Category Archives: Reds

Red wine reviews

Remy Wines Opens New Tasting Room at the Vineyard

Our friends at Remy Wines have recently opened a new tasting room on their vineyard west of Dundee.

Joyce – Remy Wines

Here’s Remy herself, winemaker and hostess-with-the-mostness!

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Remy treated us and other members of her wine club to a pleasant tour of the vineyard.  (Yes, she’s wearing all black in 98 degree sun.  Some people, I tell ya…)

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The farmhouse / tasting room.

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Relaxing in the back yard.

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The warm, personable hospitality of Remy and her team keep us coming back.  Recommended!

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Shafer Vineyard Cellars

Well the photo on their web site is so much better than our attempts you’ll just have to go look at it here: http://www.shafervineyards.com/

Just west of Forest Grove Shafer Vineyards is worth the trip just for the view itself. Something we noticed right away is they’ve been doing the do since 1978 and you can see it in the size of the vines they’ve got growing out of the ground there.

…and they are friendly. Here’s myself and Ryan, our man behind the bottles:

Shafer puts an unusual twist on the winery tasting room experience by also having an extensive collection of Christmas decorations available for sale … nearly every possible item the mind can conceive is available as a Christmas tree ornament, including St. Louis. You might as, “why, god, why?” And I would have to agree with you. However, there it is. Once you’ve figured out how to stay away from the Christmas stuff, you’ll find they have some very nice picnic tables just begging you to stay awhile and enjoy yourself, and I think you should!

The big winner in today’s wine lineup is clear, and it’s a white! (Frequent readers will know we’re more tickled by phat reds generally) Their 2014 Müller-Thurgau has an unusual and very pleasant flavor. Well, we like it at least, and maybe you will too.

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2017 Truffle Shuffle – Brittan and Winderlea

The next stop on the 2017 Truffle Shuffle was at the combined tasting room of Brittan Yineyards and Winderlea Yineyard and Winery

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The interior is a bit ultramodern for our tastes, but was full of happy people having a good time. They probably wouldn’t want to hear this, but the most memorable part of this stop was the truffle cheese and truffle salami they were serving. The staff was too busy for us to find out where they found these fine items, but I can assure you, these truffle-y wonder nuggets were salty taste nuggets of joy!

2017 Truffle Shuffle – Dominio IV

And it’s Dominio IV for the Truffle Shuffle win!

it says LOVE

In truth, there were no losers on the Truffle Shuffle path through McMinville, but Dominio hit it on all cylinders.  Delicious red wines, attractive space, friendly staff and excellent truffle snacks, as you’ll see below!

Dominio IV’s wines are also biodynamic, which in our opinion is even *better* than organic.  Why?  In short, organic strives to grow food without the use of chemical additives, etc, and of course we believe that is good.  Biodynamic takes that a step further … in short a system in balance manages pests, soil fertility, etc without much additives of any kind.

For additional fun, check out our visit to El Toledo, biodynamic coffee farm in Costa Rica.   They were once a “traditional” coffee farm until the pesticides nearly killed the owner.  Long story short, they’ve developed a biodynamic farm that today is more like a native forest that happens to have a lot of coffee plants.

 

The walls are adorned by art from the winemaker which attempts to show visually what happens on your palette as their wines cross your tongue.  Fun and unique!

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Our lovely and helpful hosts today were LJ on the left and Nicci on the right.  LJ was pouring and Nicci chef’d on up the delightful truffle snacks!  The best combo of the day!

 

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We found the site of these barrels stacked by the giant agricultural building quite visually attractive.

Joyce prefers this photo to the one above, which I prefer, so you get to see both.

…and after all the beauty, here’s a bland industrial photo, just to even things out.

2017 Truffle Shuffle – Remy Wines

Our second stop of the 2017 McMinville Truffle Shuffle was Remy Wines.

