Exploring the Wines of Troon Vineyard

Troon Vineyard sits in Southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley, surrounded by the beauty of the Siskiyou Mountains.  Troon was founded in 1972 and focuses on producing wines that are well-suited for the terroir of Applegate Valley.  With indigenous yeast fermentations and responsible farming practices, the wines of Troon showcase pure fruit and vibrant flavors.

Troon Vineyard Wines

I had the opportunity to taste through several of Troon’s latest releases and was impressed with their creative blends.  They have done a fantastic job of highlighting lesser know varieties and unusual co-ferments.  Here are my tasting notes from a few of the standouts in Troon’s lineup:

Troon Vineyard 2014 Longue Carabine

Troon’s Longue Carabine is my favorite wine from their 2014 lineup.  It is a co-fermented blend of 38.5% Vermentino, 33% Viognier, 27% Marsanne, and 1.5% Roussanne.  The dry wine captivates the palate with tastes of ripe peaches, zesty citrus, nutmeg, and apricots.  There is also a backbone of acidity and lush texture that makes this an excellent wine to pair with shellfish!  (12.5% alcohol, $29)

Troon Vineyard 2014 Vermentino Sauvignon Blanc

This blend of 80% Vermentino and 20% Sauvignon Blanc offers fresh tastes of white peaches, jasmine, orange blossom, limestone, and green apples.  Once again, Troon nails it with zippy acidity and a pleasing texture.  A balanced and refreshing wine easy to enjoy on its own or paired with dishes like seafood and grilled chicken.  (12.5% alcohol, $24)

Troon Vineyard 2013 M*T Reserve 

Troon’s M*T Reserve is a rich and complex blend of Malbec and Tannat from their estate vineyards.  The wine opens with intense aromas of cranberries, dried herbs, and black pepper.  The palate is tannic with rich flavors of blackberries, tobacco, lavender, and leather.  This wine is young so I would suggest decanting or holding for a couple of years.  An excellent pairing with rack of lamb or other savory meats. (13.7% alcohol, $50)

*Media Samples

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Brooks 2011 Runaway Pinot Blanc

Brooks is a small winery in Amity, Oregon committed to organic and biodynamic farming practices.  Last week, I uncorked a bottle of their 2011 Runaway Pinot Blanc and definitely knew it was a bottle I wanted to share with you guys!

Brooks

Tasting Notes

This Pinot Blanc pours a pale, gold color in the glass.  It opens with aromas of tart green apple, pear, and lime.  It is crisp and tangy on the palate with tastes of citrus, peach, and a hint of nuttiness.  The racing acidity and vibrant flavors are sure to awaken your taste buds! ($15, 11.3% alcohol)

My Wine Rating – B+

Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with shellfish, sushi, or brie cheese.

www.brookswine.com

*Media Sample

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Stepping Stone 2010 Pinot Noir

When in Napa, I always make sure to swing into Cornerstone’s tasting room to try their latest releases.  It is the kind of space that makes you want to relax and take your time as you taste through Cornerstone and Stepping Stone wines.  The majority of Cornerstone’s wines come from Napa Valley but they also feature Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. 

Cornerstone’s tasting room in Yountville

 

Stepping Stone 2010 Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley

While I enjoy the Cornerstone line, I have to say the quality-price ratio of Stepping Stone is hard to beat.  I am a fan of cool climate Pinot Noir so it is no coincidence that my favorite wine from the Stepping Stone line is the 2010 Pinot Noir.  This Willamette Valley wine has aromas of bright, red berries with hints of earth.  The palate is elegant with flavors of cranberry, raspberry, leather and a touch of spice.  Juicy, delicious and priced very well at $30!

www.CornerstoneCellars.com

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Mini-Review – David Hill Winery 2010 Estate Gewürztraminer

I have been trying a lot of white wine from Oregon lately and, overall, they have been pretty fantastic.  David Hill Winery 2010 Estate Gewürztraminer is no exception.  I enjoyed their Pinot Gris and the Gewürztraminer offers a beautiful, elegant palate that really won me over. 

The nose has lovely, floral aromas with a hint of spice.  This Gewürztraminer is dry and succulent with tastes of honey, peaches, and citrus.  There are also notes of ginger that add depth to the palate.  A terrific wine that pairs perfectly with sushi, Indian dishes, or teriyaki chicken. ($16, 11.5% alcohol)

My Wine Rating – B+

*Media Sample

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David Hill Winery 2011 Estate Pinot Gris

Sadly, I am wrapping up my Oregon Pinot Gris tasting adventure.  The good news is that I saved the best for last!  David Hill Winery is home to some of the region’s oldest Pinot Noir vines and their tasting room was built in 1883.  Their 2011 estate grown Pinot Gris easily won me over!

