you follow the lead of Oregon’s wacky orange and black Ghouls and Goblins who celebrate the season with the many wineries who release special single vineyard offerings. There is nothing more scary than a good bottle of local Pinot Noir, folks, and this is a list of three of the scariest ghostly goblins’ favorite recent releases:
2010 Evesham Wood Pinot Noir Puits Sec Vineyard: An open bottle of Aaron’s Puit Sec Pinot Noir is always a sign of good things to come. (and by good, I mean evil!). Specfically, one of the most terroir-driven aromatic landscapes in the state: fecund earth, truffle, salted olive, orange pekoe and a creepy old medicine cabinet full of cherry and raspberry fruit. Most of the same elements lift their (severed) head as flavors in the mouth, with a creamy texture, fantastic acidity and more depth than a fresh grave. Turn your mirrors over before opening this one, it’s ageless too, if you know what I mean.
2010 Et Fille Heredity Pinot Noir: If it mattered, this wine would make a gorgeous corpse. Defined so delicately by it’s floral components, this is my kind of Pinot Noir. It is also blended from the winery’s best barrels, which is apparent in the depth of (blood)red fruits and it’s impossibly supple texture. Be careful not to look her directly in the eyes though, one of our employees was turned instantly to stone. You can find him in the entryway to our shop, staring transfixed for all of time. Shamelessly, we still think the Heredity is worth the risk.
2010 Westrey Pinot Noir Abbey Ridge: No short list of top wines would be complete without one from the old (centuries!) Abbey Ridge vineyard in the Dundee Hills. It starts with a range of fruit and floral perfume that just has to be magic. We even walked around behind the bottle to look for a trap door. This head-scratching (and not al bit creepy) arrangement of red currant, cranberry, raspberry and cherry fruit spills onto the palate like (can’t think of oozing red liquid metaphor), well, really freaking good Pinot Noir. As with the Et Fille, don’t be fooled by the pretty aspects of this wine, there is something ghoulish lurking in it’s inner parts (No, not that!). We found a swirl of exotic opiatic spices, a dusting of murk and a faint trace of kitten face. Well, we could be wrong on the last one…….but maybe not!
Author Jean Yates