Yesterday I went to McMinnville, Oregon with Chuck Humble for the International Pinot Noir Celebration. We tasted nearly every wine there (totallying something like 75), had some great food (who knew buffalo could be so tender), and generally enjoyed ourselves in some wonderful weather.

At the end of the day, there were only a couple of surprises. One surprise for me was that the French Burgundies didn't seem to show very well next to the Oregon Pinot Noirs -- the style of winemaking (less fruit, more spice) just seemed less appealing on a hot day. A second was the $18/bottle Firesteed -- it was showing in a league with many $40 and $50 bottles and was a wonderfully drinkable wine. Finally was a surprise from Switzerland -- the Fromm below.

Here are my picks, most of which aren't available yet, but all of which promise to be wonderful:



Contact Info

Kingston Family Vineyards, Chile

2003 Casablanca

Domaine Marc Roy, France

2001 Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos Prieur

+33 03 80 51 81 13

Dry River, New Zealand

2002 Dry River (importer)

Fromm Winery, Switzerland

2002 Malanser

Domaine Alfred, California

2001 Califa

Goldeneye Winery, California

2001 Anderson Valley

Hitching Post Wines, California

2001 Highliner, Santa Barbara County

Skewis Wines, California

2001 Demuth Vineyard, Anderson Valley

Chehalem, Oregon

2002 Reserve

Elk Cove Vineyards, Oregon

2002 Roosevelt

Firesteed Cellars, Oregon

2001 Willamette Valley

Ponzi Vineyards, Oregon

2002 Reserve

Sokol Blosser Winery, Oregon

2001 Estate, Old Vineyard Block

Yamhill Valley Vineyards, Oregon

2000 Estate Reserve

On another note, the IPNC had a table where they were tasting three wines made from the same grapes, picked the same day from the same vineyard. There was an amazing difference among the three -- truly a sign of the winemaker's art.