December 31, 2009

Wine story of the year: Wine Berserkers

For me, the internet wine story of the year isn't Cinderella Wine or Cellartracker's impending redesign (maybe that's 2010's). No, the biggest internet wine story of 2009 was the creation of Wine Berserkers, now the fastest growing wine discussion site that I know of.

Wine Berserkers is not an ordinary wine discussion site. It's not based around a magazine (Wine Spectator), high powered critic ( or longtime wine journalist (Robin Garr's Wine Lovers Discussion Group). It's more like the offbeat site Wine Disorder, founded by users for users tired of the rules or lethargy elsewhere. (Disorder is restricted to those chosen for entry, so it seems more a niche thing. I really like the discussion there, but don't seem to have what it takes for entry.)

When it launched last January, Wine Berserkers was an alter-ego of's fourm. The founders were largely cast offs from that site, banned or otherwise restricted for a variety of reasons, some perhaps warranted, some more for simply rocking the Parker boat. In fact, eRP moderator Mark Squires unwittingly gave the new site its name by referring to critics of his heavy handed editorial actions as "berserkers."

Yes, there is an ongoing shadow relationship on WB. You'll see constant reference to things going on over at eRP. Some people seem to revel in the meta-commentary. Others hate it and though "open letters" have begged everyone to get over it and move on.

That hasn't exactly happened, but in many ways it has. At least, as the site grows, to me the original raison d'etre fades in significance. Instead, with nearly 2,000 registered users and now more than 200,000 posts in barely 11 months, the differences between eRP and WB are growing.

There's great wine discussion on WB between lots of seasoned wine enthusiasts. There are more and more international contributors, though this remains an American-dominated site. There's also less editorial oversight, so people are more free to challenge the status quo and be reigned in by the group, not as much by moderators.

What's really emerging on the site, to my mind, is a breaking of barriers between individuals and industry. That's always been a side benefit from wine discussion. I've written here that I never would have gotten into making wine and launching a wine business if not for wine discussion online, where I connected with so many industry types with relative ease.

Where Wine Berserkers seems to be reaching new ground is in attacting and catering to discussion and networking for wine industry types, and to connecting that growing pool to enthusiasts in a non-commercial way. Where eRP is essentially tailored to connecting users to the Wine Advocate writers, WB seems tailored to connecting wine consumers to each other and all aspects of wine industry. You see better integration of sites like Cellartracker in the WB interface. You see better understanding from site administrators of how blogging and social networking are changing wine for the better. You see industry types more willing to be involved in the success of the site. Pay attention to the upcoming one year anniversary of Wine Berserkers in January. Big things are happening.

A cynic might say that such industry involvement is sheer marketing on their part. That same cynic probably sees social networking platforms like Twitter as babble and marketing, failing to see how they are connecting people in new and complex ways. Talk about not seeing the forest for trees. You want marketing? Look at critic-centered sites that shut down much of the discussion of competition or challenges to the critic. What's the goal there? Then you see a site that's not selling a brand, but focused on connecting people across the wine spectrum. That's where Wine Berserkers is succeeding. It's not rocket science, but this site seems to be doing it the best and, to my mind, is the internet wine story of the year.

December 29, 2009

Dinner with old friends

Last night we had the pleasure of hosting two couples, and their young children, who we hadn't seen for years since our San Francisco days. These couples themselves are old friends and back in the later 1990s Jennifer and I connected with them through our mutual love of wine and food. We scattered across the country and lost touch, but lately we've reconnected and it just happened that we were all here in the San Diego area at the same time. So, a reunion of sorts.

While the food was take out pizza, not the extravagant meals we used to share, the wines were top notch just like the old days. For starters, the NV Pierre Bouchard Champagne Inflorescence, a blanc de noirs that was crisp, refined and less red fruited than expected, but no less delicious than its reputation. Then a wine I picked up last week in Woodland Hills, the 2008 J.P. Brun Morgon. What a tremendous Beaujolais, full of lovely spicy raspberry and mineral gamay flavors, juicy and fairly rich. I'd love to age this a few years and see it gain even more breadth. Already it's really good.

