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Oregon Pinot noir
St Innocent Villages 06
Zoot Allures 06
SCORE! SCORE! SCORE!
Three great value Pinots that come and go in a week or two. Count on Avalon to offer the wines you want, before they sell out.
St Innocent Villages Pinot noir 06 $24.95/$22.45
Mark Vlossak (at right) makes this wine for distribution in Oregon only. It's the "house wine" for some of Oregon's best restaurants. Make it YOUR house wine, too!
Nose: Lots and lots of red fruit scents like red raspberry, tart red cherry, black cherry, and red plum. Hints of soft toast, blackberry, vanilla, and smoke.
Flavors: Sweet, juicy red and black cherry are the initial impressions, refreshing and balanced. As the wine opens in the mouth, the midpalate finds intense, bold, darker fruit and barrel toast notes- these darker tones add weight and depth to the otherwise juicy, fruity wine.
Finish: The tannins are silky, seamless and lushly textured.
Zoot Allures Pinot noir 06 $18.75/$16.88
from J. Christopher Winery
Matt Kramer (Wine Spectator) is writing this wine up in the Oregonian this month, and it will disappear in hours. Jay Somers makes cult wine in tiny amounts and this is his really good deal Pinot noir offered only in Oregon, only to a few restaurants and to his best customers.
There's a lot to Zoot Allures. The intriguing nose shows incredible depth for the price. An initial pleasant earthiness opens up to ripe raspberry and sweet cinnamon. Refreshing and fruity in the mouth, it has a lingering finish and balanced acidity that pairs well with grilled salmon kebabs or mushroom risotto.
Zoot Allures is the second label for J. Christopher Wines and features the Somers' two dogs on the label. The pointed ear German Shepherd is "Tache", named for the Grand Cru Burgundy, and the half Lab half Shepherd is Bella. Tache is 15 years old, and sadly, is not doing well. So here's a bark-out to Tache - she's inspired a lot of great winemaking.
There's a richness to this wine that belies the price.
Spinnaker Pinot noir 06 $18.75/$16.88
Spinnaker is the second label of Spindrift Cellars, one of those "Indie" wineries that Oregon Pinot-loving insiders cherish. Matt Compton is going to break onto the national scene someday soon, and we'll think back fondly on this wine.
In just about every way you could want, the Spinnaker 06 is a winner. In the nose, a light and pleasant scent of fresh red raspberry blossom is enhanced by a hint of sweet, toasty coffee bean. Flavors of red raspberry and red cherry are accompanied by notes of fresh strawberry and sweet spice.
For those who like a medium-bodied Pinot noir with lots of fresh red fruit flavors and a soft, approachable finish, this wine is a find. A food wine, the Spinnaker 06 complements salmon, chicken, even as light a fish as grilled halibut. In the several hours we tried the Spinnaker, going back to it with curiosity, the wine opened in the glass, offering more spice, layers of fruit, and hints of white pepper and cinnamon. A most satisfying wine and a delight at this price.
Oregon Wine in the News
Hard-Wired for Wine
St Innocent Winery's Mark Vlossak
by Alison Ruch
-Interview with Dai Crisp
Lumos Wines and Temperance Hill Vineyard
by Amy Paul
- Avalon Wine of the Week-
J. Christopher Chehalem Mountain Chardonnay 06
by Amy Paul
- Ponzis fight Dump
-Natural Gas Pipeline through Vineyards?
-New York Times on Oregon Pinot gris
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