Holy cow! Where has the time gone? I’m not quite sure how this happened, but it’s almost Halloween, and I find myself struggling for words. I know I know, it’s a shocking turn of events for this Gemini gal, who basically blogs because she likes to talk. Truth be told, between work, events, friends, breaking my first bone, catching the crud in the hospital when said bone was being fixed, and feeling overwhelmed, I haven’t been blogging like I used to. I apologize for that, but I have lost my mojo. I havent’ stopped drinking however, since I frankly find Pinot NOir a better pain killer than vicodin and since the combination of those two might permanently delay my wine adventures, I choose Pinot noir.
So here goes: My medication, as found in Oregon, over Labor Day weekend at Lemelson Vineyards. Naturally, I wanted to go to Lemelson because they made a wine especially for me, Thea’s Selection! Lemelson Vineyards produces Pinot Noir (as well as Pinot Gris and Chardonnay) from 7 estate vineyards, which are all Certified Organic. the winery’s location just east of Carlton, Oregon in the Willamette valley AVA is on a meandering country road which combines rural farm agriculture with vineyards, making it a diverse and beautiful area to explore.
First and foremost, let’s talk about my wine. The 2007 Thea’s Selection Pinot Noir is the benchmark blend for the vintage, and is made of a combination of six mature vineyards. It had a dark ruby red color, and flavors of black cherry, rhubarb, and black pepper as well as bright cherry, and blackberry followed by earthy spice. It really opened up after a few minutes in the glass, and the majority of the bold fruit blows off, leaving a clearly Burgundian style wine with earth & spice. This is MUST BY, particularly since I got a case of the 07 during and end of vintage sale. And to show off my name on a wine bottle obviously!
The follow up vintage of Thea’s Selection, 2008, was very similar but brighter than the 07. The first impression was bright cherry, earth, and freshly ground cinnamon. it was clearly a forest floor influence with mushrooms and dusty spices, but it wasn’t funky. the dark plums and dark red fruit were more present than in the 07, with a lot of cherry pie and baking spice. This is a STRONG BUY, especially fi you try the vintages side by side.
The 2008 Six vineyards was designed to be a restaurant wine, particularly for a by the glass program; this was an easy drinking, smooth and mellow wine. I enjoyed it but found it a big pedestrian if I were to buy a bottle. It’s made from six mature vineyards, and is a light translucent ruby red. It was very light, and had cranberry, rhubarb, and dusty nutmeg flavors. It’s a great VALUE so i would TRY this if you are looking for an everyday wine ~$20.
2007 Meyer Pinot Noir shows as quite acidic, with leaner, stronger red fruit flavors. The 07 vintage had strage weather in Oregon, and early rains caused some challenges. This had flavors of wild strawberry, raspberries and baking spices with some cola. It was lean and quite austere, with a luscious and bright with a long clean finish. There was a lot of minerality on the finish, and it was very different than the others. This is also a STRONG BUY.
The 2008 Meyer was an ideal vintage. It was hotter, so this wine is more reminiscent of a Russian River wine to me; I found a caramel chocolate finish, with big bold root beer and cola notes surrounded the cherry and strawberry jam base. It finished dry with dusty nutmeg. The bold fruit forward style gave way to a classic Oregon wine, which I would BUY again if I found it.
2007 Stermer Vineyard Pinot was very bright and light. The raspberreis and cherries showed first, with rose petals and cranberry right behind. There was just a hint of earthy spice and red apple lingering. TRY this wine for variety. While I liked the 07, I did NOT enjoy the 2008 Stermer and I would AVOID that one.
The 2007 Cuvee X Pinot Noir is a blend made up of 99% Meyer Vineyard. It comes from the highest elevation of the vineyard, and was picked before the rain in 07, and aged in 100% new French oak, which, in my opinion, overwhelmed the wine. I didn’t like it and if you are not an oak monster, I’d AVOID it.
2008 Jerome Reserve Pinot is a blend of the six mature vineyards, where the most age worthy selections of wines are hand selected for blending and aging. This was an interesting wine, and I’d HOLD on to it for a fe years to see how the sarsaparilla and root beer flavors give way to the black cheery spice. It’s a baby, but I can see a lot of potential.
All in all, I really enjoyed my visit to Lemelson, and can’t wait to open up my case of wine!
Have you had these wines? What did YOU think?