As frequent readers may know, we’re more fans of the heartier reds than the lighter pinots that rule the Willamette Valley.  Remy specializes in european styles and they are ready to drink!  Our favorite this visit was the Nebbiolo.

Her tasting room is also “da bomb”, as the kids once said.  Very comfy to hang out in with knowledgeable and pleasant staff.

The only blemish on this visit was the truffle risotto.  While indeed creamy, didn’t seem to have any truffle in it.  Oh well.

Remy

Remy Wines

Saturday we stopped in Remy Wines in McMinnville.

remy3Ah, the breadsticks…

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Pretty!

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We have a terrible secret to share.  We’re just not that into Pinot Noir style wines.  There’s nothing wrong with them, we just prefer beefier flavors.  The Willamette Valley is all about the pinot and some of the places out here are getting snooty and expensive.  That’s no fun!

Joyce picked Remy because they make a more standard array of red wines and not six variations on pinot noir.  She liked their wines so much she joined the club!  (Joining the wine club means she has to go out there and visit the quilt store.)

The tasting room is also a comfy place to hang out.  Thumbs up!

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Remy gets my award of Excellence in Artistic Use of Pallets

remy5 I also like their labels.

This past weekend found us camping in the mountains outside of Yakima, Washington.  We took the opportunity to chase some grape juice.

Windy Point

Windy Point

Very pretty tasting room, with a beautiful kitchen! Makes you want to cook!

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Joyce likes their wines, and the view is great! This place is a keeper.

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Masset Winery

Just a short drive down the road we found ourselves at Masset.  Keep your eyes peeled for mutants…

Masset

A great thing about dropping by wineries on non-weekend days is you get to beat the crowds and you can chat more if you feel like it. All the wines at Masset worked good for me. They are a small producer and you pretty much need to go buy straight from them. In any case, a pleasant visit!

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Masset

Two Mountain

Next up was Two Mountain.

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We’d been here a couple years back. The tasting room is lovely, I quite like it. However, we didn’t enjoy this visit as much. We’d been spoiled by having the other wineries be nearly deserted. Here we encountered a group of giggling college kids who monopolized the staff. I remember that we had enjoyed their wines the last time we were here. Today not so much. It may be that the wines at Windy Point and Masset were quite good and simply overshadowed Two Mountain.

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Knight Hill

Knight Hill was my personal fav from this trip.  Very friendly personable service from the owner, good wine, great views.

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We had a good time chatting with the owner.

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Yes, we stopped for some lunch.  Yup, it was hot outside.

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They had a sign up about a B&B room they have.  Nothing on their web site about it though.  I guess drop them a line if you’re interested.

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Portteus

Our last winery of the day was Portteus.

Porteus

Big building!

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This map must mean something…

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We had a good time chatting him up about their experiences going organic vs. traditional vs. biodynamic.  We got to chat about our experience in Costa Rica exploring the El Toledo coffee farm and how they converted to biodynamic.

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I was stuck washing my own hands.  Sad!

The Teutonic Wine Company and The Wild Hunt

Here’s Barnaby, the winemaker behind The Teutonic Wine Company manning the bar at his tasting room on SE 20th right off Powell Blvd in Portland.
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Actually, he prefers to refer to his place as a “pub” as it’s his goal to have a pleasant hangout spot for all kinds of people.  Yes, he’ll sell you a $40 bottle of fine wine, or if you prefer a $3 Rainer Tall Boy with a frosty mug to go with it.

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And for snacko-miendos they’ve teamed up with The Wild Hunt, a nordic food cart with all kinds of tasty things I can’t pronounce.  We noshed down on open faced blood sausage sammiches with a very tasty slaw and even better – a delish pickled egg with the surprising saltiness of caviar.

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This photo came out rather dark in our moist PNW spring weather.  You’ll find the place quite comfortable with a relaxed and friendly vibe.  When we were there Barnaby was spinning the 70’s vinyl and in the next room they were showing the campy action film Norwegian Ninja to complete the theme.

We enjoyed it, perhaps you will too!