Crowley Rose of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2015 750ML ($24.95) Buy Now: $18 special
Welcome summer with the first ever release of Crowley Rose! This wine shows poise, balance and thought. It opens with a bright, fresh nose of white cranberries and dried ginger. On the palate is again a lovely red berry note with touches of fresh milk and black tea.
This rose is from the coolest single block in the Four Wines Vineyard. It was whole cluster pressed and underwent a slow malolactic fermentation (finishing at 13.68% alcohol and 3.4-3.5 pH for those inquiring minds).
The Four Winds Vineyard is within the McMinnville Coast Range. Planted in 1990 to 100% Pommard clone, the vines are all own-rooted. The soil is Jory-Nekiah (uplifted marine sedimentary loam and silts with alluvial overlays – an ideal soil type for Oregon Pinot Noir). … Read the rest
Johan Vineyards Petillant Naturel Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($24.95) Buy Now: $21.90 special
Spicy and yeasty, this Pet Nat from Johan spins your expectations for Oregon Pinot on its head. Sure, there are some classic red berry notes, a touch of tarragon and a nice body, but this bottling highlights the funky side of Pinot. Decidedly bubbly, enjoy with just about any food – cheeses, chicken, or even burgers and fries. –Suzanne
“Vinopolis, an endless holy temple of wine, is home to one of Portland’s best selections of peasant fizz. The shop stocks a regular supply of Johan Vineyards’ pét-nat of pinot noir ($21.90), a wine that defies any preconceived notions you might have about what Oregon pinot can be.… Read the rest
Txakoli, Txakoli, Txakoli!
Txakoli (cha-kol-E) comes straight off the Atlantic coast like a refreshing rain shower in summer. Produced exclusively in Spain’s Basque Country, Txakoli matches the Basque flair for seafood and pintxos (tapas), thanks to its palette of citrus fruits, its minerality, and its crisp acidity. Vineyards of Hondarribi Zuri (white) and and Hondarribi Beltza (red) sprawl across the rugged, verdant Basque coastal hills, particularly around Getaria: This little fishing village is also home to Elcano, who finished Magellan’s circumnavigation of the globe. It’s no coincidence that Txakoli offers hints of a fresh ocean breeze.
Every bar and restaurant in every Spanish Basque town serves Txakoli. They carefully pour it from several feet above a straight-walled, stemless glass, to enliven the wine with some effervescence, like the sea after a wave rolls through.… Read the rest
Wind Gap Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, California 2014 750ML ($49.95) Buy Now: $39 special
Wind Gap provides a crucial new perspective on Californian Pinot Noir. With the ’14 Sonoma Coast, a fantastic concoction of wild flowers, savory herbs, and a gentle spread of red fruit make for a hyper-balanced wine of great complexity and character.
Their website likely says it best: “Wind Gap is not about making the “perfect wine” it is about making honest, authentic and compelling wine from special vineyard sites.”
As with other recent releases, the Wind Gap wines are truly special wines, brimming with energy and character. A must-try.
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2014 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) is deep, pliant and incredibly inviting, with a fabulous combination of pliant fruit, expressive aromatics and superb persistence.… Read the rest
Stanislao Radikon Pinot Grigio Venezia Giulia IGT, Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2013 750ML ($47.95) Buy Now: $41.90 special
Well, this ain’t your momma’s Pinot Grigio. Nor is it all that similar to any other Pinot Grigio you’ve likely ever had! The Radikon wines enjoy a cult-like following and have long attracted those who seek unique, palate-expanding, paradoxical wine experiences.
Tucked into one of the most north-eastern portions of Italy – a mere 400 or so meters from Slovenia – the estate neighbors the equally unique and esteemed wine house of Josko Gravner. At Radikon, all grapes are estate-grown and hand harvested; horse manure is used as fertilizer and no synthetic chemicals are employed in the vineyard or cellar. Vine plantings are extremely dense but pruned vigorously in order to produce smaller volumes of higher-quality grapes.… Read the rest