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Monday, March 11, 2013

The Wandering Wine Geeks

What have the Oregon Wine Geeks been up to?

We have been doing some different tasting lately.  Let’s start with our trip to Pallet Winery where we barrel tasted along with OJ Merrill from Merrill cellars.  There are some great wines coming out of those barrels we tasted.  Including a killer Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but for us the stand out was the 2011 Syrah.  We brought home a bottle we siphoned out of the barrel of each.  Good things coming from Merrill Cellars this year and next.

Linda Donovan of Pallet also sent us home with another bottle of her Syrah.  We like it even better now that its been in the bottle for a bit.  Though we liked it to begin with the tasting note is here.

This last weekend we made the trip out Pebblestone.  It’s really not much of a trip for us as its really only 10 minutes away.  They were pouring a vertical of their Syrah from 2005 through 2009.  Needless to say each was different but all were delicious.  The stand out on that trip was their Cabernet Sauvignon which I have to rank right up there with some of the best Cab Sauv in the Rogue Valley.  Take a trip by Pebblestone if you get the chance and enjoy the wine and the pleasant company of Pat and Dick Ellis.

One last bit of news is the upcoming Abacela wine dinner @38Central in Medford.  We certainly hope to be there along with Earl and Hilda Jones of Abacela.  This is a four course meal with an Abecela wine paired to each course, including 2011 Grenache Rose, 2011 Albarino, 2009 Tempranillo Estate, and the 2009 Port.  It’s slated for April 4th with two seating’s available at 5:45 and 6:30.  Call David at 38Central for more info 541-776-0038

Posted By: Ted Weldon @ 4:38:07 PM


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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wines Tasted Since Decmeber 1st




2010 Araujo Estate Sauvignon Blanc Eisele Vineyard



2009 Quady North Merlot ceci n'est pas un baril de merlot



2008 Pebblestone Cellars Merlot Block 2 Ellis Vineyard



2009 Wine Guerrilla Zinfandel Old Vine Block 1 Coffaro Vineyards



2007 Weisinger's of Ashland Mescolare Lot 19



2007 Slagle Creek Vineyards Merlot Pini



2007 Weisinger's of Ashland Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve



2009 Crater Lake Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon



2008 River's Edge Pinot Noir Barrel Select



2007 Carpenter Hill Petite Sirah



2008 Stag Hollow Pinot Noir Yamhill-Carlton District



2007 EdenVale Grenache



2008 Brezza Santa Rosalin Barbera d'alba



2009 Crater Lake Cellars Grenache



2009 Buty Columbia Valley 64% Merlot/ 36% Cab Franc Blend



2008 Raptor Ridge Shea Vineyard



2009 Edgefield Chardonnay



2009 Del Rio Vineyard Viognier



2008 Edgefield Black Rabbit



1994 Edgefield LBV Fireside Zinfandel Port



2008 Lang & Reed Two Fourteen Cabernet Franc



2009 Helioterra Pinot Noir



2008 Edgefield Winery Merlot Alder Ridge



2009 Edgefield Winery Syrah Chukar Ridge Vineyard



2009 Brick House Cuvée du Tonnelier Ribbon Ridge



2006 IO Ryan Road Vineyard Syrah



2008 Slagle Creek Estate 2008 Reserve



Posted By: Oregon Wine Geeks @ 9:37:24 AM


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Monday, December 12, 2011

The Geek Note, last of 2011

The Geek Note 12-13-2011

Welcome to the holiday season! The time has come for some retrospective looks at 2011. This year has been busy for the Oregon Wine Geeks. We got out there and met many of the winemakers, vintners and tasting room hosts. We tasted a lot of wine, decided we liked a lot of it, drank it, wrote about it, and suggested it to friends, readers, restaurant owners, other wine critics and winemakers. This installment of the “The Geek Note” will include some stats on the number of wines we reviewed this year as compared to what we tasted. About a 20% margin between what we tasted versus wine we decided to write tasting notes on. We'll talk a little bit about criteria for reviews, and give a glimpse at some negative reviews that were written. We'll round out the article with what the best Oregon Wine Geeks rated wines for Southern Oregon were this year.

We're going to show you a little more costing data that we have gleaned from our database that as of now has over 1000 Southern Oregon wines past and present. We are also going to talk about the Oregon Wine Geek Philosophy as a reminder of how we work and what we try to accomplish. Let's start with the picture below; every year I do a collage of that years labels and pictures from the prior year, here's the 2011 version:

The 2011 Label Collage

So look closely and we'll play a game, there are 2 Items not from Oregon, and 4 from the Willamette Valley. Can you spot them? The rest are all from Southern Oregon, Good Luck.

This Geek Note's Agenda

Statistics and information on Oregon Wine Geeks wine consumption in 2011.
Where are the bad reviews? , Here's a sample and why we don't publish them.
How much should I be paying for that bottle of Southern Oregon white wine?
Buyers Guide Additions, removals and FAQ
On the slate to be tasted, the tasting queue and example of what we tasted last month

The 2011 Tasting Notes

We wrote and published over 200 wine tasting notes this last year through the first week of December. Of that 200 wine tasting notes, 150 were from Oregon, 136 from Southern Oregon. We tend to write notes on about 1 in six wines we taste. That means in 2011 we tasted about 1200 plus wines. The average Score of the tasting notes was 89.1, the low was 83 the high was 95. Those numbers tell you a lot about what we take the time to write a note on.

Scoring Distribution

We don't write negative wine reviews very often, and even when we do they are generally anonymous as to the producer. We strive to be positive about all the wine we drink, wine that is mediocre we tend not to ever do a formal tasting on, but put it aside and move on. A truly bad note and score would be from a wine we have formally tasted and was truly bad. From the Oregon Wine Geeks point of view it's a waste of our time to do a formal tasting on wine we don't like. We are asked by a lot of producers to taste their wine either before or after its been released. When we do we will write a review and score each wine submitted to us, but we only publish tasting notes on Oregon Wine Geeks that are in excess of 81 points. How does this benefit the public?

One of the things we wanted our site to be is somewhere to come find the best Southern Oregon wine to drink. There's no sorting through the mediocre wines reviews, if it's on our site we were at least neutral about the wine. The Oregon Wine Geeks respect the fact that no palates are alike so my good (81 to 85) a rather low score for me could be your 90 if it's something you're looking for. Let's talk scores for moment, in the Oregon Wine Geek world it looks like this:

81 to 84 is a good workmanship wine, most table wine fall between 81 and 90. It should be lower priced, not over $25 or you wouldn't be getting the value you deserve.

