Monday, March 25, 2013

Oregon Wine Dinner Makes a Great Impression

At Peking Duck House, in Mid-Town Manhattan

Snooth and Oregon Wine Board Dinner - NYC

On Friday, March 23rd, I enjoyed a wonderful dinner featuring the wines of Oregon, as part of the Snooth People's Voice Awards weekend. This event was sponsored by Snooth and the Oregon Wine Board, with the intent of showcasing the fine wines made in Oregon to an audience of wine writers.Both the wines, and the winemakers in attendance, made a very nice showing.
Sure, there were Pinot Noirs, and they were very nice, but the real eye openers for me were the white wines, with several varietals represented. At the risk of over-generalizing, I must say there was a consistent level of quality and freshness to the various whites we tasted, each having the good level of acidity required to balance out the fruit and structure, and tie the components together.If you like great Sangiovese as much as I do, and therefore good acidity in your wine, than you need to check out the wines of Oregon.

Here are some favorites from the evening:

Abacela Albarino, 2011
Clean, pleasant, and satisfying. Nice notes of lemon curd, mineral, a little pineapple, with a subtle sort of nut undertone. More lemon and some apple on the palate, with a clean and quick finish. Pour this with some scallops and you are in business! 88 Pts

Stoller Chardonnay, 2010
Very pretty nose with rich lemon and pineapple, a little perfume, and a little underbrush as well. Nice balance on the palate with the citrus fruit continuing, and crisp acidity, and a bit of woodsy firmness.Finishes with good length. 87 Pts

Domaine Drouhin Chardonnay, 2011
Perfume and floral notes are the overriding theme of the nose on this beauty, with notes of lanolin and some baking spice as well.The palate has lean lemon and lemon rind, with some green apple, and good minerally structure beneath. The bright acidity carries the finish through nicely with good length and some aromatic action. 90 Pts

Belle Pente Pinot Gris, 2009
Lots of pineapple fragrance, with some papaya, and a subtle roundness.Good weight on the palate, with a little viscosity. There is nice minerality and subtle, complimentary, wood note on the palate leading into a satisfying and savory finish. 89 Pts.


Williamete Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir, 2009
Elegant nose of roasted cherry / strawberry with pie spice and subtle minerality. The palate has excellent texture and weight, and enough grip to compliment the cherry spice and sweet acidity. All components are nicely balanced, and finessed. 90 Pts.

Belle Pente Pinot Noir, 2009

Pretty fruit character on the nose with sweet perfume, lean strawberry, and some mineral. On the excellent palate there is dark cherry and spice with meaty character underneath, plus earth and shale notes. The finish is long, elegant, and satisfying with a savory / allspice element and great balance. Complete and and lovely. 91 Pts.



  1. Had a great time tasting wines with you, Bob, and frankly I could have used another serving of the Peking duck! I really loved the stories and camaraderie of the Oregon winemakers. It reminded me a lot of my own family history of cotton farming.


    1. Right back at you Ben. It was a lot of fun. I was thinking about the winemakers that night as well. The seem like a unified team intent on helping one another and continuously improving the wines of Oregon in general. Yeah, I wanted more duck too. Good stuff!

  2. Nice piece, Bob! Great to meet you in NYC!! Looking forward to being a regular visitor here on your blog, cheers.

  3. Thanks Julia! That's high praise coming from you. Great meeting you too. Hopefully, I'll be out to Oregon Wine Country this year to get a first-hand experience. I've been enjoying your blog and will continue. Really great information. Cheers!