A Taste of Washington and Oregon

I seem to be a bit obsessed by North America lately – here here and here, well recently I was able to have a quick taste of some wines from America’s Pacific North West – Washington State and Oregon.

I was hugely impressed with the wines, they were beautifully made and very enjoyable. Most surprisingly they were actually available to buy and the three that I tried were all very different in style and type.

I have rather ignored the wines from this part of the world for far too long and decided that I should put that right. On this brief showing I was glad that I did.

This was just a snatched tasting, but it made me determined to take a proper look at wines from this part of the world in the not too distant future.

The Wines that I tried:

Eroica Riesling 2008, Château Sainte Michelle, Washington State

Dr Loosen, from the Mosel, is involved in making this and the skill really shows. This is a beautiful wine, light-bodied, crisp and elegant with a great balance of fruit, a point of sweetness and poised acidity together with a thrilling minerality.

The only disappointment is that I kept reading the label as Erotica and felt a slight let down that it isn’t – 92 points.

Around £17 a bottle from Wholefoods Market, Harvey Nichols and www.zelas.co.uk

Domaine Serene Evenstead Reserve Pinot Noir 2006

Williamette Valley, Oregon

This was an exciting wine too, the flavours were big and heady while the body was classical lean Pinot in structure. There was lively and enticing mixed red fruit on the palate making it soft and delicious, while the long finish was wonderfully savoury and fragile.

A great Pinot with superb balance – 91 points.

Around £35 a bottle from www.swig.co.uk

Andrew Will Two Blondes 2006

Washington State

So, yes I went from Erotica to a wine whose name seems to give a nodding homage to Debbie Does Dallas – however, Two Blondes is actually the name of a vineyard, while the winery is called Andrew Will – as it is owned by Chris Camarda I have no idea why that is.

I adore this wine though! It has a wonderful fragrance of sweet ripe fruit. That fruit and ripeness follows through to the palate in a creamy kind of way while a touch of fine grain tannins and spicy oak provide the architecture and a point of acidity helps to keep the whole thing perfectly balanced and elegant. The finish is long and lovely, leaving your mouth full of fresh cassis notes.

Two Blondes is a Bordeaux-type blend with 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Cabernet Franc and 28% Merlot and it carries its 21 months in oak very well indeed. A superb wine, not showy at all, just elegant and balanced. I want some – 93 points.

Around £31 a bottle from Harvey Nichols and Upton Wines: 01684 592668

More information about wines from Washington and Oregon is available from: www.washingtonwine.org and www.oregonwine.org

3 thoughts on “A Taste of Washington and Oregon

  1. Did you try any wines from the Dundee Hills? I also liked the wines from Ecole No 41 at London Trade tasting earlier in the year.Bit pricey for UK market?

  2. Pingback: New York – wines to inspire you « Quentin Sadler's Wine Page

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