85 to 89 is very good wine it should be very well made, generally the producer is very consistent in their quality, you see real reflections of winemaking styles, terrior of the fruit, vintage variations, aging of the wine will show improvements. The pricing should be under $40.

90 to 95 is excellent to classic, sometime the variation here can be much greater than in 80 to 89 range. All the wines over 90 are going to taste wonderful. When you start to close in on 94-95 the words wow and yummy are heard very often. Oregon Wine Geeks smile at each and tend to pour more in their glasses before someone else gets it. There are no limits upper of lower on price at this level.

95 to 100 is extraordinary, truly a classic. Wines with these scores tend to exemplify their varietal, blend types, appellation and regions. Skies the limit on the pricing so we don't get a lot of these, but I predict very soon Southern Oregon will get a 96+ wine.

Oregon Wine Geeks don't take price into account when scoring or tasting a wine. Most times we are unaware of price when wines are selected for tasting. The wine that Oregon Wine Geeks decides to do formal tastings on is decided in a few different ways.

The most common way is by tasting, we get out to the winery tasting rooms and we taste a flight. Within that flight will be wines we'll pick to taste and write notes on. The next way is what we order at meals, especially our weekly lunch at 38 Central. In these cases we order and taste and write notes on the wine before the meal, but supplement the notes with how the wine pairs to food. We also accept submissions from winemakers anything from a single bottle to a producer's entire current release. We don't except payment for any tasting note or scoring we do, though it is occasionally offered. The last way is just like any consumer, we wander around the wine section at the store looking for the new untried gem. The method that generates the written bad reviews is generally with meals and occasionally wine club allocations, following are two such notes. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Where are the bad reviews? , Here's a sample and why we don't publish them.

This from a respected indie producer in the Willamette Valley for a 2007 Pinot Noir.
Watered down, nose almost had BY but could not stand up. Over filtered pinot, tastes like watered down grape juice, no real body, finish non-existent. Some people will say this is elegant and refined, but I see no age ability, just watered down wine. Overpriced and over rated why have this when a wine with body, flavor and complexity is available at 2 for the price of this 1, Now that said this is just me and my palate, my wife enjoyed the wine very much but didn't rave over it. I was just looking for something more.

And this one regarding a Southern Oregon Cab Franc from 2008
This started out sketchy and got worse, after opening and a sip another OWG looked at me and said fingernail polish remover. I took my first sniff and sip and found no fruit, a bitter tannic aftertaste much like sucking on tree bark. I thought we'd give it time to breath and was rewarded with a barn yard full of ponies on the nose, the fruit finally showed up very thin with the same awful tannin and no structure. Not sure what happened here but after drinking so much Cab Franc in the last few weeks this one truly reeked, no score possible, 4 people could not drink even half of the bottle and we moved on to a nice Napa Merlot. PTS, 50 it resembled wine until we opened the bottle.

These are the only negative reviews I've written in the last few months, neither wine of course got a published tasting note on the Oregon Wine Geeks Site. A truly bad wine rarely gets enough of our time to warrant a review, even a bad one. I don't wish to spend my time reviling wine, and most wine we choose not to review is not bad it's just not to up to the minimum. To get a tasting note on Oregon Wine Geeks the wine must be good or better.

Now the top 10 and ties for scored wines from 2011 on Oregon Wine Geeks

At 93 Points:
2007 Abacela Cabernet Franc
2008 Rosella's Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
2003 Madrone Mountain Late Harvest Port
2004 Madrone Mountain desert wine
2006 Silverado Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
At 94 Points
2006 Cricket Hill Winery Cabernet Franc
2003 Foris Cabernet Franc
2008 Spangler Vineyard Cabernet Franc
2008 Spangler Vineyards Petit Verdot
2008 Cowhorn Syrah 74
2006 Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

At 95 Points
2009 Teso'aria Attila
1990 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron

Now the Top 20 and Ties for Southern Oregon wines from OWG 2011:

At 92 Points
2009 Tesoaria Dolcetto
2009 Cowhorn Grenache 80
2009 Abacela Garnacha
2007 Spangler Vineyards Claret
2009 RoxyAnn Pinot Gris
2010 Deer Creek Vineyards Pinot Gris
2007 Abacela Port
2003 Velocity Cellars Red Table Wine
2004 Pebblestone Vineyards Melange
2008 Merrill Cellars Syrah
2005 Red Lily Tempranillo
2009 Pebblestone Viognier
2009 Cohworn Viognier
At 93 Points
2007 Abacela Cabernet Franc
2008 Rosella's Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
2003 Madrone Mountain Late Harvest Port
2004 Madrone Mountain desert wine
At 94 Points
2006 Cricket Hill Winery Cabernet Franc
2003 Foris Cabernet Franc
2008 Spangler Vineyard Cabernet Franc
2008 Spangler Vineyards Petit Verdot
2008 Cowhorn Syrah 74
At 95 Points
2009 Teso'aria Attila
It should be noted that unlike the Oregon Wine Geeks Buyer's Guide there are no price or availability constraints on this list, it's strictly a lists sorted by tasting note scores from 2011. It's definitely not meant to be “The Best” of anything list as some publications and people put together. Its subjective, most tastings were not done blind, the list is just a history of this year's work. The next piece of information we want to share with you is not subjective at all but based on the retail prices for the over 1000 wines in our database for Southern Oregon.

How much should I be paying for that bottle of Southern Oregon white wine?

We've released some of our statistical analysis of our Southern Oregon Wine Data before but here is another piece of that data below, as you can see white wine can range from $32 a bottle all the way down to under $8. The average cost for each varietal, and blend is there to help consumers to know what the average price should be. It should also help producers to see where their price points fit into the scheme of things.

Buyer's Guide Revisions:

Below are the latest revisions to the Buyer's Guide on Oregon Wine Geeks:

Producer Vintage Wine Date Added Date Removed
Quady North 2007 Viognier Steel head Run   10/13/2011
Quady North 2007 Syrah 4-2,A   10/13/2011
Ledger David 2009 Primoris   10/13/2011
Carpenter Hill 2006 Tango Red   10/13/2011
Tesoria 2008 Attila   10/13/2011
Abacela 2009 Garnacha 10/18/2011  
Abacela 2007 Cabernet Franc 10/22/2011  
Pebblestone 2007 Syrah 10/22/2011  
Trium 2006 Growers Cuvee 11/1/2011  
Cricket Hill 2006 Cabernet Franc 11/6/2011  
Spangler 2008 Cabernet Franc 11/2/2011  
Eden Vale 2005 Syrah Reserve   11/21/2011
Folin 2007 Syrah   11/21/2011
Folin 2008 Tempranillo 11/21/2011  
Abacela 2007 Merlot 11/21/2011 11/24/2011
Caprice 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon 11/22/2011  
Abacela 2008 Merlot 11/24/2011  
Carpenter Hill 2007 Petite Sirah 12/10/2011  

If you're interested in why and how wines are on the buyers guide please check out the FAQ for the Buyers Guide. If you are a producer and want to submit your wines for tasting please email us.

