Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend In The Willamette Valley

Why did we go to the Willamette Valley For Memorial Day Weekend? For the rain? The mist? The fog? The clouds? The crowds? Well, for one thing, it was our semi-annual wine country rendezvous with the Toveys and I had to pick up some Pinot Noir at Ken Wright. The real reason was to taste at wineries that are usually closed to the public most of the year such as Beaux Freres and Lachini. The problem was, though, that others were closed such as Drouhin and Archery Summit. Once again, I should have worn my "So Many Wines, So Little Time" t-shirt. For the sake of efficiency, we spent the first day in the Ribbon Ridge area checking out the ilks of Beaux Freres and Patricia Green. The next day was spent in the Red Hills of Dundee checking out Lange, Winderlea and others. Once again, we were disappointed by wineries where you might have thought that some of the patina had rubbed off some wine God or Goddess. No such luck, but we found some real greats such as Tori Mor and De Ponte lurking nearby. And really close to "home" in McMinnville we tasted some outstanding wines from Panther Creek and Eyrie. The Hinman Chardonnay from our hotel's cooler wasn't bad either for $12.

As is frequently the case, local restaurants put on a spotty performance. Unfortunately we couldn't get a reservation at Cuvee in Yamhill. A lot of "institutions" in the North Willamette are in the process of passing the torch between generations. Nick's, for example, has changed its menu and and its price list. Frankly, I preferred the old Nick's, especially the wine pricing of $8 over retail. The new menu, a 'degustation" or tasting menu required a certain number of course at a fixed price. Some of the dishes such pasta with sea urchin were interesting, others were not. The food at Tina's was good and the service was outstanding. The wine steward was gracious, but the first two wines we ordered were out of stock, so I had to go out to the car to get two bottles purchased at the winery. At least, we were only charged one corkage fee. Maison Bistro had typical French bistro food and some interesting items, but frankly after waiting an hour and a quarter for some food, I forgot what everybody had. Next, look for the Tovey report of our trip followed by more on individual wineries and wines.


  • At 10:38 PM, Blogger BIM said…

    hi gene,
    we met over dinner at lin+king's 4th of july party and shared some of the wine i made.
    is there a way to subscribe to your blog ?


  • At 8:14 PM, Blogger SeattleWineBlog said…

    hi bim, it was great to meet you at Redwood Shire in the forest. Your Pinot was great! I plan to write about the 4th in the Redwoods, but as you can see I am way behind on my blogging and I am, also, technologically challenged. I'm sure you can subscribe to an RSS feed through Yahoo, Google, etc. Maybe some of our readers have specific advice about how to do this. Send me you email which I will not publish, so we can correspond. Also, check out the archives for a piece on the King and Lady Lin of Redwood Shire
    "somewhere" in Sonoma. Gene


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