Then onto bigger reds. First, the 1985 Ch. Pradeaux Bandol brought in by Premier Cru about a decade ago and stored well since. This was simply excellent, with great mourvedre raspberry fruit and tree bark aromas, and perfect aged sweetness on the palate. As you should expect from good Bandol, this had great freshness at almost 25 years old. A good bottle like this was great now but could easily last another decade or more. Thanks Paul for bringing this among all these great wines.

Then some new world mourvdre dominated blends for comparison. First, the 2006 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel "Panoplie," a 68% mourvedre blend with grenache and syrah that's apparently a domestic hommage to the Beaucastel "Hommage a Jacques Perrin" bottling. This bottle seemed fruit dominated and soft, certainly tasty and dense wine but lacking complexity and maybe the structure to allow age to bring out that complexity. Not as exciting as other Tablas Creek wines I've tried over the years.

Then the 2007 Carlisle Two Acres bottling from nearly 100 year old vines in the Russian River Valley, off Olivet Lane. Paul and I helped out here back in 1999 so we feel a particular connection to this bottling. This year's example has all the usual Carlisle ripeness but at a moderate 13.7% alcohol. The aroma showed a little more youthful sweetness than I was expecting, but the flavors had a nice savory, peppery spiciness and good acidity. This should age nicely.

And if that wasn't enough, we opened a wine totally foreign to me, the 2007 Passopisciaro from Mt. Etna in Sicily. Paul mentioned this area can produce the most Burgundian in style of southern Italian reds that he knows of. I would agree based on this taste. Pretty ruby color with a perfumed aroma, maybe more Rhone like with a whiff of volatility that lifts the aroma. Nice tannic structure and sweet savory red fruit, this was quite good.

In sum, a great night of reconnecting with old friends and all of our children, watching the sun set into the Pacific and taking a liesurely time sampling all these excellent wines. Hope we do it again, this time without waiting another decade.

December 23, 2009

Good news on my wine name

Good news lately on the name I want to use for my commercial wine project starting with the 2009 vintage. To this point, I've called my homemade wine "Vincent." However, lots of wineries and wine labels have "Vincent" in their names.  Would there be an issue? People I talked to said either "find a new name" or "no, write them a letter and see if there's a problem." Before taking the first advice, I thought I'd try the second.

So, recently I wrote letters to producers like Stephen Vincent Wines, Vincent Arroyo, and Gruet, which has a second label called Domaine St. Vincent. I stated that I am producing Oregon pinot noir starting with the 2009 vintage, may branch into other grape varities from the Pacific Northwest, and wanted to name my wine Vincent. Would they have a problem with that? If so, how did they deal with others (which I named) who have Vincent in their names.

Last week, on the same day, I got calls from Stephen Vincent and Gruet. Both were absolutely clear there would be no issue. Stephen was totally cool, even giving me some good advice about the business and offering support if I wanted it. He even mentioned that there's a Stephens (or Stevens?) wine out there. Names happen. I asked about French producers using the name Vincent, but he said there wasn't a concern there either. Gruet was clear that, as long as I didn't use "Domaine St. Vincent" there was no issue. For what it's worth, I have also talked with an Oregon producer that has a Cuvee St. Vincent and they have no issue either.

I haven't heard from Vincent Arroyo, but as of now I'm going full steam ahead with this name: Vincent Wine Company. The wine will be known as Vincent, with Vincent Wine Company being the full name. My business has a different name for legal reasons, VF Wine Company, LLC. The idea there is to keep that separate and possibly have other label along with Vincent as we grow and figure things out.

Of course, I could still hear an objection from Vincent Arroyo or who knows who else out there. But it doesn't seem likely, and I think the others' lack of objection would mean something. This shouldn't be an issue. It's a name I want. It's unique but related to some others. If someone's going to object, we'll deal with it.

So, 2009 closes with the launch of Vincent as my commercial label. Email me if you want in on my list. My first offer will be out in the late spring. First wine will be released in fall 2010. I can't wait.