On the slate to be tasted, the tasting queue.

2010 Araujo Estate Sauvignon Blanc Eisele Vineyard
2010 Folin Cellars Mourvedre
2010 Folin Cellars Ambassador Cuvee
2009 Quady North Cabernet Franc
2009 Quady North Merlot ceci n'est pas un baril de merlot
2008 Pebblestone Cellars Merlot Block 2 Ellis Vineyard
2009 Wine Guerrilla Zinfandel Old Vine Block 1 Coffaro Vineyards
2007 Weisinger's of Ashland Mescolare Lot 19
2010 Pebblestone Cellars Pinot Gris Ellis Vineyard
2010 Pebblestone Cellars Viognier Ellis Vineyard
2007 Slagle Creek Vineyards Merlot Pini
2007 Weisinger's of Ashland Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
2009 Crater Lake Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon
2008 River's Edge Pinot Noir Barrel Select
2010 Cowhorn Vineyards Viognier

Wines Tasted in November:
Wine Score TastingDate
2008 Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir Dundee Hills 91 11/1/2011
2008 Cubanisimo Vineyards Pinot Noir 85 11/1/2011
2006 Trium Wines Growers Cuvée 88 11/1/2011
2008 Valley View Anna Maria Claret 86 11/6/2011
2006 Cricket Hill Winery Cabernet Franc 94 11/6/2011
2009 Longsword Vineyards Phrase Pinot Noir 88 11/6/2011
2009 Ken Wright Pinot Noir Carter Vineyard 92 11/4/2011
2008 Ponzi Dolcetto 89 11/4/2011
2008 Spangler Vineyard Cabernet Franc 94 11/2/2011
2008 Folin Tempranillo 90 11/20/2011
2008 Misty Oaks Vineyards Jones Road Cabernet Franc 89 11/20/2011
2008 Velocity Cellars Cabernet Franc Wm Augustus 86 11/16/2011
2006 Cavatappi Molly Cuvée Sangiovese 88 11/16/2011
2007 Abacela Merlot 89 11/16/2011
2008 Abacela Merlot 90 11/24/2011
2009 Tesoaria Dolcetto 92 11/24/2011
2009 Tesoaria Tempranillo 87 11/23/2011
2008 St. Innocent Pinot Noir Momtazi Vineyard 91 11/28/2011
2008 Valley View Winery Anna Maria Tempranillo 88 11/27/2011
2009 Cardwell Hill Cellars Pommard Block Pinot Noir 91 11/27/2011
2008 Cardwell Hill Cellars Estate Bottled Pinot Noir 88 11/27/2011

I've come to the end of the 2011 year end Geek Note do we have goals for next year? You bet we do, we want to visit every winery, vineyard tasting room we missed this year. We may add an associate Oregon Wine Geek or two if we can find the right people. Tasting note should top 250 with a little help. Until the Cheers !!!

Posted By: Ted Weldon @ 10:00:07 AM


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Monday, October 24, 2011

The Geek Note 10/24/2011

The Geek Note


Welcome everyone to fall in Southern Oregon.  The leaves are rapidly turning gold, yellow, orange and red but haven’t quite left the tree yet.  It’s always been a favorite time of year for me, October and its cooler but still comfortable days.  A walk in the woods or a drive in the country always brightens the day.  A look at all the hanging fruit in the vineyards tells a story of a cool summer.  The grape growers hoping for another week of warm and hot weather to bring a really good crop.  Some have picked early it may show in green wines and a sugar shortage over the coming weeks to make up for the lack of ripeness in some of the early picked grapes.  The Willamette has been hit much harder than Southern Oregon, more rain and cooler weather they are facing mold, bird loss and at the least a watery wine from this vintage.  We just took a trip up I5 through Oakland, Eugene then up 99 from Albany to McMinnville.  Wine stops at tasting rooms for Triple Oak Vineyard, LaVelle, and the tasting rooms in McMinnville.  I worked my way home via the coast with a night in Bandon and came home through Winston.  It always fascinates me how many different and diverse the number of wine makers in Oregon are. 

Sunset off the Oregon Coast

Back in the harness after that road trip weekend, here’s the Agenda for this Geek Note:

Average Cost of Wine in Southern Oregon
A visit with O.Jay Merrill and the wines of Merrill Cellars
What should we talk about now ?
The Buyers Guide Additions and FAQ
Upcoming Wines to be tasted

What should that bottle of Merlot really cost?
As a consumer you get a feel for how much a bottle of wine should cost for that basic, merlot, chardonnay or other favorite Varietal.  How much is the name worth, a trip from France, Italy of Australia.  Why and how could those wines be cheaper than the ones made down the road at my local winery\vineyard.  Places to starting answering that question, how about the book Wine Wars by Mike Veseth:

A in depth look at the wine industry, globalization and its effect on wine, you’ll learn bunches

Now take a look at “The Truth About Wine  Prices” from, you can go to the page by clicking the picture.


This should give you some instant perspective about that local bottle of wine you just bought.  Is it over priced or a bargain ?  If you’re a vintner, winemaker you may be asking the same question, or the question of “How do I compare to the other Southern Oregon producers ?”.  Well Oregon Wine Geeks is here to help with that question.  We have been compiling the website retail costing data that producers sell their wine at.  You may see it cheaper in a wine shop, or more expensive in a restaurant, but we used the price the producer sells a bottle for non-club discount.  The average, minimum and maximum price of a bottle is based on the 918 wines in our current database that had pricing.  This is the high level look, we are saving the different varietals and style averages for another article.  But we’d love questions and feedback.

Wine Prices in Southern Oregon

Does this mean a bottle of white wine over $19 is overpriced and that bottle $11 Cabernet Sauvignon is bargain ?  Hard to tell, but for the average price and above I expect a good to very good bottle of wine don’t you ?

The Wines of Merrill Cellars
If you haven’t had the chance go by the Merrill Cellars tasting room in Jacksonville, its next to McCully House right behind the Umpqua Valley tasting room.  If you get there on a day the O.Jay Merril the vintner is pouring you will get the whole story of the label, the wines and the adventure that brought him to winemaking.  If you’re really lucky his friend Allison will be there and you can listen to the sultry sound of her British accent lull you to better places.  O.Jay asked us if we would review all his current releases and write tasting notes for them.  We gladly accepted the challenge and the wine and notes are below, as well as on the site.

