July 20, 2007

2004 Tyee Pinot Blanc Willamette Valley

After an extended break from the blog, why not have a surprise return with an equally surprising wine?

Tyee Wine Cellars is the longtime label of Barney Watson. The same Barney Watson who teaches in the Chemeketa Winemaking and Viticulture program. And the same Barney Watson who taught the class I took this spring called Science of Winemaking.

I’ve long known of Tyee but never tried any of their wines. After taking the class, I figured I should try some. This bottling, of the grape sometimes referred to as pinot bland, is a revelation. And not just because I’m drinking my teacher’s wine.

The 2004 Tyee Pinot Blanc has a pale yellow color, but the aroma is where things get interesting. It’s clean and fresh, but the melon and lemon fragrance you expect in a better Pinot Blanc mix with a mineral note and the distinct scent of crushed mint leaves. Not overly so, just enough to give a freshness that beats any mojito in your local trendy bar.

In the mouth, lemon and melon flavors dominate, with terrific length and crisp acidity that leaves your palate ready for another sip. This wine would be perfect with crab, which just happens to be pictured on the label.

All together, this is terrific wine and a nice value. I’ll have to try the Tyee Pinot Noir, which I’ve heard is also a good value if sturdy wine built to age.

Unfortunately Barney Watson mentioned at class that he’s selling or sold his share of the winery, apparently to focus on the many wines in production at the Chemeketa-Eola Northwest Viticulture Center. Perhaps other things too, I imagine. Let’s hope so.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Vincent
My name is Sorin Mihailovici and I live in Edmonton, Canada. I have been working in a major liquor store here for the last five years and I could say I am a big wine enthusiast! I just came across your blog and I am glad I found it. It seems like you put a lot of work into it.
While working in my liquor store, I also decided to go to school - I am a student now taking TV productions at one of the most prestigious colleges in Western Canada, Grant MacEwan College.
Trying to mix my two passions I have created a couple of short movies - one is a minute and a half long, the other one 59 sec. The fist one is called "How to Remove Red Wine Stains" and the other one is "Open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew". Although they are short I put several hours of work into them.
If you have a couple of free minutes please take a look at them. If you like them maybe you could post them on your blog up for a discussion (maybe as a topic idea), I would really like to know people's opinion. (underneath every movie there is the embed code - copy and paste it on your blog so people could just click on it...)
If you don't like them I apologize for taking you the time to read my message.
Regardless of your answer - thank you and I will see you on your blog!
There are my movies:

Thank you,

P.S. If you copy and paste the embed code (and not only the link) along with your text then the video will show up right in your article and will look good. The advantage is that your blog will be featured by my movie so your blog itself will get more views. Make sure that after you watch the movie you press the "Blog/Embed player" - a small grey button under the movie screen, check the small box "Feature my blog here" and then copy and paste the embeddable player code into your article.