As often happens after an evening of the ‘grand tasting’ of wines, the next morning I move a little slower than usual. Such was the case the morning after the WOW Grand Tasting. What a great night!
There was plenty of delicious food and the best of Southern Oregon wines. Under a brilliant three-quarter moon there was lively music and tables on the green of Bigham Knoll. The event was elegant but casual, a relaxed but high spirited ambience that made it a joy to experience. It seemed like everything was shimmering, but perhaps it was just the light reflecting off all the wine glasses…or perhaps it came from the contents of the glasses. Whichever, the quality was superb but for me there were a few standouts.
Cowhorn (the only certified biodynamic vineyard in Southern Oregon) 2011 Spiral 36 – a blend of Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne, fruity and sweetly spicy with a tickle to the tongue and a smooth finish: a complexity both lush and gentle. This wine would have been a favorite at Louis IV palace parties.
Kriselle Cellars 2010 Viognier (WOW Silver) – hits the tongue with a silky feel and then
blossoms with light citrus and green spice: sweetly lingering on the palate like the scent of a
basket of ripe fruits. The Chanel #5 of Viognier.
Kriselle Cellars 2009 Tempranillo (WOW Gold) – bold and not to be missed: peppery with
heady fragrance: deep berries and spice linger on the taste. Federico Garcia Lorca would have written poetry to this wine.
South Stage Cellars 2009 Grenache (WOW Silver) – soft and earthy with a strawberry honey
cream palate that releases an herbal finish: could have been the palace wine for the Crown of Aragon.
Weisinger’s of Ashland 2006 Petite Pompadour – earthy and full-bodied blend of Cabernet
Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec. Heady and complex mingling of old world
fragrances and dark flavors of minerals, coffee, and chocolate sweetened with small ruby fruit. This wine could have been served in Marco Polo’s tent.
And just because it exists and has for years been a favorite of mine I must mention Quady North 2011 Rose (60% Syrah, 40% Grenache), which received WOW Best of Show and a double gold. Unfortunately when I went to get a taste they had sold out and were packing up! Happily, their tasting room is just down the street…where I also love to sit at their little table outside on the corner and watch the world go by…a favorite warm weather pastime.
On your feet. Raise your glass. Kudos to the WOW planners, winemakers, winery owners and everyone else who makes this event part of the good life of Southern Oregon. And cheers to the wines of the present and the wines on the vine.
Conserve water, drink wine…Southern Oregon wine.