Merrill Cellars Current Releases 10/12/2011

2008 Merrill Cellars Cotes du Rogue

This is an inky Rhone red blend with some Petite Sirah instead of Mourvedre.  The nose shows black fruit, leather, tar, wood and floral characteristics.  A black fruit forward on the palate with a very complex full bodied middle.  The finish is long, tannic and compliments the middle, fruit and nose. This will improve further with aging but very enjoyable now.  A Cotes of a slightly different drummer.   91 points  $35

2010 Merrill Cellars Cotes du Rogue Blanc
This white blend of Viognier and Marsanne is silver tinted and very clear.  Floral nose, pears, and apricots abound.  The mouth feel is a light bodied with a pleasant pear fruit, a touch of vanilla and a mineral acidic finish. Great nose, a sumptuous fine white wine. 87 points $16

2009 Merrill Cellars Pinot Gris

A light lemon colored Pinot Gris, with a citrus nose, floral hints and minerality   The palate has fresh fruit, stone fruit, with full body cleansed by a balanced acidic finish.  Crisp and fresh with a balanced light finish. 89 points $16

2008 Merrill Cellars Pinot Noir
A translucent ruby Pinot, the nose is exuberant black cherry, charcoal and a hint of loam.  This is a joy in your mouth, a wonderful black fruit forward with a white pepper middle and graphite on a tannic finish.  An expressive and full bodied Pinot Noir, a palate pleaser 91 $28

2008 Merrill Cellars Syrah

A very dark opaque red wine, it has good legs and lovely color.  This Syrah has a huge nose, blackberry cobbler, cigar box, roasted meat and vanilla.  Once you can stop sniffing this wine the palate rewards you with full bodied fruit forward flavor with a huge supple tannic finish that lasts and lasts. This may cellar well for next 2 to 5 years if you can wait for it. A big bold wine for bold cuisine or just good company. 92 pts $30

2010 Merrill Cellars Viognier Reserve
This Viognier is a light golden, translucent varietal with a pear and tropical nose.  The palate has a wonderful fresh fruit that rolls into the acidic finish.  This is a really well balanced and versatile Viognier that may be matched with food or on its own for a pleasurable interlude.  Superbly balanced white wine.  91 points  $25

Some Future Topics and Books to read
I would like to have a some comments and feedback from people over these general topics:

Is Oregon Pinot Noir Over Priced ?  Over-Filtered,  Over –Oaked.  I’ve heard all three of these claims lately.  Some may have some validity, what say you?

Should the Willamette Valley start being a little more diverse with its varietals, should pinot move over a touch and let’s see how some other red varietals do that far North.

Is Southern Oregon too Diverse, to many varietals no clear leader?

What is your favorite Wine Book ?

Latest Buyers Guide additions for this week include:
Some notes on buyer guide additions:  We tasted a lot of wine since the last geek note, a few wines came off the guide for availability and one that raised its price.

New Additions:
2007 Abacela Cabernet Franc
2009 Abacela Garnacha
2010 Deer Creek Vineyards Chardonnay
2009 Deer Creek Vineyards Merlot
2010 Deer Creek Vineyards Pinot Gris
2009 L.Donovan Grenache
2008 Merrill Cellars Cote Du Rogue
2008 Merrill Cellars Pinot Noir
2008 Merrill Cellars Syrah
2010 Merrill Cellars Viognier
2007 Pebblestone Cellars Syrah
2008 Rosellas Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

If you’re interested in why and how wines are on the buyers guide please check out the FAQ for the Buyers Guide.  If you are a producer and want to submit your wines for tasting please email us.

Upcoming Wines to be tasted:
On the upcoming Tasting to do list are:

2006 Christian Moueix Pomerol
2007 Soter Pinot Noir Mineral Springs
2006 Triple Oak Vineyard Pinot Noir
2008 LaVelle Vineyards Trilogy
2010 Araujo Estate Sauvignon Blanc Eisele Vineyard
2010 Folin Cellars Mourvedre Folin Vineyard
2010 Folin Cellars Ambassador Cuvee
2009 Quady North Cabernet Franc
2008 Giradet Wine Cellars Pinot Noir Barrel Select
2008 Brandborg Pinot Noir Bench Lands
2009 Tesoaria Barbera Attila

The end of another Geek note is in site, of course comments are welcome, please email them to


Posted By: Ted Weldon @ 7:34:54 PM


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Monday, October 17, 2011

On Wine Clubs

Normally at Oregon Wine Geeks, we don’t make negative comments, though they can be fun to write and read, and somewhat cleansing to the soul.  But a particular event has caused me to want to provide feedback on what should be a wonderful experience, that for some reason, some wineries turn ugly.

I have been a wine club member at a fair number of wineries. My friends often accuse me of being the character Norm, form the old Cheers TV show. Every time we walk into a winery it seems, they say “NORM!” (or in my case, “TIM!”) “We have your shipment for you! You’ve missed a couple so here's this wine we’ve been cellaring for you.”

I get to try a lot of different wines that I might not buy, and all the other fun things of a club membership. It is a lot of fun for both my wife and I. It is a wonderful part of being a wine lover.

I cancelled another wine club membership today.

There are a lot of reasons to cancel wine club memberships: cutting back on the number of memberships is my usual. But this is the third time I have cancelled a club membership for this, inexplicable reason: The winery sends me terrible wine.

It was my first shipment from this wine club.

I say terrible wine, let me describe terrible: Wine tasting is more than drinking wine, it is an experience! Fun, educational and a sensory challenge to not just drink the wine, but to savor it. So I love new experiences, and I admit this was new: I’ve never had a wine glass vomit into my mouth before.  The taste followed the nose well, but the nose was a three day dead mouse that somehow was still defecating. I couldn’t believe it, and I didn’t want to subject my sink to such a travesty, so I took it over to, (well, what once was), a friend to say “Try this!” and to make sure that it wasn’t just my palate. He spit the wine into back into his glass and then, after pouring out the bottle, we had to bleach the sink to keep it from gagging.

I’ll give the wine a total of 5 points out of 100, for the experience. Decanting and aerating did help, but that’s because we added Fabreeze to the room to clear the stench.

I’ve established that I indeed, did not care for the wine. I know this winery. They make very good wines. The wine wasn’t tainted, it was just…terrible. I’ve had other clubs send what seemed to me to be consistently unsellable wines, or even consistently tainted wines and I’ve dropped those memberships too.

But to send me, a wine club member,  this wine….I simply refuse to accept that the winery couldn’t sell the wine so they pawned it off on their wine club members. Certainly no one would buy this after tasting it, but to do that to your…guaranteed customers? That doesn’t make any sense.

