Winemakers setting out on their own, making their own winery’s first few cases — they’re so excited, they put every ounce of passion and skill into their couple of barrels. No wines receive more attention than that first vintage. We added two great examples to our website today.
Both winemakers work for bigger wineries fulltime, and their employers let them make a couple of barrels of their own wine on the side.
The Omero Corral Creek Pinot noir 08 was made by Sarah Cabot (at right) while she was assistant winemaker at Belle Pente. The winery made a real score, getting grapes from Chehalem’s estate vineyard, Corral Creek. Corral Creek Vineyard was planted in 1983 and it has produced some killer Pinots over the years.
Marcus and Andy thought the Omero was one of the best wines at a recent Chehalem Mountain trade tasting, where they tried over 50 different Pinot noirs. It’s $32.25 in any 12 bottle order. Omero Cellars owns sixty spectacular acres on Ribbon Ridge. It’s an Oregon Pinot noir producer you want to know about.
Today’s other 50 case lot wine from a new winery is a Cabernet Sauvignon 07 from Phillip Leigh Cellars. Phillip Fromherz is business manager at Mark Ryan in Woodinville, WA. He’s worked in the cellars of a lot of the wineries along the Woodinville warehouse row – Gorman, Sparkman Cellars, Darby, and Guardian Cellars among them.
Along with managing Mark Ryan, Phil is allowed to use the winery after hours to craft two barrels of his own Phillip Leigh Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s $26.95 in an order of any 12 bottles.
Maybe it was my imagination, but I thought I could taste the influences of Gorman, Mark Ryan, and Guardian Cellars in the Phillip Leigh Cab. It’s Phil’s own take on what I think of as the “Woodinville warehouse style” – big big big, earthy, surging fruit, toast and spice. It might still be dang cold, but I’m heading for the barbeque grill in my backyard. Writing about the Phillip Leigh has me craving some big seared meat along with a big glass of “warehouse red.”
Pretty much all of the wines we add to our website are on the New Oregon Pinot noir and Washington Wines page (duh.) We add at least a few every day.