A bunch of us affiliated with the winery got together last night for perhaps the best pot luck I've ever attended. Homemade pickles, butternut squash and cheve tarts, provencal beef stew, cous cous with butternut squash, farro with chantrelles and spicey delicata squash rounds, asparagus with garlic and parmasean, homemade tart tatain and chocolate tart. I'm feel full just remembering all the goodness.
Of course, there were wines involved, pretty much all excellent but different in style, some more pleasing to me than others. For whites, a 1996 Amity Rieling Willamette Valley with petrol aromas and tangy, fresh flavors. A 2003 Jaboulet Crozes Hermitage Blanc "Mule Blanche" that showed the heat of the vintage with lovely, round apple and honey flavors. It perhaps could use some acid, but it was delicious.
For reds, a bevy. The 2006 Thomas Pinot Noir Dundee Hills, restrained for the hot vintage, pretty cherry and slight animal notes. Young and delicous. The 2006 August West Pinot Noir Graham Family Russian River Valley was spicy and fragrant but very lush and broad in the mouth, maybe too much soo. The 2002 Elk Cove Pinot Noir Wind Hill was mature, perhaps a bit early but still delicious and one of my favorites of the night. Then a 1989 Tualatin Estate Pinot Noir that was still rich and a bit woody but lovely, with time to go if you happen to have any (not likely I'm guessing).
Moving away from pinot noir and Oregon, the 2002 Domaine Tempier Bandol classic was predictably young, a little bretty, but so lovely, peppery and raspberries, animal but nicely balanced. The 2006 Unti Grenache Dry Creek Valley was so California, spicy and woodsy smelling but so lush and rich on the palate, good but not my style. Then a 2003 Tedeschi Amarone that wasn't as huge as the hot 2003 vintage would suggest. I love this producer and this basic bottling is always more authentic to my taste than the Monte Olmi "cru" bottling. No barrique here, or at least you can't tell. Certainly raisiny, but that's Amarone. Nicely fresh and lithe, I like this.
Finally, one couple brought their homemade Nocento walnut liqueur that was dark brown, intense and simply wonderful. One of the couple is a terrific winemaker, so it's not surprise, and I want to try more of this. Wow.
All told, a great dinner and evening. Happily I was modest on my wine tastes, but not on the food intake. Talk about food hangovers. Yikes.