New Arrivals, Pre-Sales and Special Offers
Walter Scott 2018 Fall Releases
Signaling the pre-harvest beginning of fall, two of our favorite under-$30 Oregon wines have arrived. If you know the Walter Scott wines, welcome to the 2018s. If you are unfamiliar with them, they are definitely worth exploring. These 'basic' Willamette Valley blends are made from top vineyards with the same care and attention to detail as their single vineyard bottlings. The quality and complexity is stunning making them two of the best values in the Willamette Valley.
2018 growing conditions were similar to 2017: warm and dry from spring to fall. So dry in fact, 2018 was the driest vintage on record, a condition reflected clearly in these wines. More serious and concentrated than the 2017s, these are powerful wines of structure and intensity. Give them lots of air in a decanter at this stage and watch them come alive; or lay some in the cellar and thank yourself down the road.
Chardonnay La Combe Verte 2017
About as Burgundian in style as one can get in Oregon, this is poised, racy and confident with an underlying power. With an electric thrumming personality the texture is half the fun: crunchy yet round, polished yet prickly. Aromatically coy to start, vigorous swirling in the glass (or drinking the next day) reveals lovely green and citrus notes from spearmint and tangerine to orange zest and fresh fennel. The palate is a mouthwatering mix of cool stone, more citrus and crisp green apple with an appealing saline note hanging on the finish. We tasted a bottle over four days; amazingly it kept getting better.
As always there's minimal intervention in the cellar: native yeast fermentation and minimal lees stirring. All fruit is from Eola-Amity Hills vineyards (including X Novo and Sojourner) plus Freedom Hill.
Pinot Noir La Combe Verte 2017
Seriously over-delivering for the price, this may be the best LCV yet (Jess Pierce thinks so). Layered, dark, beefy and muscular, there's so much to unpack. The aromatics are a perfumed haze of woodsy brambly spice while the fruit is wild dark berry and deep black cherry, all concentrated and dense. Like the Chardonnay the texture really grabs your attention- tactile, sticky and taut it shows flashes of suppleness before coiling again like a balled fist. A big wine with multiple personalities, this will be endlessly fascinating to drink over the years.
Check out the source material: Sojourner, Lewman, Sequitur, Red Hills Estate and Freedom Hill.
Both wines are $27.99 retail, $25 by the 6 pack, $22.40 by the case (mix and match is fine)
Cameron New Arrival
Cameron Pinot Noir Reserve Dundee Hills 2017
$39.99 retail, $32 by the case
The Reserve is a best barrel selection of the excellent 2017 vintage and sits just a small notch below the flagship single vineyard bottlings. Take the regular Dundee Hills wine and then imagine it at greater heights of depth, complexity and ageability - boom! This has the same expansive flavors but with more seriousness, structure and class. This year's version is all Abbey Ridge fruit, with 60% Wadenswill and 20% Pommard from 1976-77 plantings, and 20% Coury clone from 1981-82. That folks is truly old vine Dundee Hills. Decant some to drink now and lay downsome for later and you'll be very happy indeed.
Small Vineyard Summer Imports
Many of you know Small Vineyards, a favorite Italian importer. They work with tiny estates, mostly family-run and many organic, who produce personality-filled wines. Twice a year we directly import wines whose production is too small to carry year-round. We sent an e-mail offer in the spring but if you missed it, we ordered extras of our favorites.
La Quercia Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva 2015
$20.99/$16.80 by the case
A favorite five years running, this shows just how good Montepulciano can be in the right hands. The quality starts in the vineyards with 40+-year-old vines and strictly organic farming. More polished and aromatically expressive than the brooding 2014, there's still plenty of intensity and layered flavor saturation. It initially leans red, all roses and kirsch, before shifting to darker tones mid-palate, a mix of brambly blackberry and cocoa-dusted plum, all shaded with notes of warm wood, balsamic and crushed rosemary
Marchetti "Later Harvest" Verdicchio 2018
$16.99/$14.40 by the case
Aromatically this stands out - an Alsatian-like mix of Indian brown spice, white pepper, dried apricot and a stony dry earthiness, a compelling intro to any white wine. The texture as always is what really grabs your attention - fleshy, polished and nibbly soft - while the poached pear/ white peach richness is balanced by subtle tangerine acidity and gravelly grip. Flavors of dried mango, pineapple and a hint of bitter orange zest emerge and linger on the finish, dry yet persistent.
Monte Tondo Valpolicella Superiore 2017
$16.99/$13.60 by the case
Charming, perfumed and light on its feet, the aromatics are like a summer garden where many overlapping aromas blend into a unified pleasant whole. Roses, violets and leafy herbs introduce flavors of wild strawberry, sour cherry and fresh redcurrants while wisps of crunchy acidity crackle and pop keeping it all vibrant and expressive. Medium-bodied, pretty and supple throughout, the finish is toothsome and lightly firm echoing hints of red licorice and white pepper.