Over the past several days, I have been gallivanting about Portland, Oregon with a few friends, including loyal W2WK reader, Ms. Snodgrass. We excused ourselves from life at our respective homes under the guise of running in a race, but knowing it was an opportunity to hang out in Portland to enjoy the food, wine, and merriment the city has to offer…. not to mention hanging out with some lovely ladies! So while I have the Northwestern spirit in my bones, I thought I’d blog about a lovely Oregonian vino that I had the opportunity to enjoy while in Portland!
Diving Wine of the Week: 2007 GaVin Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Price Range: $12.99
This was a bold, earthy Pinot Noir. But the earthiness didn’t leave your mouth dry – the wine finished very lightly and with a little bit of a soft raspberry fruitiness. I definitely could have had more than the one glass I did enjoy. (Don’t be too surprised that I stuck with just one glass.)
Oregon is certainly known for its Pinot Noirs. Nearly all Oregon wineries grow Pinot Noir, which originates in the Burgundy region of France. In fact, Oregon happens to be the only other region in the world (outside of Burgundy) that specializes in Pinot Noir. (Interesting, eh!?) Another interesting Pinot Noir fun fact is that the grape is never blended with other grapes – in Burgundy, Oregon, and other regions, a bottle of Pinot Noir is always made with 100% Pinot Noir grape. It isn’t blended with other grapes because it isn’t just doesn’t blend well. (That said, it is used with some sparkling wines… but, of course, they are not labeled “Pinot Noir”.)
Anyway, the GaVin Pinot was delightful. Interestingly, however, I cannot find a website for this winery. (Hmm… new business idea… find small wineries and build their websites and request payment in liquid form…. it could work!) I did however, find this write-up on GaVin’s Pinot in a “Leschi Market” newsletter from Seattle:
“Aromas of raspberry and strawberry lead to flavors of red cherries, with hints of baking spices and supple tannins. This is a well crafted wine and considering the complexity and quality it is an incredible value in Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.”
I don’t know how trustworthy the Leschi Market wine news is, but sounds pretty accurate to me after enjoying my glass of GaVin!
One more tidbit… Willamettte Valley is often mispronounced. I know because I have been corrected in the past. It is “will-AM-ette”… not “will-am-ETTE” as I feel is one’s natural assumption. Now you can sound cooler when scoping out Oregonian wines from this fine valley.
So what does one eat with an Oregonian Pinot Noir? Well, I personally think Pinots can be enjoyed with just about anything… but to narrow it down from “anything”, may I suggest grilled salmon?! You’ve probably heard that silly rule that white wines should be enjoyed with seafood and red wines with meat. Well, that’s a bunch of baloney. And apparently, Oregon Pinots were among the first famous ‘stupid rule-breakers’. And they did so with grilled salmon. In fact, there’s a whole festival called the International Pinot Noir Celebration which brings Pinot Noir winemakers from around the world to celebrate the delights of Pinot with U.S. Northwestern cuisine. The event apparently comes to its grand conclusion with a salmon dinner to accompany all the tasty Pinot consumption.
I think I’m adding “Attend International Pinot Noir Celebration” to my list of must-dos in life. Especially convenient that it is in Oregon, because I thoroughly enjoyed my short visit to this very beautiful part of the U.S.!
[Source for all Wine Know in this post is from The Wine Bible.]