December 21, 2009

2006 A.P. Vin Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch

I don't drink a lot of California wine anymore. I started on French wine back in the early '90s, then got into California wines in the mid to later '90s as I explored my native state. Then I moved from California to Oregon in 2000 and I settled into a diet of mostly European and Oregon selections. I simply prefer the racy freshness of even the richer wines from these areas, compared to the stereotype of hulking fruit and oak monsters of the golden state.

Readers of this blog will know that there are plenty of exceptions. I love the wines of Edmunds St. John. I've also written favorably about wines from several California producers like Tablas Creek, Mt. Eden, Ridge, older Ravenswood, and recently Windy Oaks. Most of these wines fit a more scaled down version of the California excesses, full of what California can offer but usually not over full. Then there are more mainline California producers that I enjoy, including Carlisle and Siduri, mainline not in the sense of general quality but definitely in terms of ripeness and opulence. These wines don't tend to be shy, and yet I find delight and even nuance in the best example. They show to me that generalizations are only so useful, and sometimes overblown to the point of being ridiculous.

Case in point, A.P. Vin. Andrew Vignello is famous for being an internet wine geek full of passion for California wine (and beyond) who threw his day job aside some years back and got into the wine producing business feet first. I've never met Andrew but he's an inspiration to me, that someone full of passion for winemaking can dive in and produce quality wine that finds an audience. I also love that he makes wine in an urban facility in San Francisco. Urban wines are the new wave.

Today I found a bottle of his 2006 A.P. Vin Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch from the Russian River Valley at a local LA wine shop. I'd never tried his wine and bought it with curiosity of what this producer might have done with grapes from this acclaimed site. The results were surprisingly nice. I actually expected a dark colored, highly extracted show piece of a pinot noir. Instead, there was a pretty ruby color with a pleasing herbal cherry and earth aroma. Had I smelled this blind, I would have quessed high quality New Zealand pinot, which seems to give more herbal expressions of pinot than the pure fruit Cali style I commonly find. Was there whole cluster here? No, apparently, but the spicy peppery notes gave that kind of complexity.

The flavors were more fruit centered with some oak toast, but the acids were bright and the tannins provided a lovely texture and grip. This isn't too tannic, rather it's not sweet and cloying. I loved the balance in this wine and the relative restraint. There's some alcohol on the finish. This isn't lightweight pinot. Sitll, this wine had terrific grace and interest. And where so many people criticize "big" wines for lacking perfume, this wine had terrific perfume. Nice job Andrew.

December 20, 2009

Marcarini barbera

We're visitng my mom in LA and went out to dinner at Dante here in Pacific Palisades. They make really nice Italian food. I always have a good meal here. Nothing super fancy, but very solid and pretty consistent.

From the basic list I picked a Castello di Verduno Barbera. Of course they were out of that, but for the same price we had the 2007 Marcarini Barbera d'Alba Ciabot Camerano. It was too warm (obviously stored in the kitchen, which is too bad), but they brought an ice bucket and it cooled off quickly.

This is a delicious barbera, as usual. Fresh and berry scented, then lightly floral and spicy. I didn't pick up any new oak but there may be some barrique aging here. The flavors were simple and pure with tangy fruit and a nice tannic texture, and a great savory note on the finish.

Barbera is so often the best way to go with Italian food. Reasonably priced, easy to drink young, delicious with so many different dished and with mouthcleansing acidity that slakes your thirst and still brings you back for more. I still have a bottle of this wine from the 2003 vintage back home in the cellar. Time to get that out to see how a few years have changed it.

December 18, 2009

Nice basic Evesham Wood Pinot Noir with a little age

My friend John recently found a bottle of 2002 Evesham Wood Pinot Noir Willamette Valley for $20 at a local shop, Great Wine Buys, in NE Portland. Apparently the good folks at Great Wine Buys will occasionally put something like this away for a while and then bring it out to the shelves. That there's a good wine shop, if you ask me. Not sure if there's any still there, but it's worth a call or visit.

