2014 could mark the end of an era, or perhaps just the beginning of new things. 3 years, 4 harvests, each so unique I sometimes feel like the only common thread is that I spent them all with Winemaker Michael Lundeen at Walnut City Wineworks. 2011 was my debut vintage, as well as a difficult harvest, and looking […]
2011, in Oregon, was one of those years that was basically declared a disaster before fruit even started rolling in. Oh, but what a mistake it was if you were one of the defeatists. Sugar levels were low and botrytis was an issue, but after a lifesaving Indian summer and super long fruit hang times, […]
Harvest 2013 is over and I’ve been back in Virginia for a few weeks transitioning back into the other side of the business. Only time will reveal how 2013 in the Willamette Valley is packaged and branded as a whole, but I can guarantee, for the people that were in the mix making it happen, […]
The 2011 Oregon wines are trickling in. It’s been called the miracle vintage, which sounds romantic, but, having been there, it seemed more like the by the seat of your pants vintage, or the how can weather models be so wrong vintage. Grapes desperately trying to ripen were saved (for the most part) by a grace period […]
When I arrived at Walnut City Wineworks over a month ago, my eyes immediately fell on WF1 (white fermenter 1, we assume), a 2000+ gallon oak fermenter whose age is unknown, 25+ years maybe. She was one of the most recent additions to the facility after Michael Lundeen, the winemaker, took his post at WCW […]
Wine Review: 2007 · Vista Hills · Treehouse · Estate Pinot Noir · Dundee Hills · Willamette Valley, OR
I let go of my membership to the Justin Wine Society about 6 months ago. Another one of my remaining 3 is on the chopping block. Lean times. Vista Hills, however, is not going anywhere—ironically, there is no doubt that had they not contacted us a day prior to our visit to Oregon and […]
Vineyard dogs and cats were the true masters of grape in Napa Valley. Their ambassadorial roles are witnessed by the thousands of visitors each year and even the subject of coffee table books—multiple coffee table books. Carey embraced the vineyard dog scene thoroughly. We threw sticks and soggy tennis balls, scratched little chins, looked under […]
Carey put together a stunning little cluster of wines for my birthday. The 2007 Penner-Ash, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, the ’06 Stag’s Leap Napa Valley Merlot, and the ’07 Feudi del Pisciotto, a Sicilian Nero D’Avola with a Versace-designed label!
Despite my best effort, it wasn’t a special Friday night in any way I could figure. A productive week had just passed and I was having concerns about my wine storage situation. It’s quite simple: I have a wine fridge, a bin above the fridge, and a 2-case modular wine buffet from Pottery Barn—where most […]
The impetus for our trip to Oregon probably isn’t what you think. When was the last time you traveled across the country for a book reading? Because that is exactly what we did. Of course we incorporated other activities, but had our friends at Lange not told us about the reading, the trip wouldn’t have […]
Our trip to winemaker Michael Lundeen’s home in McMinnville, Oregon started almost a year ago with my quest to find incredible, small production Oregon Pinot Noir at a good price. I was once told by someone in a wine store, in somewhat indirect terms, that good Pinot Noir doesn’t even exist under $40, so don’t […]
Carey and I were thoroughly rewarded by the discovery of Dukes Family Vineyards on WineBid.com. After recovering from a long line of losers about a year and a half ago, I almost gave up on buying wine by auction.