What a lovely sequence of 3 wineries to explore today!
Our first stop was Durant vineyard/Red Ridge Farms for the spring pick up party.
See prior posts on Durant vineyard, Red Ridge Farms, and Oregon olive mill:
View this Durant vineyards video from their website talking about their process.
The spring pickup lineup were the following 2 wines:
2013 Southview Vineyards Pinot Gris
580 cases. Our vineyard has a large planting of Pinot Gris. My father, Ken Durant, has always enjoyed this wine for its easy drinking characteristics-Unpretentious, fruity, racy acidity, a hint of sweetness, and low alcohol. This is a wine meant to be consumed on your patio, front porch, or when tailgating with good friends with a barbecue fired up nearby.
2012 La Casita Vineyard Pinot Noir
155 cases. We poured this wine as a sneak peak at the winter pickup party. I have mixed emotions about releasing this wine so early. It is probably the “biggest” pinot noir we have ever produced, and we do not strive for “big reds”-honestly, quite the opposite. However, you play the hand you’re dealt with and 2012 dealt some amazing wines and La Casita fits that model. It is luscious, rich, deep and just damn good. I hope you savor this wine as it is unique and quite exceptional. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
This is an interesting description as La Casita has always been my favorite and it’s not their poster child block. However, I do tend toward bold reds and this one is luscious and earthy! I’m holding onto my bottles of 2011 whole berry and 2011 whole cluster as long as I can as they are going to be so delicious!
Our next stop was Vista hills vineyard which is close to Durant vineyard. They have a lovely pond at the front door.
The treehouse tasting room is such a lovely view of the vineyard!
A polished estate Pinot Noir, with a sweet vanilla bean nose and juicy berry notes. Strawberry and raspberry give way to tempered tannins and a soft and extensive finish. 180 cases produced. 90 Points – Wine Enthusiast.
Our final stop was Zerba cellars which is on the way through Dundee back to Portland. This is only a tasting room as the vineyards are in the Walla Walla valley. They are an interesting contrast to the pinot noir in the Dundee AVA as I do enjoy bold reds and Italian and Spanish varietals such as Nebiollo, Tempranillo, Barbera, Malbec, etc.
Tempranillo tasting notes:
This medium-bodied red is sourced exclusively from certified sustainable vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley (LIVE, VINEA, IOBC, and Salmon Safe}. Intertwining aromas featuring black licorice, olive, leather, and caramel lead into a pleasing mouthful of dried cherries, and granite on the way to a smooth dark leathery finish.
Malbec tasting notes:
A medium-bodied red that does not disappoint. This smooth red features rich aromas of huckleberry, lavendar, tobacco and granite that transition into dark cherry flavors and a dark spiciness that leads to a bright huckleberry finish.
Barbera tasting notes:
This light-bodied everyday Italian drinking wine showcases intense currant aromas along with allspice, graphite, and lavender. As you begin sipping the wine prepare for bright raspberry flavors that fade to dark cherry on the way to a lightly oaked finish. Enjoy with your favorite pasta or light grilled barbeque fare.
However, their “Wild Z” red blend is quite good as well.
This full bodied red table blend is 52% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Sauvignon. Contains cedar, dark plum, and white pepper aromas that lead up to tantalizing flavors of blackberry, dark cherry, and cedar with hints of earth and currants. This perfect everyday wine pairs with a wide range of foods.
What a delightful afternoon of red wine tasting!