John opened the bottle this afternoon and offered me a glass when I stopped by to hang out before the holiday break. I don't recall this wine specifically from its youth, but remember this bottling being pretty crunchy, fresh and pretty at release. Now it's a touch oxidized, mature and a bit meaty for its age along with nice cherry fruit. It's still fresh and bright on the palate, with juicy acid and woodsy cherry fruit, then fine tannin on the pretty decent finish. Consider this good Bourgogne rouge, Oregon style.

I was lucky enough to bring the rest of the bottle home and it seems a touch more fresh with the extra air time. I find that to be true of wines at this point, where air can bring out a more youthful character when you might think the opposite, that air would cause the wine to show more age. Am I alone in noticing this?

December 17, 2009

Really nice Cali pinot noir from Windy Oaks

Last year around this time, I was sort of gifted a bottle of 2005 Windy Oaks Pinot Noir Estate from the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. Gifted in that a generous guy from the wine boards brought this and another wine to dinner, thinking we'd open this one and I could have the other for another time. Before I knew that, I'd opened the other wine and this never got opened. It was one of those faux pas that wine geeks loathe. You bring a nice bottle, it doesn't get opened. Dang. Worse yet when you're the host. So apologies to Stu. Thanks for your generosity.

I was so intrigued by this wine, I wasn't sure when to open it. Tonight, with a nice fire roaring and the family for an early Christmas at home before we travel...this seemed like the time. Wow, is this an impressive, delicious California pinot noir.

Here in Oregon, Cali wine gets little respect. None less than Cali pinot. THIS is pinot country. California pinot? Isn't that zinfandel? Well, of course not. Sure, lots of pinot noir from the golden state is big fruited and lush. That's not true of everything, though. Case in point here.

The Windy Oaks is from California's Oregon, the Santa Cruz mountains. Rugged, fir covered, full of hippies and other greenery, you could drop me in Soquel and I might think I were in Oregon's coast range somewhere near Manzanita. So it's natural to find a kindred Oregon spirit in this wine.

The color is a nice ruddy ruby, befitting delicate, beginning to age pinot noir. The aroma is perfumed, showing lots of herbaceous whole cluster fermentation notes, integrated wood spice and bright raspberries. At first it seemed a little too herbaceous, even green peppery with a candied note. With time that morphed into peppery stem and finely woven fruit and spice notes. This is nice.

The flavors are nicely focused with raspberry, cured meat and lovely wood spice notes. Everything's well knit, bright with fine tannic texture and good length, finishing with nice savor that leaves you thirsting for more rather than full of "flavor" and a dulled sensibility.

This is simply one of the nicest new world pinot noirs I've had in a while and certainly the best from California I've tried in a long time. Not that I try too many these days, but this is clearly special. I've heard good things from this producer and this bottle alone suggests those reports are right on. Windy Oaks is something I want more of. Thanks Stu, I owe you.

December 14, 2009

Wow - 2007 Clemens Busch Riesling Marienberg Rothenpfad Grosses Gewachs

I had a chance to taste this incredible, dry German Mosel riesling the other night. Talk about blind tastings. I had never heard of the producer, had no idea what region in Germany it was from and no sense of the what the wine would or should be. I did know it was a Grosses Gewachs bottling, essentially Germany's recent Grand Cru designation for dry white wines. I'll admit this is my first taste of a "GG." It won't be my last.

2007 Clemens Busch Riesling Marienberg Rothenpfad Grosses Gewachs
The color was a brilliant greenish gold, making me think of an Austrian riesling. Then the aroma. Green peas? Is there gruner veltliner in here? It's hugely complex aromatically,with honey, mineral, apple and intense tropical aromas. In the mouth it's leaner than the rich smell, not some complex at this stage but with great finesse, purity and length. This is verrrry interesting wine.

I googled the producer and found Lyle Fass' terrific write up on Rockss and Fruit from his visit to the Clemens Busch estate last year. Check out the pictures of the Marienberg vineyard. It must have been an old quarry. I was pleasantly surprised to find Lyle's references to the tropicality of this wine and the "Austria meets the Mosel" aspect of the producer. I can see that in this one wine.

