Jan 1, 2013

Posted by in In The Glass | 0 Comments

In The Glass: 2013 Begins With Stellar Oregon Sparkling Wines

photo (31)Happy New Year!

I am a lucky wine gal – ringing in 2013 with 4 incredibly outstanding sparkling wines from Oregon was, indeed, the ultimate way to say farewell to the wonderful year of 2012.

Saying hello to 2013 was done with the sound of popping corks, the festive clinks of wine glasses, embracing hugs and romantic kisses. Here’s what our little party had in our glasses:

Domaine Meriwether 2000 Prestige Cuvée Brut Rosé Oregon Sparkling Wine ($40) ~ A small amount of Meriwether reserve Pinot Noir was added to this Methode Champenoise sparkling wine to give it a beautiful light salmon-pinkish color. Aromas and flavors of strawberries, raspberries, vanilla, caramel, and fresh baked bread are rounded out by a zesty acidic backbone. Elegant, yet complex, this is my favorite Oregon sparkling wine. A minimum of 6 years on the yeast and fermented in small lots in French oak barrels – this sparkling wine is gorgeous and elegant in the glass and on the palate.

photo (30)King Estate 2008 Blanc de Noirs ($45) ~ Blanc de Noir is a French term for “white wine from red grapes.” Although the varietal of red grape used to make this sparkling wine isn’t listed, I’m assuming the winemaker used Pinot Noir since most of the fruit comes from their estate (and King Estate is located in the Willamette Valley). I enjoyed this sparkling wine in the last few minutes of 2012, alongside a plate full of Oregon Dungeness Crab and drawn butter. The pairing was ambrosial. Being aged sur lie for 26 months prior to riddling and disgorging adds complexity to the honeycrisp apple and lemon zest aroma and flavors. The zesty lemon qualities are exactly why this sparkling wine was an immaculate match with Oregon Dungeness Crab.

Capitello Brut NV Oregon Sparkling Wine ($28) ~ Back when I owned my win bar, I carried winemaker Ray Walsh’s Capitello Brut in my shop. Thankfully, before putting my shop up for sale, I brought home several bottles of this delicious Methode Champenoise sparkling wine – saving a few for special occasions, ie: New Year’s Eve. Coincidentally, three of the four sparkling wines we popped the cork on last night to ring in the new year have a tie to local winemaker Ray Capitello-BrutWalsh: He was the white winemaker at King Estate for many years, making them famous for Pinot Gris, before he began producing wine under his own label, Capitello. He not only currently makes wine under his own label, but he is also the winemaker for Domaine Meriwether. Ray is sort of the superstar winemaker of the south Willamette Valley. Anyway, the Capitello Brut has millions of amazing tiny bubbles that leap around the palate. This vibrant, lively sparkling wine has aromas and flavors of pears and apples with a nice long, palate pleasing finish.

2009 Argyle Brut Rosé ($50) ~ After having two totally different, but each delicious is its own way, Rosé sparkling wines in one sitting along with other sparklers, I’ve come to the conclusion that I absolutely love  Rosé sparkling wines.  The Argyle is a beautiful salmon color in the glass, it’s really very eye catching. Aromas of strawberries definitely dominate – sweet and fruity. On the palate, raspberry, cranberry and strawberries are enhanced by lemon and fresh baked bread. The mouthfeel is gorgeous and elegant, just like Domaine Meriwether’s. This is delicious.