May 13, 2008

Mother's Day Wines

My parents were up for Mother's Day weekend. With Sunday diner, we had two remarkable Oregon wines, a white and a red. It just goes to show that some now older, well established local producers are famous for a reason.

First, the 2007 Cameroni "Giuliano" from Cameron that's apparently a mix of chardonnay, auxerrois, pinot gris and maybe other things. I must admit, I've mostly ignored this bottling in the past. It's in a different bottle, it has a radically different label. I just looked past it in favor of the more common, delicious pinot noir and chardonnay bottlings.

But this wine was really good. Fresh and clean as you'd expect in such a young wine, and then brightly aromatic and complex, with great focus. The flavors were also bright and fresh, with terrific balance of fruit and acidity and a long finish. This is aptly labeled in Italian, but shows the distinction of good, affordable Oregon white wine. Highly recommended. I'm not so sure about I can say the same for MondoEgo. Is there really more?

Then an old friend, my last bottle of 1999 Evesham Wood Pinot Noir Seven Springs. This bottle again shows why Evesham Wood has been and remains one of the best red wine producers in Oregon. It doesn't hurt that their prices, while higher lately, are still cheap for the quality. Like Cameron, everything's handmade here.

This wine showed a maturing and translucent dark red color, and with some airing it became one of the most interesting aromas I've smelled in Oregon pinot noir in a while. Spicy but not oaky, with just the right amount of fruit and undergrowth as you'd expect in a good, maturing wine. In the mouth it was silky and resolved, but with good acidity giving nice freshness to this nearly decade old wine.

This wine didn't have the amazing depth and complexity of the best grand cru. But, like the Cameron, it was damn good and a clear example of what's good, even great, about local wine.

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