DePonte Cellars has been one of our favorite producers from very early in our wine experience. We’ve been thrilled to be able to discuss new vintages with Isabelle Dutartre, the wine maker, over the past 3 vintages. 2010 has shown itself to be a wonderful vintage, and we’re excited to taste and discuss these wines. Isabelle also has some great comments about her wine making philosophy that we’re excited to share. This year, we implemented a bit of a change too. Since the Shirley’s Gran Reserva is released so late, we decided to taste the previous year’s wine in the show. In the past three years, we were essentially tasting it before they thought it was ready for release, and we all agreed that this is the best format for discussing this wine. So, in this show we have the 2010 DePonte Cellars Pinot Noir Dundee Hills, Estate, and Baldwin Family Reserve, and the 2009 Shirley’s Gran Reserva.
Do you have another favorite area for Pinot Noir outside of the USA and Burgundy?
He was visiting Portland, and kindly agreed to do a show with us! His family has been making wine in Enkirch since the 1400’s, and he shares some information about a historic vineyard and a unique wine he’s making with our local friends and importers, the Teutonic Wine Company. They import his wine to the USA, so contact them if you’d like to pick some up. On the show, we taste the 2009 Riesling Sekt Brut, the 2011 Eisbruch Riesling Trocken, and the unlreleased “Bridge Wine”.
Have you ever visited the Mosel Valley?
March 25, 2013
We found out about Youngberg Hill last year, and were happy to have a chance to taste with Wayne Bailey this past week. Wayne is the wine grower and maker at Youngberg Hill. With vineyards near the top of the hill, Youngberg Hill has vines growing in a few different soil types allowing them to show off the versatility of Pinot Noir. For this show, we taste the 2007, 2008, and 2009 Youngberg Hill Jordan Block Pinot Noir. This is the highest section of their vineyard, and the differences in these three vintages are quite evident.
When you’re shopping, and don’t know the labels, why do you choose the wine that you choose?
March 10, 2013
Dan took a tasting trip to Yakima recently, and brought back 3 bottles to taste on the show. Yakima produces a wide range of wines as well as a few small AVA’s. We have a good range of styles here with the 2012 Bonair Riesling, the Treveri Extra-Brut, and the 2009 Gilbert Cellars Allobroges.
What is the weirdest wine cocktail you’ve ever tasted?
December 30, 2012
We wanted to do a sparkling wine show for the New Year episode this year. Chas suggested that we do a 3 bottle blind show with a bottle each from Champagne, Oregon, and California. Dan loved the idea, so here it is. All of the wines were selected by Chas, and bagged before the start of the show. We don’t do too well at guessing the origin, but they all make a good showing as simple sparklers. We taste the Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Champagne, the 2009 Argyle Brut, and the Roederer Estate Brut.
What is your favorite sparkling wine?
December 24, 2012
We’ve done Sauternes for previous Christmas episodes, and we thought that it was a good idea for this year too. It’s a bit of a tradition at this point, and it will likely continue through future years. This year we taste the 2007 Chateau Roumieu-Lacoste Cuvee Andre Sauternes, the 2009 Chateau Guiraud Sauternes, and the 2007 Castelnau de Suduiraut Sauternes.
What do you want for Christmas?
October 1, 2012
We wanted to check out some more Oregon Chardonnay and brought three bottles on to the show this week. We picked up the 2009 Patton Valley Vineyard Willamette Valley Chardonnay and the 2010 St. Innocent Freedom Hill Chardonnay recently, and we’ve had the 2010 Crowley Four Winds Chardonnay for a couple of months and wanted to try that on the show as well. All three turned out to be solid wines, and it keeps us excited about trying more Chardonnay.
How much RAM do you have in your main computer?
September 16, 2012
We’ve been hitting Oregon wine pretty hard over the last couple of months. While Dan was at the store, he realized that Washington has been left out of the mix for a while. This week, we’ve got a couple of Syrahs from Washington that we’ve been excited to try. Our friend Ryan C. joins us as well. We taste the 2009 Adamant Cellars Walla Walla Valley Syrah and the 2009 Fausse Piste Les Vignes de Marcoux Vineyard Syrah.
What is your favorite food cart?
August 5, 2012
CNBC published an interview with the wine buyer for Costco where it was implied that wine was a commodity like tinfoil or toilet paper. We disagree profoundly with this idea, but we do recognize that this mentality drives a huge portion of the wine sales in the United States. We were curious about what wine selected specifically to deliver on this philosophy would taste like, and we wanted to share our thoughts here. We taste the 2008 Kirkland Signature Series Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2009 Kirkland Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 2010 Kirkland Chateauneuf du Papes Cuvee de Nalys. Not surprisingly, they taste like bulk wine. We’re grateful to be living in a region where we have lots of small producers making interesting wine, and we encourage you to look beyond bulk wine whenever you have the chance!
When did you first realize it was worth the effort to look for more interesting wine?