Vintages Pre-Release Tasting—Washington and Oregon

Thursday, April 27, 2017 — Reported by Dawn Harvie

The last Vintages release of April was focussed on Washington and Oregon. There was a full house of eager tasters. The first flight was four whites. The Momo Pinot Gris was clean and crisp, had a decent balance with a touch of residual sugar, but was not overly complex. The Elk Cove Pinot Gris had a lot more going on with some minerality and white peach on both the nose and palate. The heavily toasted oak on the Chardonnay was evident through the smokey flavours in the wine and had good acidity. The Riesling had zippy acidity and pear and was off dry. Each of the wines had some fans, but the Chardonnay was the definite favourite.

The second flight showed off two Rosés. The Whispering Angel had some floral notes and strawberries, which came through on the palate with some pepper and lime. It was a delicate wine, despite the descriptors and tasters thought that food would likely overwhelm it. The Sancerre Rosé had tons of strawberry and was not as complex, but it was the favourite of the two.

The Pinot Noir flight paired an Oregon Pinot against a Burgundy. They were closely matched for favourite of the flight and at $22.95, both are a good buy. The Underwood had lots of candy cherry with some earthy notes, but youʼll want to drink it within the next couple years. The Chanzy was more complex with notes of earth and leather, some berry fruit. It had better structure and more tannin. It will evolve a bit over time.
Of the medium reds, the Emmolo Merlot was the favourite of the flight with vanilla and coffee, dark chocolate, good acidity, but also some port-like notes like raisins. The Lone Birch Syrah had jammy fruit and menthold with some acid and low tannin. The Expedition Merlot was less jammy with some perfume notes, dry tannins and more balanced. The Indian Wells Red was described as a “nice little balanced wine” with some nice red and black fruit.

The last flight featured two Cabernet Sauvignons. The Seven Falls from Washington had vanilla, some earth and some sweet red fruit. There was some astringency too it. It was not an overly complex wine. The favouite of the two wines was the Faust from California. It was rich and full of flavour—coffee, chocolate, deep fruit, menthol, savory notes—with drying tannins and a long finish.

Flight 1 – Whites

  • Momo Pinot Gris, 2015,
    Marlborough, New Zealand,
    #163535, $19.95
  • Elk Cove Pinot Gris, 2015,
    Wilamette Valley, Oregon,
    #955906, $24.95
  • Columbi Crest H3 Chardonnay,
    2014, Horse Heaven Hills,
    Columbia Valley, #441998,
  • Scholss Vollrads Riesling
    Spatlese, 2014, Rheingau,
    #101972, $34.95

Flight 2 – Rosé

  • Caves DʼEsclans Whispering
    Angel Rosé, 2015, Côtes de
    Provence, #325076, $26.95
  • Jean-Max Roger La Grange
    Dimiere Sancerre Rosé, 2016,
    #490813, $25.95

Flight 3 – Pinot Noir

  • Underwood Pinot Noir, 2015,
    Oregon, #421198, $22.95
  • Maison Chanzy Bourgogne Pinot
    Noir, 2015, 408153, $22.95

Flight 4 – Medium Reds

  • Lone Birch Syrah, 2013, Yakima
    Valley, Washington, #420695,
  • Canoe Ridge The Expedition
    Merlot, 2014, Horse Heaven Hills,
    Columbia Valley, #486928,
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian
    Wells Red Blend, 2013, #421081,
  • Emmolo Merlot, 2104, Napa,
    #096024, $69.95

Flight 5 – Bigger Reds

  • Seven Falls Cabernet Sauvignon,
    2013, Wahluke Slope, Columbia
    Valley, Washington, #360222,
  • Faust Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014,
    Napa, #238261, $59.95