Oregon Pinot: Anam Cara

Hey Team!

Welcome to the inaugural post.  If you were here, we could throw a posh soiree and drink some fancy drink together.  Since you’re not, I suppose I’ll just have to polish off this bottle alone, ceaselessly uploading photos, imagining my world in various states of colorblindness, and trying not to spill on my party dress.

It’s okay.  I can have a party by myself!

I don’t need pants if nobody comes over.

Because I’m hard at work, tasting all the drinks so I can tell you about them.  Stay tuned— there’s going to be some fun stuff!  Just yesterday, I conjured up a little something made with Old Tom gin. What’s that?  You’ll find out soon enough!

But right now guys, I have a confession.  I’ve got a bad case of Pinot on the Brain.  (For some reason, I want to yell, “Operation!” after that.)

I thought it was only appropriate to start the posts with something close to home, and when you’re talking Oregon, that means Pinot Noir.  Well, it doesn’t just mean Pinot Noir— I’ve been here long enough, tasted around the block enough to know that there’s a lot of diversity of cultivars and interesting developments happening in the Oregon wine industry.  But let’s start at the very beginning.  A very good place to start.  Today, that meant Anam Cara‘s 2008 Vineyard Selection.

You will all soon discover my deplorable photography skills.

Anam Cara’s vineyards are located in the Chehalem Mountain AVA, which is the northernmost of the Willamette Valley’s sub-appellations.  The loess (wind-deposited sedimentary) soils on the site are an excellent medium for vine growth, being well-drained and also providing the necessary cation exchange capacity— the ability to impart necessary nutrients to roots.

I know I shouldn’t open a 2008 just yet, but I couldn’t resist.  This wine is a gorgeous medium intensity ruby with a salmon-colored rim.  The aromas of red berries and plum are of medium to medium-plus intensity right off the bat, and as they continue to evolve in the glass they grow riper and sweeter.  Right out the bottle, there are distinct notes of leather and tobacco to the aroma, and a bit of lovely funk that blows off with exposure to the air.  The flavors are well-balanced and of medium-plus intensity with fresh berries upfront and perfectly smooth tannins.  The tannins are so smooth it’s almost a crime.  The acidity and alcohol are right where you want them for a pinot.  The midpalate offers flavors of cranberry and raspberry juice, which give way to bitter chocolate, cinnamon and a bit of pepper.  It’s a beautiful wine that’s drinking well now and will continue to for probably four more years.

If you see a bottle, save a bottle.


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