I am too embarrassed for the winery to try and say…”this wine that you sent me...” . How do I approach that? I feared they might try and sell me that my palate was jaded or that I didn’t “understand” the wine. Which would lead to more ugliness, I might even want to watch them drink a whole bottle.

So I just cancelled the membership, politely.

As a wine club member, I am not expecting your private reserve or your cherished library wines in my shipment. But part of my joining this wine club was to show off to friends that this hard to reach winery produces very good wine. That argument will now be tough sledding. They might produce some good wines, but they’ll certainly charge me for undrinkable "rubbish", (Thank you Allison, that was a great word!).

So please, as a wine club member, don’t abuse me, I am supporting you, I am promoting you!

Maybe if I rinsed with bleach I could get this taste out of my mouth.

Posted By: Tim Morton @ 11:07:29 AM


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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Geeks thinking about tasting rooms

Geeks thinking about

tasting rooms


We’ve been to so many tasting rooms over the years; tiny little trailers, log cabins, and Quonset huts to huge mansions with art works, sitting areas, patios, overlooking crush pads and barrel rooms. We have had such widely varying experiences we thought we would write down what it is that we are looking for in a tasting room.  Perhaps we can find a way to help the tasting rooms become better at what they are intended to do, market their Wine.

What are we looking for in my perfect tasting room?

So many flavors of tasting rooms

No matter what the building or location here are the thoughts the Oregon Wine Geeks have on the tasting room experience. It may be that our palates are jaded, it may be that we cringe a little when we see the gilded lily; “What of this effort could have gone into wine?”  It may be that we are not the market that some big producers are after.

But it seems that so many tasting rooms want us to be club members, and if we are not interested, want to shoo us out the door, that we felt we had to try and help.  

We are in tasting rooms to review, promote, buy and drink wine. In the rush to sell today’s wine, and push for membership, tasting rooms are making it hard for us, in some instances, to buy wine. In instances where we might need help carrying out cases of the stuff!


Where did you get that wine?

We are here to taste your wine, if you promote small wineries, we very much appreciate that.  Please understand that those wines reflect upon you, the winery. Whether these are friends or a purchase on the open market, the quality of wine in the glass at your tasting room reflects upon you. Will you put this wine in a club shipment? If you are pushing other wines more than your own, what will my shipments look like? We arrive at your tasting room to find the best wine we can for all the consumers of wine. We focus on Southern Oregon; we want to promote the best local wine, at a good value. We hunger for wines that we can be proud to heap praise upon. That is our passion.


Was it me, or did I miss that taste?

There is the formula for “How much wine did you sell based on the number of bottles you gave away for tastings?” But in many ways, that little sip from too small a pour is a wasted effort; not having enough of a wine in the glass will not let enough aromas escape for proper tasting no matter how deeply I stick my big nose into the glass.  Chances are I’ll have to work too hard to find the nose. My mind will tell me “scant” and it is possible I may have missed a very good wine. “To the dump bucket with you!”   It takes a full minute, three deep breaths to taste and evaluate the wine, and at least two swishes on the palate. The second swish and either swallow or spit will confirm my first thought, or enhance it.


How you doin’?

On the other side of that coin, I avoid the wineries that pour too much. Getting me drunk, will probably benefit the winery after you, not your winery. I don’t need three ounce pours over seven tastes. I appreciate the sentiment, but you should buy me dinner before you get me drunk and take advantage of me.  But picking between the two I’ll always take more wine, I’ll just be dumping it out more.


Oh no, you can’t taste that wine, don’t be silly!

Don't hold back your best wines to get us to join the club.  We buy wine, recommend a wine or winery and join clubs based on our palate.  Pour me your very best wine.  We are not interested in joining a club to get the chance to buy wines that may not strike our fancy, no matter the awards. It pains us, as port style wine enthusiasts and lovers of dessert wines, to walk away from your tasting room not having had yours because you never have an open bottle that we could try. If you let us taste your good port, you may have a terrible time keeping it in stock and some will go home with us! It is one of the wines that keep very well over time so have a bottle open to taste. We will not buy wines that are mysteries because there are so many excellent wines out there that are good friends.


What? You don’t like my wine?! No soup for you!

This should be on a placard in every tasting room stating that pouring out a taste of wine is not an insult to the wine maker. Most pourers understand that we might pour out a very acceptable wine into a dump bucket. What we are NOT here to do today, is to get drunk. We are probably going to several tasting rooms and will be keeping alcohol consumption to a minimum.  But more importantly than that, whether a wine is “good” or not is completely independent of whether anyone of us liked it or not.


Wait, was the good Merlot at the third or the fifth tasting?

We love a written list of the flight you are serving, with room for our notes. This might not be our first stop today, and we don’t want to be entirely too geeky pulling out our iPads to take notes on, so old school writing utensils and a little room help us to enjoy our day.  These tasting flight lists also give you a chance to tell us about the wine.  We probably won’t read notes until after we taste but we’d love to know the vintage, vineyards, barrel ageing and other wine details.  We like to compare what we taste to what you tasted.


Oh, you like wine, do you?

Go ahead and go off the menu, or better yet have an advanced flight set up, reds, whites, both, desserts and Sherries.  Not yet released, barrel samples, newly bottled samples.  Everyone loves to feel special, and getting the chance to try something that is not going to be out of the barrel for six more months will make us look for it, and follow your wine.


The Lost Varietal…

The most fun tasting are those filled with back stories and people who share the passion for wine. We hang on every word of those that are knowledgeable. Those that are pouring and talking about the wine, vineyards, winemakers, vintners, even old barns and buildings and history are the treat that makes the day memorable.  Don’t be afraid to say this year’s vintage is different or what vintage was your favorite.  We love to know what the person who pours thinks.


How much tax should I add for the tip?

And when the tasting room attendants do make it memorable, where is the tip jar?  We endeavor to stop and get cash specifically for tip jars.  Taxes and all we understand, but we have felt terrible because we have felt we’ve “stiffed” pourers because we couldn’t find a place to tip. That is a very uncomfortable experience.


The rest of the story

All the comments above shows you that though we love to sit on the grand tasting rooms stone patio overlooking the terraced vineyards while tasting the latest Rhone varietal on a summer afternoon it’s all about the wine.  But tasting rooms are also about people and places. Wine tasting is one of the great things we can do here in Oregon and specifically in Southern Oregon. If a tasting room has people who are a treat to talk to and the wine is good it could be a great tasting room and be in a tent. It is from the tasting room that our passion for winery, vineyard or winemaker bloom.  We want to help ensure that everyone gets the best possible experience walking into a Southern Oregon tasting room to share with friends and family and to return to buy your wines again and again.


