The West Coast, with all its mellow allure, is a fine place to make world-class wine. At the mention of Napa Valley or Willamette Valley, you can just feel the dying glow of the setting sun usher in the crisp evening over the vineyards. Oh, and naturally, the Eagles are playing in the background.
There’s something adoringly laid-back about the wines of California, Washington and Oregon. These four wines will blow your palate. They all demonstrate a heavy sense of place and reveal their terroir with finesse, intrigue and focus.
Portland, Oregon’s Boedecker Pinot Noir comes from husband-and-wife dream team Stewart and Athena Boedecker. Athena loves the definitive Oregon Pinot Noir, brimming with aromatic dazzle and filled with red fruit, bramble and olive wood; this earthy take on Oregon Pinot is layered but focused and ages beautifully. Light and sleek in structure, with dark berry, mineral and toast flavors on a lithe frame, finishing with intensity and harmony; drink now through 2017.
At Copper’s Find, they pick only the best oak before expertly crafting quality wine barrels. Sometimes they will identify a remarkably made barrel so that it can later be found in the cellar… a reflection of the Cooper’s artistry. A graceful Cabernet with rich flavors of black cherry, concentrated plum, currant, mocha and spicy overtones supported by soft tannins that linger on an intense, long finish. This wine is all that and then some. Once the barrel is gone, so is the wine… you really don’t want to miss this one.
An isolated corner of northeast Lake County serves as the land for Cross Springs Vineyard. It’s located nearly 1,400 above sea level, far above the fog line. With undulating east-facing vineyards that soak up the morning sunlight, Cross Springs Vineyard also maintains the proper basalt soil composition, excellent drainage and cool evenings results that are necessary for impressive fruit. Remarkable structure and ripe flavors are the standout characteristics, but its translucent, dark raspberry color and aromas of vanilla oak, coffee and ripe cherry elevate this Pinot above others. Flavors include bright cherry and subtle vanilla oak, while its smooth, velvety mouthfeel and long oaky finish are the icing on the cake.
Milliken Creek runs through Louis de Coninck’s property at the corner of the Silverado Trail and the town of Napa. The soil is gravelly, very much like the best parts of Bordeaux’s left bank. The Cabernet shows what alluvial soil is all about with deep purple color; blueberry, blackberry, plum and sage notes; medium body and good length. This is a bargain for Napa Cabernet.