Wines of The Pacific Northwest: Washington & Oregon
Benton Lane is a family-owned winery and vineyard located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Their main focus is to produce Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, although they also make some limited-production Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay. In an effort to use the most earth-friendly winemaking methods, Benton Lane has designed a unique system for caring for their land- a combination of Sustainable, Organic, and Biodynamic farming methods. For the tasting we will sample their 2009 Estate Pinot Noir and 2009 Pinot Gris, priced at $ and $ for the tasting. We will also sample their 2009 Pinot Blanc (90 points in the Wine Advocate) and 2009 Chardonnay, just for fun- unfortunately those wines are not available in Alabama (our sales rep brought them to us so that we can try them along side the other Benton Lane wines!).
The Magnificent Wine Company was founded by Charles Smith (yes, the infamous “larger than life” “rock n’ roll” wine producer from Walla Walla Valley) in 2004. His goal was to make affordable wines that serious consumers could enjoy on a day-to-day basis, or “magnificent” wines for a “magnificent” price. The grapes for the Magnificent House Wines are sourced from premium growers throughout Washington’s Columbia Valley. The Magnificent House Wine Red has been a staple at Spirits for many years now, and we are pleased to introduce the 2009 House Wine White at the tasting tomorrow night along side the newly released 2009 House Wine Red, both priced at $9.99 for the tasting.
Local Wine Company was founded by Christophe Bakunas with the idea to “keep it simple”- meaning that wine should be approachable in style, language, and price. They produce high-quality wines from California, Washington, and Oregon that are all sourced from small vineyards and made in small batches. Their general philosophy is to over-deliver in quality, value, and service, be respectful to the place and people where the grapes are grown, cultivate long-term relationships in the global wine community, conduct business in an ethical and sustainable manner, and to have fun! For the tasting we will sample a 2009 Pinot Noir called Jigsaw from the Willamette Valley that’s $18.99 for the tasting, and a 2006 Syrah-based blend called Tilda (that is drinking quite nicely!) from the Columbia Valley that will be $14.99 tomorrow night.
The specific wines for the tasting are:
Benton Lane Pinot Gris 2009– Willamette Valley, Oregon. Made from Estate grown grapes blended with sourced fruit from the Willamette Valley. On the nose, bright fruit scents of green apple, tropical fruit, and honeysuckle are followed by a textured palate with layered flavors of peach and nectarine with hints of pineapple, lemon, and flowers. The finish is long and pure with lingering juicy citrus fruits. 89 Wine Spectator.
Benton Lane Estate Grown Pinot Noir 2009– Willamette Valley, Oregon. The wine fermented in large stainless steel tanks then aged for 9 months in French oak barrels. Lush and deep aromas of red cherries, blackberries, spice, and hints of earth are complemented by a viscus palate filled with ripe, dark fruit flavors of blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, with almost a baked berry pie quality. It is a depthful and balanced Pinot Noir with bright, juicy acidity and round, integrated tannins.
Magnificent House Wine Chardonnay 2009– Columbia Valley, Washington. A blend of 86% Chardonnay, 7% Rousanne, 5% Gewurztraminer, and 2% Viognier. A lightly oaked white offering fragrant scents of pineapple, nectarine, fresh straw, with inviting hints of toasted marshmallow and vanilla creme. The palate is creamy and soft with notes of flowers, citrus, and toasted coconut followed by a gentle, fruit-filled finish.
Magnificent House Wine Red 2009– Columbia Valley, Washington. A blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 4% Malbec, 4% Syrah, and 2% Petit Verdot. Dark, ripe, and rich fruit aromas of blackberry, blueberry, leather, black tea, and spice are enhanced with earthy, forest floor hints. On the palate, generous berry fruit flavors of strawberry, cherry, black and blueberries combine with notes of licorice and spice. The finish is long with nice balance of tannin and acidity.
Local Wine Co. Jigsaw Pinot Noir 2009– Willamette Valley, Oregon. Sourced from 7 premium Willamette Valley vineyards, most of which are organically grown, and made by Tad Seestedt of Ransom Wine & Spirits. The wine aged for 11 months in mixed French cooperage, new to 5 years old. Floral, spicy scents greet the nose, with sweet raspberry and currant fruits that are intermixed with undertones of scorched earth. It is juicy and bright on the palate with raspberry and red cherry flavors, tangy acidity, and notes of violet, sweet herbs, and tart cranberry that carry into the toasty finish.
Local Wine Co. Tilda Petulance Red Wine 2006– Columbia Valley, Washington. A blend of 93% Syrah and 7% Grenache inspired by the everyday drinking wines of the Rhone Valley. The wine is dark purple in color with a deep nose of plum, candied black fruits, spicy/peppery notes, and a hint of smoked meat. On the palate it is nicely structured with flavors of ripe black fruits, tobacco, cigar smoke, and spice. It offers good acid and weight, and a bold, lengthy finish. 89 Wine Spectator.