Below is the Oregon Wine Geeks Tasting Room Scoring Sheet, You can download this as a Pdf and print some for yourself if you like.

Posted By: Tim Morton &  Ted Weldon @ 4:42:02 PM


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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Geek Note 9/18/2011

The Geek Note


Welcome to the mid-September Oregon Wine Geeks, Geek Note.  We’ve been working really hard on a couple of projects right now. We are partnering with Medford Parks and Recreation on their Parks Uncorked fund raising event.  A lot of producers have heard from Tim these last few weeks regarding this wonderful event.  They are moving the event from fall to spring next year to make sure harvest doesn’t get in the way of participation.  But for this fall’s version we do have a full house.  We are still looking for bottle donations for wine gift packages that are being offered.  The other is an article that is in final editing called, “Geeks thinking about tasting rooms”.  We go into detail about what makes a good tasting room experience and what doesn’t and provide a tasting room scoring sheet to help you sort them out. 

From our Tasting Room Article

So here’s the Agenda for this Geek Note:

Tasting room Etiquette the Geek point of view
Whites fading as Fall comes on, what Reds to try this Winter
Winter Wine road in Sonoma
The Buyers Guide Additions and FAQ
Upcoming Wines to be tasted

Tasting Room Etiquette the Geek point of view
If you’re taking some wine newbies out on their first tasting trip you should prepare them for what they should expect.  It will make them more comfortable with experience and easier for them to enjoy the day.  So here are the basics you should explain to them:

Wine tasting for many people is all about the nose of the wine, remind your guest no heavy perfumes or body lotions the day you taste.

White wines are usually tasted first, then red and dessert wines.  You may choose to start where you like, so if you want just reds starting there is not a problem.  It is also acceptable to skip wines and ask for something not on the menu.  If it’s not available, (‘I believe if they have a wine they should let you taste it !”), they will let you know.

There are usually notes about the wine when tasting, I suggest you look at the note after you taste so it does not influence your palate.  After tasting see if you found what the note says was in that wine.  You might even save some of the taste to try it again and look for that whiff of honeysuckle, or fried bacon they claim is there.

Keep negative comments to yourselves in most circumstances, if the wine displeases you, simply pour it out in the dump bucket.  Try to keep the poison control “Mr. Yuk” look off your face.  It’s not unusual to have 5 mediocre and one bad wine for every really good wine you taste.  Not to say that is a good thing just that’s the way it is at many wineries.

The water available at the tasting room is for rinsing you glass and clearing your own palate as well.  Use the water to clear your palate and the glass then spit/pour the water in the dump bucket/Spittoon provided.

If you want to taste but do not wish to drink too much alcohol spitting you wine out after tasting is totally acceptable in tasting rooms.  You can use the dump bucket or ask for a glass to spit into and then empty that into the bucket if you like.  Using your glass and the water to clear is also fine.

Crackers, bread, pretzels and other foods are available for you to clear your palate.  Use them sparingly they are not meant to be a meal.  There may also be chocolate or another food that is paired with a particular wine, the server will let you know,  but generally anything on the tasting bar or table you may try it with any wine.

Most tasting rooms charge a fee for the tasting that is refundable with purchase, make sure you ask if you intend to buy wine after tasting.  It is also generally acceptable for a people to share a tasting as long as there is only one glass and pour.  I have seen people who prefer whites team up with a red wine drinker to share a tasting.

Tipping your server is encouraged if they make the visit memorable and enjoyable to you.  If the person serving you is the owner/vintner/winemaker tipping is not encouraged and might even be offensive.

Remember to make room at the bar for new arrivals so the server can get them started on their wine flight.

One last thing, keep your hands off the fruit!  The vineyard you may be parking and tasting wine in the middle of should be treated with a look but don’t touch rule.  Keep your hands to yourself and no one has to go home early.

Whites fading as fall comes on, what Reds to try this Winter
When fall comes to the Rogue Valley the leaves start to turn.  The Southern Oregon grape harvest is growing near as September’s Indian summer wanes into Octobers gray skies and golden leaves.  I’m looking back at all the wonderful summer wines I had this year. 

The Viognier we had this summer from 3 different vintages was outstanding.  The
Pebblestone 2009 and Cowhorn 2009 lead the way. They had wonderful fruit, minerality, acidity and we drank them throughout the hot summer days.  Then there were the Rose’, 2010 offerings from Quady North, Ledger David and Pebblestone that were fantastic dry Rose”.  The Rieslings of Southern Oregon where very good this Summer both north and South.  The dry offerings of Troon,and the sweeter variety from Pyreneesboth made our Buyers Guide.  I wish I had the time to sample more of the Umpqua Valley’s whites but I’ll get to them this Winter and Spring.  The Pinot Gris from all over Oregon were good this year with 2010’s just starting to appear as fall looms

So I’m getting ready to work through the Oregon Pinots from 2009, the ones that are affordable anyway.  I hate to break it to Oregon Pinot that they might consider dialing back the pricing structure a bit.  But that’s for a rant not a Geek Note.  The Willamette Valley 2010 and 2009 pinot will never be the 2008 but time to see how they fared.  Then it will be the time for winter wine road and big California Zin.

Winter Wine Road in Sonoma County
One thing I do look forward to is the
Wine Road of Northern Sonoma County each year.  This year’s events start on Nov. 5th and 6th for the 13th Annual Wine & Food Affair and then on Martin Luther King weekend with the Winter Wineland.  Winter Wineland opens 140 wineries for a three day weekend of wine tasting and great food.  In March they have Barrel Tasting so a good time is had by all.  Why I mention this is that all of us Oregon wine drinkers need to get a taste and feel for an area similar to our own.  We need to visit not just taste the wine.  It gives us perspective on our own region’s wines and where they need to go.  It also gives me my Zinfandel fix for the year.

Latest Buyers Guide additions for this week include:
Some notes on buyer guide additions:  You will see a lot of new wines from our visit to Spanglers Vineyard in Roseburg.  We tasted all these wines and brought home bottles but have not had time do formal tastings of them. Other wines without a tasting note are 2008 Melrose Tempranillo, it won our impromptu Tempranillo Blind Tasting we had at Enoteca we also Added
2009 Pyrenees Riesling
2008 Quady North Arsenal
2008 Abacela Malbec
2009 Velocity Cellars Velo Rose’
If you’re interested in why and how wines are on the buyers guide please check out the FAQ for the Buyers Guide.

