Alternative USA, but not as you know it…

Today I was invited to one of the most exciting tastings of the year… there have been many … and it’s already November!! A fantastic mix of California, Oregon, Washington and Vermont wines expertly presented by Doug Wregg of Les Caves des Pyrene.

Detritus of the USA tasting
Craig Hawkins’ El Bandito Cortez 2014 gate crashing the USA tasting

This was a timely tasting of new releases as we prepare to finalise the final wine selection for our annual Thanks Giving Tasting. I expected a few gems but was not prepared to be confronted by over 24 individual, intensely profound white and red wines.

Ryme “Hers” Vermentino 2015, early picked, fresh lime and lemon crystalline style
A spectacular Ribolla Gialla aged 6 months skin contact. A profound wine.
La Clarine Albariño from the Sierra Foothills

I’m certainly no new comer to Californian wines and no new comer to even many of the producers on taste today. But the quality of wines was expertly chosen and thoroughly exhilarating. Some fantastic new vintages. 

Beautiful Grenache Gris from 105 year old vines on own rootstock bush vines
Cortese grapes a low pH and long extraction in eggs
70 year old Carignan, 90 year old Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon blend
A 40% Arneis, 30% Dolcetto, 15% Barbera, and 15% Nebbiolo

While there were too many wines to individually single out, I was massively impressed with Ryan and Megan’s wines from Ryme Winery and certainly the selection from Ruth Lewandowski Winery.

Mutated Pinot Noir that yields white grape a la Pinot Blanc like Henri Gouges Nuits St Georges white
Sauvignon Blanc aged 4 years under flor. Spectacular and uber rare.

Reacquainting myself with the Lo-fi Wines and the superb micro cuvees from Minimus, Golden Cluster, Kelly Fox and Ovum also made for a tantalising tasting.

The beautiful, ethereal Momtazi 2013 Pinot Noir from McMinnville AVA
Ovum “Off the Grid” Riesling fermented 6m and aged 9m on lees. RS 10-12g/l and TA 9.5g/l
Ovum “In The Dark” Gewürztraminer from Rogue Valley.

Last but not least, an exciting Vermont AVA Petillant Naturelle made from hybrid grape La Crescent, wrapped up a superb tasting and freshened up the palate nicely. A real eye opener tasting.

La Crescent Grapes aged 14 days on skins, with no added Sulphur

Most of the micro cuvees were made in tiny quantities, many being indeed single barrel volumes. But quality was never compromised and attention to detail was pinpoint. 

Epic langoustines at Terroir Restaurant
Golden Cluster Coury Old Vines Semillon 2014

I look forward to securing allocations of some of these fantastic wines and making them available to my customers for Thanks Giving and beyond, if they last that long!

Exotic, rich vibrant Chenin style
Golden Cluster Dion Syrah from North Oregon
Own rootstock Pinot Noir vines regrafted to Syrah

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