December 12, 2009

2005 Montaribaldi Barbaresco Palazzina

Winter means it's Barba-
resco season here in Portland. I think back to last Decem-
ber's heavy snows and wines like the 2003 Produttori di Barbaresco normale bottling that I enjoyed so much.

 Tonight it's cold and now icy rainy, but there's homemade pizza of three varitiies and the 2005 Montaribaldi Barbaresco Palazzina. Life is good.

The wine is young as you'd expect, dark ruby with a hint of rusty orange when held up to the light. The smell is pure tradition, with seasoned oak and chestnuts, dried flowers, almonds and pie cherries, but some volatility that adds a rustic edge.

The flavors are classic nebbiolo with firm tannin and fresh acidity, perhaps a bit blocky and country, not refined but so honest and authentic, and delicious with the meal, that refinement is beside the point. This is authoritative, flavorful Barbaresco that should age a while but will always favor the bold over elegance. And that's fine.

We're spoiled in Portland, with Barbaresco like this available for the mid-$20s before discounts or special purchase. These days, that's pricing for good Nebbiolo d'Alba, but there's more intensity here, if not the refinement of the best examples of Nd'A. I'm glad to have another bottle to try in a few years to see how it develops.

December 07, 2009

Beer trials and Heater-Allen Isarweizen

Tonight it's nearly 20F in usually mild Portland, OR. What a better time for a glass of sunshine? So with dinner I opened a bottle of Heater-Allen Isarweizen. Yes, that's an Oregon Pinot Noir Riedel glass. Not beer mug will do for this local lager. Rather, something that allows me to enjoy the aroma of this excellent wheat beer. You can see the golden color. I should have shaken the bottle a touch first to get more yeast in suspension, as the later pours were gradually cloudier. The aroma was all wheat and citrus, though I didn't add any lemon to my glass. I felt right back in an Austrian beer hall. Yum

Thinking about beer, I reflect on my experience two days ago down at the Green Dragon with friend Seamus Campbell, author of The Daily Wort. With the help of several friends and the Dragon, Seamus conducted a beer trial. Two flights of three beer samples, double blind. We had no idea what we were trying, or even if each sample was a different beer. Seamus is writing a book called The Beer Trials to investigate taste and perception of quality vs. price, like that. With a neighbor friend, I tried the first three samples and quickly was convinced that the first two were identical. They tasted like Pilsner Urquell to me, but turned out to be Czechvar, the old Budweiser Budvar, the "real" Budweiser that was an old favorite back in my Europe days when I could drink it fresh. Or maybe I didn't have a very evolved taste in beer. Here in the US, it's no good. The third sample was Heineken. Sweeter, maltier but still bland and industrial.

Then a second flight of three more samples. Quickly samples A and C appeared identical, malty and a little sweet. They made me think of Sam Adams Boston Lager, which I haven't had for years. I just associate it with mass produced "craft" brew. Turns out it was Fat Tire Amber Ale, which makes perfect sense. I never liked that beer. Too malty sweet. Sample B was obviously darker and seemed fresh hopped and a little green. I thought it might be Bridgeport's fall Hop Harvest release, a big fresh hopped beer. Turns out it was Ninkasi's Believer, Oregonian but not fresh hopped. I didn't quite like this one either. Just too vegetal and green like the latest Hop Harvest.

All in all, give me a Heater-Allen anytime. But I think I did pretty good in the blind tasting. The beers could have been from anywhere, and essentially were. How do you think you'd do?

December 06, 2009

Great Biggio Hamina tasting

Friday night at Storyteller Wine Company in Portland, Todd Hamina from Biggio Hamina poured a mess of  wines from 2007 and 2008. First were a trio of 2007 Pinot Noir. The Momtazi was the leanest, fresh and bright but perhaps a ltitle tight still. The Deux Vert was notably more fruity aromatically. Then the Ana the deepest and richest of the three, more fruit with a lovely soil note. I thought this was Pommard clone, but apparently it's all 777. I've written elsewhere that the best 2007s are pretty and fragrant, and have come a long way in the past year. Most I wouldn't think need more than a few years aging, though they should last longer. These wines might be exceptions, where they'll reveal even more with time. Very interesting, cerebral wines these. Delicious too.

