September 30, 2007

Oregon harvest update, and a tasting note

Sunday, the last day of September. And like two years ago, this day brought a strong cold front with lots of rain throughout western Oregon.

Happily, rainfall totals aren't much different from the overnight storm a few nights ago. I have about .6 of an inch in my Portland backyard since yesterday, but there's a forecast for more showers all week. Some reports suggest clearing and sunshine by next weekend, but I'll wait until we get closer to believe it.

Yesteday was cloudy but a big harvest day as expected. Where I'm working, we brought in a few more tons of beautifully ripe fruit. Driving around the area, I saw crews in many vineyards and more and more blocks of vines stripped of fruit.

I had the opportunity to check out the Wahle vineyard where I'm getting grapes for my home winemaking. From a berry sample of mixed blocks, which we'll pick together, the numbers are 22.5 brix and 3.39ph. So we need more ripening, and not any dilution from rain. We'll see what happens.

Oh, the tasting note. Not an Oregon wine, but something I think is a terrific alternative to Pinot Noir for not a lot of cash. The 2005 Domaine Fontsainte Corbieres is a Rhone-style red blend with an uncommon mix of elegance and richness.

The fragrance has an herby note that I initially wondered about. But with air this wine shows all the underbrush and pepper qualities of a good Cotes du Rhone Villages with the perfume of Burgundy. In the mouth, there's alcoholic warmth but still a brightness to the ripe berry and earth flavors. This wine is delicious now but will probably last in the cellar for five years, maybe even ten or more if you're lucky. For $12, it's a bargain.


conform said...

Who's selling the Rhone blend you mentioned in Portland?

Vincent Fritzsche said...

I got it at a Fred Meyer "marketplace" store, where they have expanded and surprisingly deep wine selection. I expect Liner & Elsen has it, or they can get it for you. E&R too (think it was on display when I was there recently, but can't remember for sure). Definitely seek this out. It's not a powerhouse wine, but elegant and pretty for the appellation with plenty of aroma and flavor.

Michael Alberty said...

Or you may drop by Storyteller Wine Company and buy it for 11.00 a bottle, 120.00 a case ;-}

Vincent Fritzsche said...

Shill, shill, shill!!! ;-}

Actually, everyone out there would be right smart to buy this wine from Storyteller Wines, which I'm going to write about as soon as I have more time and not so harvest focused. Great new shop here in Portland. And for $10 a case, that's ridiculous.

Michael Alberty said...

Man, it's more chill than shill this morning. But it looks like that predicted break in the weather is about to happen. I'm hoping you guys get some sunshine over the next few days after that thunder and hail storm yesterday!

Daniel Dycus said...

Great blog.