Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lets say Yay for Lenné!

Okay DOWNpour followers (how do you like that spelling by the way?), it's on with Lenné for March and I could not be more excited. You might remember when Meghan and I stumbled upon Lenné last fall while cruising through Yamhill...well, this winery has been on my mind ever since. Steve Lutz the winemaker and owner is doing an incredible job on all fronts. Often referred to as a hidden gem, Lenné's setting, coupled with limited production wine, makes for a grand tasting experience.

Here's the skinny: Once again, all you need to do is show up (Saturdays or Sundays 12-5 in March), mention "downpour", and you'll be solid.
* A 2 for 1 tasting ($5 per person, waived with purchase) This tasting will include the 2nd flight of Owen Roe wines-yummy
*10% off all purchases, 15% off cases (smart to do, as his wines sell out and he produces only 1500 cases a year)
*A special invitation to attend a blind Pinot tasting on March 6th, which is $20 for the public, $17 for DOWNpour followers.
This event is going to be super fun, he will be pouring some high priced Pinots from the region and this is a great opportunity to test your palate and learn a bit more about Oregon Pinots and what makes them taste the way they do.
IF, you want to attend the March 6th event, shoot me a line ASAP. Space is very limited. It is being held from 11-12:30ish.

I cannot stress enough how honored I am to be working with Lenné. This winemaking story is ripe with passion, hard work, dedication and perseverance. I suggest checking out Lenné Estate to learn more.

A little message from Steve to you below.

And some winery shots for more incentive. It really does look like a french farm house, with some fun NW accents.

above is a stone wood-fire pizza oven, could you imagine sitting out in the summer around this thing?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pinot, Pinot, Pinot and heck, why not? More Pinot

I could hardly wait for my friends Erin and John to get here from the Bay Area. We had a day of wine tasting planned for Friday, and I did not want to disappoint as tour guide. Meghan was kind enough to be our driver and used her sharp internal wine navigation system to get us to Domaine Drouhin in a flash. We tasted the chardonnay, pinots and some of the wine from DD's sister winery in France-which was cool. We were joined by Erin's cousin Alix and her fiance between sips we gawked at Alix's ring and gave David a hard time for being a mad scientist (for real). All in good fun-as you do when tasting wine at noon.

David suggested our next stop, White Rose, which was just down the road. We pulled up and all admired the super cool architecture of the tasting room. It was faintly familiar and when we got inside I realized I had in fact been there before-a long time ago. We waited for someone to show up, as the tasting room was empty. It looked as though a tasting had happened earlier, with lots of glasses out and open bottles. We called the number on the business cards, but no one answered. Curious about the wine, we figured a small sip wouldn't hurt. Well, John appeared to like what he tasted enough to leave $60 cash for a bottle and we hit the road. (we did leave a note!)

We thought Stoller would be a good next stop, with such a pretty setting and modern tasting room. It was here that I ended up behind the bar (with permission from the nice tasting room gal). This was beginning to be a very "interactive" afternoon indeed.

More wine was tasted and we decided it was time for a snack. Off to Carlton where we refueled at the Horse Radish. Meats, cheeses, olives and hummus, along with some more....Pinot. Satiated, we were on a mission-Penner Ash. We were happy to taste some white varietals as well as the Pinots, knowing that a good crisp, dry white would be needed for our Saturday night dinner of Raclette (think fondue but better). Viognier and Riesling in hand, we left just before closing. On the way home we decided to pop into Fox Farm tasting room in Newberg-why not? Erin and John did a flight tasting, while Meghan and I sipped on the Memoirs Pinot (another label based decision).

I would say by the end of the weekend, our guests felt like they had a good grasp on the Oregon wine scene...and if nothing else, can rattle off a laundry list of Pinots that have now passed their lips.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cute, really cute

I am not above buying a wine based on a label alone.

Exhibit A:

Okay, so my iphone is my lazy way of documenting great wine stuff, hopefully you get the idea. Love & Squalor wines are really onto something with their whimsical labels. I bought this bottle of 2007 Pinot Noir at Vino's in SE. How could I pass up a wine label "Love & Squalor" with a clothesline and three adorable dresses on it? And the cork to boot!

As for the wine, well, there is a reason they don't serve spicy hummus in tasting rooms. I'll give this wine another try on a clear palate.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Stay Tuned

We have an exciting March Promotion coming our way. Downpour fans are in for a big treat!!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

This makes sense

Many of you know I adore a relatively new winery on the Oregon wine scene. Hawks View Cellars is producing some really nice Pinots, as well as some noteworthy whites. Last years Portland Monthly "Wine" issue acknowledged some of HVC bottles as the best Oregon wine country has to offer. It did not come as a surprise to me to hear that just recently the winery snapped up Erica Landon, formerly of Ten01 restaurant in Portland where she stood out as the acclaimed Sommelier. I will always remember a beautiful holiday luncheon at Ten01 when I was with Portland Monthly a few years ago. Erica was the star of the afternoon, highlighting each course with wines that complemented the food so well I left with a newly inspired appreciation for Ten01, Erica and the entire food & wine marriage concept.

Bonne Chance Erica, though I doubt you'll need it.

Press Release below:

Hawks View Cellars hires Erica Landon as Director of Hospitality and Marketing

Hawks View Cellars, a boutique winery located in the Chehalem Mountains above Sherwood, Oregon, has hired Portland Sommelier, Erica Landon as Director of Hospitality and Marketing. Landon will join the Kemp Family, along with Winemaker Ryan Harms and Vineyard Manager George Hillberry, where her primary focus will be to create and organize guest tastings and events, as well as represent the winery in the Oregon Market. In addition, Landon will continue to teach for the International Sommelier Guild in Portland.

Most recently, Landon was general manager and wine director at Ten 01, one of Portland’s finest dining experiences, where she received Best Sommelier in 2008 from Portland Monthly and the New Leaders Award from Tasting Panel magazine. Prior to joining Ten 01, Landon managed the wine list and dining room at the Heathman Restaurant and Bar, was general manager of The Dundee Bistro, and dining room manager and assistant wine steward at Timberline Lodge.

“Erica’s addition to an already strong winemaking and viticultural team is exciting. We look forward to her expanding our presence in the Oregon wine industry,” said A.J. Kemp, Hawks View’s General Manager.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hush Hush

I'd hate for Hervé to know I am already thinking about Valentine's Day, BUT behind Thanksgiving, this is my favorite holiday. I'm not a sucker for Hallmark holidays, but I do love the idea of celebrating love. And what better way to spend an afternoon with your main squeeze (or best friend for that matter) than in wine country?! We did this last year and it was really fun. A lot of wineries have special offerings...check out the haps!