Tasting Notes

David Hill Winery 2011 Estate Pinot Gris pours a white gold color in the glass.  The nose is fragrant with aromas of pear, melon, and lemon.  The palate is packed with flavors of tangy, tart grapefruit and lime with hints of green apple.  With refreshing flavors and vibrant acidity, this wine really excited my taste buds! ($18, 12.5% alcohol)

My Wine Rating – B+

Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with oysters, a shrimp po’ boy, or smoked cheddar cheese.

*Media Sample

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Oak Knoll 2009 Pinot Gris

In continuing my Oregon Pinot Gris tasting journey (which I am really enjoying by the way!), I uncorked a bottle of Oak Knoll 2009 Pinot Gris.  Oak Knoll Winery was founded in 1970 by Ronald and Marjorie Vuylsteke.  The winery is the oldest in Washington County and now the second generation of the Vuylesteke family has stepped in to help take the reins.  Their 2009 Pinot Gris was aged in stainless steel barrels and with no malolactic fermentation. 

Tasting Notes

Oak Knoll 2009 Pinot Gris pours a pale gold in the glass.  The nose has pleasant aromas of citrus and melon and the palate is refreshing with sweet flavors of lime, lemon, grapefruit, and honeydew.  With a tangy, crisp finish and plentiful acidity, this harmonious medley of bright flavors is certain to be enjoyed! ($14, 13.5% alcohol)

My Wine Rating – B+

Food Pairing Suggestions -Pair this Pinot Gris with chicken kebobs, halibut, or veggie burgers.

*Media Sample

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Airlie Winery 2009 Pinot Gris

Last weekend, I had the chance to try a bottle of Airlie Winery 2009 Pinot Gris.  Airlie Winery was founded in 1986 and then purchased by Mary Olsen in 1997.  Their vineyard is certified sustainable and they produce eight varieties of grapes.  Their 2009 Pinot Gris is a refreshing and complex wine for well under $20!

Tasting Notes

Airlie Winery 2009 Pinot Gris has floral aromas with hints of grapefruit and melon.  The palate is packed with citrus flavors.  There are mouth-coating flavors of lime, lemon, and pineapple, along with notes of pear.  The finish is lifted with a healthy dose of acidity.  ($15, 13.3% alcohol)

My Wine Rating- B

Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair this Pinot Gris with halibut, turkey burgers, or pasta with herbs and olive oil. 

www.airliewinery.com

*Media Sample

 

 

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Terrapin Cellars 2011 Pinot Gris

I am starting the my Oregon Pinot Gris tasting journey with a refreshing wine from Terrapin Cellars.  Terrapin Cellars is a family run winery located in the Willamette Valley.  They practice sustainable farming methods and produce 2600 cases of Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, and Tempranillo.  Even though their 2011 Pinot Gris was the product of a difficult, cold growing season, the wine proved to be delicious!

Tasting Notes

Terrapin Pinot Gris pours a pale gold color in the glass.  The nose has aromas of citrus and pear.  The palate is vibrant with tastes of grapefruit, lemon, pineapple, and melon.  With a nice balance of alcohol (12%) and acidity, this Pinot Gris is an incredible value! (SRP $13)

My Wine Rating – B+

Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair this wine with grilled chicken, seafood kebabs, or shrimp risotto. 

*Media Sample

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Exploring Oregon’s Other Pinot

Throughout the next week or so, I am going to be featuring Oregon Pinot Gris.  When most people think of Oregon, they tend to think about Pinot Noir.  While they do produce an excellent style of Pinot Noir, the region also produces outstanding Pinot Gris. 

Pinot Gris is the second largest grape varietal grown in Oregon and I feel it is generally overlooked and underappreciated.  It is extremely food friendly and often full of complex flavors.  A group of wineries joined together to form a group that is helping to put Oregon Pinot Gris on the map and I happily accepted the opportunity to taste through some of their wines.  So, stay tuned for some delicious Pinot Gris and check out www.oregonpinotgris.org for more info!

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Thirsty Girl Taste With Erath Winery!

On Wednesday night, I participated in a live tasting on Twitter with Thirsty Girl.  We received a bottle of Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Erath Winery for the tasting.  Erath Winery is located in the Dundee Hills of Oregon and they have been making wine for over 40 years.  They are known for their incredible Pinot Noir and I was super excited to have the chance to taste a couple of their wines.  Here are my tasting notes from this fun event:

Erath Winery 2011 Oregon Pinot Gris

Pale gold in the glass with fresh aromas of citrus and pear.  The palate is very refreshing.  There are vibrant flavors of lemon, lime, pineapple, and green apple.  A perfect summer sipper!  Pair with seafood or Asian dishes. (B+, 13%, $14)

Erath Winery 2010 Oregon Pinot Noir

Pours a brilliant ruby color with aromas of red berries and a hint of earthiness.  Flavors of tart berries and spice mingle in this light bodied Pinot Noir.  The approachability of this wine ensures you won’t have leftovers for the next day!  Pair with salmon or pizza topped with goat cheese and mushrooms.  (B, 13%, $19)

*Media Samples

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