Upcoming Wines to be tasted:
On the upcoming Tasting to do list are:

2008 Pyrenees Syrah
2008 Quady North Syrah 4-2A
2008 Rosella's Cabernet Sauvignon
2009 Tesoaria Vineyard and Winery Attila
2006 Spangler Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
2008 Spangler Vineyards Petite Sirah
2008 Spangler Vineyards Petite Verdot
2007 Troon Vineyard Old Vine Meritage

So much for this Geek Note, look soon for the tasting room guide, and score sheet.   

Posted By: Ted Weldon @ 3:14:20 PM


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Sunday, August 28, 2011

World of Wine Grand Tasting 2011

World of Wine Grand Tasting 2011

All the Oregon Wine Geeks couldn't make it to the WOW Grand Tasting this year, two were out of town so it just left me and my wife with some good friends of ours to brave it out. It's a rough life but if I must. What a wonderful event this year. Let's start with organization, the event was held in a large rectangular tent. Inside the producers were lined up alphabetically around the perimeter of the internal tent wall facing the center in a clockwise fashion, food was set up in different location around the silent auction table which was in the center. It was laid out so you could always turn from the winemakers and get a bite to eat. There was a nice seating area outside with a stage and music by David Correa and Cascada.

Onto the wine, I made a conscious effort to say hello to all the winemakers and folks we've met the last few years, but to spend my tasting time with producers I have not had before or that had something new. I did not over indulge but poured a lot of wine out rather than take the second drink so please don't think I was pouring it out because I didn't find it palatable.

The first Wine that comes to mind is the 2009 Tesoaria Vineyard and Winery Attila. This gold medal winner Barbera varietal was so excellent I sent anyone who asked to give it a try, but all their wines were very tasty and well made. This one will be on the OWG buyer's guide if it can meet the prcing spec.

Tesoaria Vineyard and Winery Attila

I was very impressed by the Cabernet Francs at WOW this year, starting with the gold medal winner 2009 Quady North and 2008 Velocity Cellars William Augustus that won silver. Spangler Vineyard was also pouting a Cab Franc but the highlight there for me was the 2009 Petite Sirah that won gold it was powerful and tasty. On the Pinot Noir side I really like the 2009 Irvine Vineyard Pinot Noir that won a silver. This Ashland vineyards Pinot Noir made by Linda Donovan is medium body with a really good texture. The other Pinot Noir I looked forward to and enjoyed was the 2009 from Paschal Winery. This was the first release by their recently passed owner Ron Tenuta, I'm sure he was very proud of it as he should been, it fully deserved the silver medal.

Irvine Vineyard Pinot Noir

On the white wine front a couple really stood out for me. The 2010 Brandborg Vineyard Fleur de Lis White Pinot Noir, not something I've had much of but a lovely sip with good balance and refreshing results. The 2010 Pinot Gris from both Pebblestone and Foris were refreshing and really nice considering how hot it was inside the tent. I liked the sweet white dessert wines, 2004 Sienna Ridge IceVine and 2008 South Stage Cellars Bliss. I could of course go on and on about all the wines I had last night, Cricket Hills Right bank blends, Crater Lake Cellars blends and Syrah. The very fine Syrahs from Soloro, South Stage Cellars but I do need to get on with my Sunday. Remember I only had maybe a third of the wines to taste but the Oregon Wine Geeks will try to get to all of you this year.

The whole tasting was really smashing in the British style of the verb and we really enjoyed it.

Posted By: Ted Weldon @ 12:08:18 PM


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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Portland Monthly's flawed Oregon Best 50 Wines

Apparently Portland Monthly thinks Oregon Wine exists only in the Willamette Valley

Here’s the link to the Article on Portland Monthly:  Oregon’s 50 Best Wines.

Okay worst list ever, if we are doing a comparison tasting where is the list of 400 wines and how where they chose. This really is my prime concern with this tasting, who got to come to the table and who was excluded.  Things OWG would do with a full disclosure of the data:

Question:Statistically how many were from each AVA and Sub region?
The article says 19 Varietals from 15 Appellations and 103 Producers.
OWG would see how many were from where, who and what were excluded.

2.What’s the price ranges and vintage spreads.?
The Article says 4 years worth of vintages
 OWG wants to know if we are comparing apples to oxcarts, $100 2008 Pinot versus $20 2007 ?

3.Where’s the list of producers and how many wines from a producer were allowed?
The Article says 103 producers
 A little quick math tells me that each producer got to enter about 3.88 wines, but they said over 400 so it was more than likely 4.
Who got tasted and how where they selected, again the most basic question as to bias.

This is fairly typical of a biased tasting. No chance for independence here if you are not open with your selection process and data.  So a closer look at the numbers says that if you are one of the lucky 103 producers picked to be tasted the chances are 1 of your 4 wines entered has what chance of getting in the top 50 ? At least 1 in 4 even better if you entered all whites to get on the whites list.

How does this 103 producers compare to Oregon?

There are over 400 producers in the Willamette Valley and about 100+ more in the rest of Oregon.  So for this tasting to be even reflective of Oregon Wine we would need to have a least 250 producers represented with  about 25 to 30 of those producers being from non-Willamette Valley producers.

Now you see the real contest here is not how good the wine is but can you get it tasted in the event.  Be assured the producers who were in the event make wonderful Pinot, in fact some of my favorite vintners were there, but a lot more were missing.  Let’s be open with data that a wine tasting produces, not all competitions should produce winners for 50% of the entrants.  That said I have no problem with the results but with the title “Oregon’s 50 Best Wines” is a load of fertilizer for the vines.  An accurate title would be " The Best 50 of the 100 Producers we Tasted" or "Portland Monthly's 50 Favorite Oregon Wines", but Oregon's Best really ?.


Posted By: Ted Weldon @ 9:42:54 AM


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Friday, August 26, 2011

The Geek Note 8/26

The Geek Note 8/26/2011

Back from another trip to Portland this week, I came back through Carlton and McMinnville and is there a whole lot of grape going on there.  Always fun to drive by those large hillside vineyards, it is starting to remind me of Sonoma and Northern Napa.  Sometimes a lonely road down from Carlton, not much traffic for a Sunday morning but I would expect it to increase as the day goes by.  My 10 year old daughter loved the old barns and blueberry fields.  A really pleasant drive and a nice change from the I5.south grind.

Argyle Vineyards

Now onto subjects for this week’s Geek note:

Filed under things you should read and then we’ll talk about it:
Matt Kramer’s column “The Prejudiced Palate”
Tim Fish’s “Who Says Zinfandel Doesn't Age?”
Ryan Reichert’s “Oregon Pinot Gris: Super Star or Super Simple”

Happenings and soon to be a happening
Should Oregon have an official white wine, and if so what should it be?
World of Wine Medal winners and Harry and David winners
The OWG to do list for tastings based on these results
The Buyers Guide Additions and FAQ

Upcoming Wines to be Tasted
Upcoming OWG Tasting Events
 little about the Geek Note and what, when to expect them.

