Wednesday, July 3, 2013

#WineWednesday: The California Invasion

As you may have seen on Twitter, each Wednesday is dubbed #WineWednesday and provides the opportunity to give mention to those that have something to do with wine. I am bringing that idea to WestToast and will be bringing you my thoughts on a recent bottle I drank on each #WineWednesday.

The last couple of posts and twitter messages I have talked about an upcoming trip to Oregon for a family reunion. Katie and I will be spending a week in the small coastal town of Yachats, Oregon spending time with family from all over California, Oregon, and as far away as Tennessee. It is going to be a great week and there will hopefully be a little time to get away to the Willamette Valley and enjoy some Oregon vino.

If you are like me, I tend to be asked quite often to be the person that picks out the wine for dinner, orders something off the wine list, or like this week, supply the wine for family events. While our family in Oregon is bringing several bottles from the Beaver State, we have been asked to introduce folks to California wine. As such, we are bringing up 7 bottles from our neck of the woods. As California gets ready to invade Oregon, I thought I would share my selections for the week.

2011 Colagrossi Duetto – a 100% Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley. Perhaps a risky choice as Oregonians sure do love their Pinot but the Russian River Valley is the place to get it in California.

2008 Quivira Vineyards Petit Sirah – 100% Petit Sirah and introduced for the family members who need their full bodied wines...I’m lookin’ at you, Mike Boyle!

2007 Wesley Ashley Wines Cuvee – A blend of Carignan (51.5%), Grenache (15%), Cinsault (14%), Petit Sirah (11%), Mourvedre (4.5%), and Pinot Noir (4%). An easy drinking red blend with a lot of varieties that most of the family will have never heard of...time to introduce them to something new.

2010 Frick Winery Viognier – A beautiful expression of this grape out of Dry Creek Valley. We’ll be on the coast but it will still be a little warm so a crisp white may be in order.

2011 Two Shepherds Grenache Blanc – Continuing on the trend of introducing them to something new I am choosing one of my favorite wines right now and from a winemaker that helped to “shepherd my palate” into Rhone wines. I have also had the pleasure of working most of his bottling lines and my family loves a good story.

2009 Domaine Carneros Vermeil Demi-Sec – It is a holiday weekend so you have to bring bubbles. This vintage is not as sweet has previous ones and so is much more drinkable, in my opinion.
And finally,

2009 Domaine Carneros Brut – Such a wonderful “weekday” sparkling wine that is great on any occasion, or no occasion at all. Oh yeah, we’re bringing it in a magnum bottle. Bigger is better.

You may be noticing a couple trends in our selections. First there are several Rhone wines. Simply put, that is what Katie and I are drinking a lot of right now and thus what we have in the cellar. Second, there are several small producers (Frick, Colagrossi, Wesley Ashley, and Two Shepherds). This is also really intentional. Family can buy Clos du Bois or Coppola anywhere, but with this I get to introduce them to some really incredible winemakers that I have been fortunate enough to work with and have written about. Our family loves the story behind the wines and some of these wines, I helped to bottle. Introducing them to these producers is one more way to continue to support the smaller winemakers who are in it for the passion of making wine.

And with that, California invades Oregon. Next week’s post will come from the shores of Yachats, OR.

Until next week,



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