One of the best “trade” tastings each year happened last week. It’s all Oregon wineries and some of the best – both well known (Beaux Freres, Penner Ash), and some lesser known up-and-comers. One of the standouts for me was Dominio IV.
Dominio IV, a small winery down the Oregon side of the Columbia Gorge, has really come into its own with its 2007 vintage. Winemaker Patrick Reuter makes wine from his parents’ Three Sleeps Vineyard. We’ve enjoyed each vintage as it was released, and each has gotten better as the vineyard matures. The 2007 wines I tried last week really got me going. The Technicolor Bat and Spellbound Tempranillo Blends are rich, delectable wines and at $20, super values.
The Technicolor Bat Tempranillo/Syrah Blend 07 $19.87/$17.87 is a good Tempranillo, softened and rounded in the mouth with the addition of 20% Syrah. The 2007 Technicolor Bat is big. It’s a fleshy, full bodied red with black plum, cassis, dusty cocoa, anise, and smoked meat flavors. Have this wine with BIG meats.
The Dominio IV “Spellbound” Syrah 07 $19.85/$17.87 is the mirror image of the Bat. It is mostly Syrah, with a dollop of Tempranillo. It has the classic characteristics of Washington Syrah – fleshy black cherry, spicy toast, rounded and soft. What makes this wine so satisfying, however, is the inclusion of Tempranillo to the blend. There’s a thread of dark, dusty chocolate and structured, spicy tannins running through that elevate the wine from simple to fascinating. Serve this wine with spiced chicken or lamb.
Small wineries have a better chance of making consistent wine in a unique style when they own their source of grapes. Each vintage, Patrick’s growing expertise at winemaking is combined with the maturing Three Sleeps Vineyard’s fruit. The 2007 wines, better than the vintages before, make me wonder what we’ll see from him in, say, five years. I suspect I may be reminding him of this blog post, asking for a bigger allocation.