Friday, April 15, 2005

Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir 2004

Willamette Valley VineyardsI have some very fond memories of traveling through the Willamette Valley in Oregon and taking in some of the wineries there. It’s been a number of years since I’ve been there, but I remember staying at a fantastic bed & breakfast called the Springbrook Hazelnut Farm. I wonder if it’s still as nice? The web site suggests it probably is. (And you’ve gotta love a place that’s claimed the “” domain name, don’t you?) It’s right next door to the Rex Hill winery, which I recall being a good visit. The room we had (the Carriage House) was essentially a furnished apartment with a kitchen. We made our own dinner of some local fare, including some veggies from the garden on the property. Breakfast was left in the ‘fridge and we prepared it the next morning. 

There was also a pool on the grounds. That was great, but you had to be ok with the idea that you might have a dog swimming with you. There were a couple really fun dogs that liked jumping in the pool. There was a huge expanse of yard as well and those dogs just loved chasing sticks back and forth on the lawn. What a great visit.

Anyway, since that trip, I continue to seek out Oregon Pinot Noirs. This one, Willamette Valley Vineyards 2004 “Whole Cluster” was one of only two from Oregon at the grocery the other day. There are places like Grape Vine Market in Austin that have a better selection from Oregon, but a little out of the way yesterday. This is a very, very light red wine and based on my experience with it, the tasting notes at the link above are pretty accurate. I’m not sure I’d say the mouth feel was all that “soft” and “round” though. If there’d been more to the finish, I’d probably give it a two-glass rating.

About $17, at HEB grocery in Austin
 good. Very fresh and light with cherry fruit aromas.


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