Filed under things you should read and then we’ll talk about it

Let’s start with Matt Kramer’s latest Drinking out Loud column in Wine Spectator.  The title of the article is “The Prejudiced Palate” It’s really well written with the premise of wine drinkers many times dismissing the wines of entire regions.  Some examples I’ve heard over the years were in the article, here are few:
   “Italian wines are too acidic, too tannic”
   “I don’t like Australian wines”
   “German wines are too sweet”
I’ve found myself that way about certain varietals, region or blends over time, but I also usually realized I needed someone to show me a good wine of that varietal, from that region or of that blend.  If we decide to be in the world of wine we need to be open to the new and the old styles, the new and the old region.  It’s a great quick read so give it a look.  I have said before that nobody makes Zinfandel like California, is that a “Prejudiced Palate” statement?

 Also from Wine Spectator was a short piece from Tim Fish titled“Who Says Zinfandel Doesn't Age?”.  I’ve had quite a bit of 8 to 10 year old Zin over the years.  My cellar still has a few bottles of Joseph Swan 2002 Redwood Ranch and the 2002 Mancini Ranch.  They are still drinking beautifully after 9 years.  Zinfandel can be such a big tannic wine, sometimes with lots fruit and the structure to age well so a not huge surprise that I agree with Tim Fish.  Now does Pinot Gris age?

Ryan Reichert’s “Oregon Pinot Gris: Super Star or Super Simple” article from Palate Press touches on an Idea that is being floated that Pinot Gris should be Oregon’s premier white wine variety.  The article delves into both Oregon’s wants and needs for a white wine varietal or style of that varietal, (think New Zealand style Sauvignon Blanc).  It’s worth a read and some discussion.

Happenings and soon to be a happening:

Should Oregon have an official white wine, and if so what should it be?  That was the premise and the questions coming out of the wine community.  It seems the Willamette Valley favors Pinot Gris or Riesling.  If I had to choose between the two I’d take the Riesling over Pinot Gris.  I do really enjoy Pinot Gris but it could never be considered a long aging complex wine.  It is what it is, when made well, a wonderful fruit that when made dry and balanced well with acid is a refreshing drink.  We do grow it all over the state, in fact my favorites this year are both from Southern Oregon, (Pebblestone and RoxyAnn).
But Pinot Gris may never  be a great white wine, not what Riesling, Viognier and Chardonnay can be.    The Pinot Gris varietal is too widely produced in a mediocre way for it to be outstanding in my mind.  I feel the same way regarding Chardonnay and Oregon, just the bulk of good to outstanding Chardonnays from California, Australia and Burgundy would make it a very hard market to stand out in.  That leaves Riesling and Viognier.  Riesling is probably the best bet for all of Oregon, its grown both North and South.  A really good quality has been achieved in the dry style and semi-sweet style.  The price point is good to get people drinking and talking about the wine.  The world production though large is harder for most folks to decipher and enjoy.  Oregon producers that come to mind right away is Argyle, Troon, and Bradley.  Each has made a really good Riesling lately.

Then there is Viognier, the rising star of Southern Oregon.  I can say in an unrestrained way the best Viognier I’ve had the last 5 years is from Southern Oregon and every year it gets better. Unfortunately this varietal doesn’t have much acreage above Eugene, though it really could set this region apart on the white wine scene.  Well enough of this or you might get me started on Chenin Blanc and Marsanne-Roussanne.

Awards were presented from two different competitions this week, World of Wine Festival in Jacksonville which tasted over 200 wines and the Taste of Harry & David which includes wine only sold at Harry & Davids.  Both events pointed out some wines that I’ll put on the tasting to do list, they are:
2008 RoxyAnn Winery Tempranillo WOW Gold-Best of Show Gold
2009 Agate Ridge Fortified Syrah WOW Gold
2009 Quady North Cabernet Franc WOW Gold
2008 Velocity Cellars William Augustus (Cabernet Franc) WOW Silver
2008 Tesoaria Vineyard and Winery Attila Barbera WOW Gold
2009 Paschal Winery Pinot Noir WOW Silver
2010  South Stage Cellars Sp. Muscat, H&D Best of Show (Sweet)
2008 Agate Ridge Cabernet Franc H&D  Gold
2008 South Stage Cellars Cabernet Franc H&D Gold

You should be sensing here that we are going to have a blind Cab Franc tasting sometime soon with that many Cabernet Francs on the to do list.  Things may change though as I attend both events tastings and sample the winners.

Latest Buyers Guide additions for this week include:
2008 Slagle Creek Vineyards Merlot
2010 Ledger David Primoris Chinin Blanc
If your interested in why and how wines are on the buyers guide please check out the FAQ for the Buyers Guide.

Upcoming wines to be tasted:
Stay tuned for a short write up of a blind 3 bottle Dolcetto tasting we did this week 2 Oregon Dolcettos versus 1 Italian.

On my short list for Wines coming up soon are:
2009 Velocity Cellars Velo Malbec Rose
2009 Cahors Malbec France
2009 Spangler Vineyards Malbec
and perhaps a Mendoza Malbec of the Same year.

Upcoming Oregon Wine Geeks Tasting Events:

Southern Oregon Grenache Versus World Grenache.  This tasting will be a blind tasting of Australian, Spanish, and French Grenache versus a picked set of Southern Oregons finest in a similar price range.

First Annual Battle of the Southern Oregon Viognier.  A blind taste off of the Southern Oregon’s premier white varietal.  It should be epic but a really long day.

Both of these events will award medals and at the Viognier event Title of Geeks Best Viognier 2011.

Well that just leaves a little information about this “The Geek Note” feature you’re reading. 
3 Questions and Answers
1. What will be in the feature ?  Basically anything I think we should be talking about if you and I were to open a bottle and sit at the table together talking wine and Oregon.

2. How often will this feature be published ?  I’m thinking this is a Bi-weekly thing though it could be weekly occasionally.  I might also not be the only one writing it, I’d love to have some guest do some of the work.

3. Can we comment on what you write? Sure feel free to email, twitter or face book us, the links are all over the site and we’d love to hear from you.  The quickest way to hear from us is email so here it is
winenews@oregonwinegeeks.comyou can use this for any inquiry you may have.

Have a great Weekend, I’ll be at both WOW Grand Tasting on Saturday Aug. 27th and a Taste of Harry and David over Labor Day weekend.

Chief Imagineering Officer, Oregon Wine Geeks, (also known as Bailey’s Dad).

Posted By: Ted Weldon @ 2:56:58 PM


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