On June 26th, I attended a tasting in the Denver-area organized by Argonaut Liquors, featuring wines from Washington, Oregon, and Colorado. I was already beginning to have some serious withdrawals from my massive exposure to Washington wine in late May/early June, so naturally I was grateful for the opportunity to taste some more Washington wine and hoped to stumble across some of the bottles that I sampled in Walla Walla. Indeed, I did get the chance to re-sample Buty’s Rediviva of the Stones and Connor Lee Vineyard Chardonnay ( I previously reviewed them here), two excellent wines. A producer that I was very happy to become acquainted with was Syncline. Their Subduction Red blend and Mourvedre were very impressive and extremely well-priced.
One of the next American wine regions on my list is the Willamette Valley in Oregon, so my main focus was to sample as much Oregon Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris as possible. Of the several pinot noirs that I tasted, Erath’s Dundee Hills bottling stood out the most. As most of my exposure to pinot noir has been of the California variety, it was great opportunity to get a better feel for the contrast that Oregon’s pinots provide. On the “white side” the A to Z Pinot Gris, which retails for $13.00, is a steal at this price.
The one disappointment of the evening was the lack of Colorado wines available for sampling. Their may have been fifteen bottles tops and I was only able to get around to tasting the wines of one Colorado producer, Bookcliff Vineyards (Infinite Monkey Theorem was also there but I tasted and reviewed several of their wines earlier this year). Bookcliff’s Reserve Cabernet Franc and Viognier impressed–unfortunately, I do not have the retail prices for these two wines to include below.
- Saviah Cellars Big Sky Cuvee 2008 ($35.00) Big, lush, and ripe, with well-integrated tannins. Made me miss Walla Walla! Highly Recommended (90-94), 4/5 Value
- Syncline Subduction Red 2010 ($20.00) A hodgepodge of Rhone varietals make up this ripe, velvety, medium-bodied blend. Highly Recommended (90-94), 5/5 Value
- Syncline Mourvedre 2010 ($30.00) Smooth cherry deliciousness, with a strong acid presence. Highly Recommended (90-94), 4/5 Value
- Forgeron Cellars Blacksmith Merlot 2008 ($18.00) Big on aroma and flavor, very nice expression of fruit. Recommended (86-89), 4/5 Value
- Syncline Rose Columbia Valley 2010 ($18.00) Very dry, crisp, with soft strawberry notes. Recommended (86-89), 3/5 Value
- Erath Pinot Noir Estate Collection 2009 ($34.00) Aromatic, light and silky, with strawberry, dill, and bubble gum aromas. Highly Recommended (90-94), 4/5 Value
- Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir Dundee Hills 2009 (38.00) Cherry and earth elements dominate on this nice, sturdy pinot. Highly Recommended (90-94), 4/5 Value
- Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir 2010 ($40.00) Subtle cranberry aromas gave way to a flavor explosion in the mouth. Highly Recommended (90-94), 3/5 Value
- Argyle Pinot Noir Nuthouse 2009 ($50.00) Raspberry, cedar, and dill aromas, with a clean lingering finish. Highly Recommended (90-94), 3/5 Value
- A to Z PInot Gris 2010 ($13.00) Zestful, dry, loaded with citrus. A slight bit of greenness. Recommended (86-89), 4/5 Value
- Elk Cove Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2009 ($29.00) Big on fruit and big on acid. Recommended (86-89), 3/5 Value
- Bookcliff Vineyards Cabernet Franc Reserve 2009 ($??) Smooth, with super ripe fruit and sweet spice. Recommended (86-89)
- Bookcliff Vineyards Viognier 2011 ($??) Bright, with tempting peach and floral aromas. Recommended (86-89)