Ken Wright’s 2009 Pinot Noir line up was released not too long ago, and we picked up 3 half bottles to taste on the show.  He’s a long standing, high quality producer, and we always like to check out his new wines every year.  If you’re trying to explore the character of Oregon vineyards, his large single vineyard lineup is a great way to get some information and experience!  We’ve both tasted older bottles that speak well of his wine’s aging potential.  For this show, we tasted the 2009 Ken Wright Guadalupe, McCrone, and Shea.

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What is your favorite Ken Wright bottle?


This year we are doing a more traditional line up for a year end show.  Chas came across some sparklers from California, and we thought it would be a good chance to check them out for ourselves, and to drink something that a lot of people would have opinions about.  We taste the Non Vintage bottles of Roeder Estate Brut, the Piper Sonoma Select Cuvee Brut, and the Mumm Napa Brut Prestige.

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What were your top wines of 2010?


We did Sauternes last year and we’re going to do it again this year. It’s delicious and great for special occasions and gatherings and we wanted to check out some new releases. We taste the 2006 Chateau Les Tuileries the 2007 Charmes de Rieussec the 2007 and the 2005 Chateau Suduiraut.

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What was the wine or beer that really got you into exploring that beverage?

While down visiting his family Chas picked up a couple of bottles from the Southern part of Oregon in the Umpqua Valley. This region isn’t as famous as the Willamette Valley but it produces some solid wines as well. He wanted to check out some Pinot Noir to see how it compared with some of the wines produced further north. We taste the 2008 Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyard Pinot Noir and the 2008 Melrose Pinot Noir.

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Have you ever been angry at a video game? What is it?


After few episodes away from it we’ve come back to American Riesling. I’ve tasted a couple that I enjoyed out in local tasting rooms and I came across a bottle that I’ve been meaning to try for a while now. While putting the label photos together I realized that I mis-read the Schöne Schlucht label and as a result we totally butcher another non-English name. -fail- I should be taking a German class this winter though so that will hopefully help in the future. For this show we taste the 2009 Schöne Schlucht mit Weingut Ackermann Willamette Valley Riesling the 2007 Silo Vino Riesling and the 2009 Elk Cove Vineyards Willamette Valley Late Harvest Riesling.

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When is your busiest time at work?

Johan Vineyards is one of our favorite local producers, and they invited us down to their winery near Rickreall Oregon to discuss some new releases with the owner, Dag Johan Sundby, and the viticulturist and winemaker, Dan Rinke. Johan Vineyards stands out to us because of the consistent quality of their wine, and their focus on sustainable farming. We don’t get into it on the show, but they farm all of their estate fruit bio-dynamically, and they are passionate about taking care of the land as an essential part of production. We do get into some great discussions on the characteristics of their vineyards, and on some of their ideas for the future. As you can see, these guys are passionate about what they do, and focused on creating wines that are interesting and delicious. They have a lot of great information on their website, about their wine, people, and imagery, and as you can see in the show, we feel their current releases are excellent.

We taste the 2009 Pinot Gris Drueskall, the 2008 Chardonnay Reserve, the 2008 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, and the 2008 Nils Reserve Pinot Noir.

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Do you prefer old world style wines, or new world style?

We received a bottle of Harvey’s Fino Sherry as a sample recently. Neither one of us are very familiar with this style, so we thought it would be a good opportunity to explore something new. We picked up two more bottles to broaden the experience a little bit. We were both surprised by the range of flavors amongst only three bottles, and we both discovered that there’s a lot more to learn about Fino Sherry flavors and textures. In this show, we taste Alvear Fino, Harvey’s Fino, and Lustau Light Fino Jarana.

Part 1:



Part 2:



How would you describe the experience of “minerality” in a wine?