23 November, 2008

Oregon Night at Solano Cellars

Or Wine 102: Oregon Night! Our second event at Solano Cellars. Willamette wines. Another thing I thought I wasn't fond of. Having had some sad, spare and even salty examples of Oregon wine, I really wanted to see what the good folks at Solano Cellars would put together for this. Plus, Saturday was a Recessionista Day and, well, this tasting was free. So, I started the afternoon with my favorite Indiscriminate Boozehound (don't look for a blog---it's a philosophy with her), Marina, at a Bottling party at Urbano Cellars. They were pouring their release of Emeryville Nouveau- a dark, pretty wine with a freshness and good fruit along with some perennial favorites of mine. I love their 100% Petit Verdot for its yummy bitter undertones and fruity-floral taste. http://www.urbanocellars.com/ We got so caught up in the fun there, we missed scooting in to the Wine Mine! My absolute fave QPR wine experience in the bay area! http://www.winemineco.com/. So, we headed off to try Thai at Anchalee. http://www.anchaleethai.com/ a lovely spot near Cafe Trieste on San Pablo. Along with the sumptuous Thai feast, we had a yum bottle of Bivio Pinot Grigio with with enough fruit and acid to stand up to the spices of dinner. http://www.bivioitalia.com/download/techSheets/Bivio-PinotGrigio-TechSheet.pdf. Our clever plan to dash over to Solano Cellars, was alas, shared by many, many others and so we wandered down to the cash only Pub on Solano where seating was no problem at all. I had a Shiraz tasty enough to stand up to the bar-mitzvah-party-reject glass it was served in. Xandria and I treaded wine while waiting to go back. Our patience was rewarded. We came back and scored a table, where Tom from the distributor took great care of us, by pouring and explaining all the Oregon offerings. He is the one who has set me off on a hunt for Serene Coeur Blanc, which was not being sampled. However, these tasty treats were:

2007 Ponzi Pinot Blanc, Willamette Valley ($17) Super pale, medium +body, savory fruit aromas. Flavors of coconut and lemongrass.
2006 Domaine Serene Chardonnay, Clos du Soleil, Willamette Valley ($45) Apple custard tart aromas, with a whisper of banana Laffy Taffy. Flavors of sour apple and slight taste of bell pepper and something somewhere between herbal and green.
2007 Evesham Wood Pinot Noir, Willamette ($20) Delightful small producer discovery. Initial scent of kerosene revealed secondary aromas of complex fruit including Jolly Rancher cherry. Flavors were also sour cherry and cherry fruit roll-up. A cool climate pinot, it had good acidity. Yes. I bought this!
2007 Ponzi Pinot Noir Tavola ($26) This is what the Ponzis keep on their kitchen table. Lovely plummy nose. Good acidity to stand up to food. Flavors had a strong presence of fruit, red plum.

2006 Domaine Serene Pinot Noir, Yamhill Cuvee, Willamette Valley ($42) Aromas of violets. This was a perfumey wine, with cherry, red fruit and fennel. It had an interesting pleasant finish with initial vinegary notes turning into red fruit and then coffee.

After that we reconnoitered with Marina and friend, Larry. We had promised Larry to introduce him to the delights of 9:00 "Happy Hour" at Fonda. Delayed gratification so works when you mean holding off on dessert to save room for the stunners Fonda puts out. Extra points for us--we did DIY Pairings. I tried Marina's Pumpkin Pie with brown sugar ice cream accompanied by a Leacocks Bual Madeira 10yr. Yum! The alcohol and brown spice in the Madeira stood up to the rich, pumpkin custard and flaky made-with-love crust. Xandria had the Columbian chocolate sundae. Chile infused creamy chocolate goodness. She opted not to pair, but sampled from both the Bual and from my (incomparable) Sauterne. Now, I've mentioned this before. I have Botrytis. I love, love love the stuff. The 05 Ch. Romieu-Lacoste, Sauternes was no exception. Its silky sweet, sugared broiled grapefruit yumminess paired exceptionally well with my Vanilla panna cotta in a pool of brown sugared pineapple puree. Add a coconut shortbread biscuit and you've got yourself a little slice of heaven! Along with a cool place to sober up if you've "Studied" too hard at USC---The University of Solano Cellars! ;)
Good friends. Good times and all on a budget! Viva las Recessionistas!
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