Then a pair of 2008 Pinot Noir. First the Willamette Valley, lighter in color than 2008s I've tried from other producers and delicious. That's typical here. Todd uses a lot of stems and ferments cool, and the wines stress perfume and finesse rather than color and fruit extraction. Then the Zenith, the darkest and richest of all the pinot here (still not that dark and rich). Lovely black cherry fruit here and great texture.

Next came two 2007 Syrah from the Deux Vert vineyard, a warmer climat in the Yamhill-Carlton District here in the Willamette Valley. The first was the Willamette Valley Syrah, and I've written it up favorably here. Tonight it tasted like peppered bacon. There's 7% viognier co-fermented in this one. Then the 2007 Syrah XX, with 20% viognier. I hadn't tried this one previously, and I found out that not only does it have so much viognier, it's all from one new Oregon oak barrel. There's serious smoke here, maybe too much right now but this is wine to age I think. Not black and highly extracted wine, rather this is medium bodied, structured and fragrant. If good Oregon pinot has Burgunian qualities, these Biggio Hamina syrah definitely take a local spin on classic northern Rhone syrah. What a treat to try so many different ones in one line up.

Unusual Oregon white wine: auxerrois

There's not a lot of the auxerrois grape grown in Oregon. At a holiday party this evening, I had a taste of the newly released 2008 Adelsheim Auxerrois from the Ribbon Springs Vineyard on Ribbon Ridge. What a delicious and interesting wine. I think Oregon whites are underrated, and this is another great example of that.

What the heck is auxerrois? It's pronounced ohk-sair-wah and it's common to the Alsace region of France. I looked it up in Jancis Robinson's classic text Vines Grapes & Wines without much success. Wikipedia suggests it's a cross of gouais blanc and pinot noir, the same parentage of chardonnay. Adelsheim's site suggests this cross is from medival times and responsible for aligote, gamay and 10 other varieities. I don't understand how that works, but I find it fascinating.

How did the wine taste? As the Adelsheim link suggests, there were lots of pear and honey aromas and flavors, with softer acid than I expected. One taster suggested it was a little sweet. I found it to be dry, with a fruity impression, so I can understand that. What was remarkable here was the finesse and length. It's not the moxt complex wine, just so delicious and enticing. Thanks to our hosts for taking the wine steward's recommendation at a local shop and picking this up.

December 04, 2009

Beer trial at the Green Dragon this weekend

Attention wine drinkers:

I've been meaning to blog about this for a couple days. Blog reader, homebrewer and author of The Daily Wort blog Seamus Campbell is doing research for a book on tasting beer. He needs your help. He wants input from a variety of tasters, us wine lovers included. It's one thing to hear from hop heads. Calling all cork dorks.

This Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 1-5pm, Seamus will be at the Green Dragon, 928 SE 9th, at Belmont in Portland. What you need to do - show up, taste about a pint's worth of free samples, and complete a survey. Should take about 15 to 20 minutes, and while you're at the Dragon, why not buy another pint or two?

It's going to be cold this weekend. Beer drinking weather I say. Hope to see you there.

December 03, 2009

1999 Texier Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes

Tonight, an older wine to pair with some steak and the big college football game between Oregon and Oregon State. The winner goes to the Rose Bowl, and wouldn't this be a fitting wine. The color of the 1999 Eric Texier Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is rusting a bit but still fresh. Then there's an almost rose-like floral perfume on top of deep, intense game, raspberry and old wood aromas. Did this see some barrique? Any fresh wood notes have integrated nicely. Those more sensitive to brett will notice some mild leather and band aid notes in there. Overall, this is unusual Chateauneuf, more northern Rhone in character than the stony, grenache-dominated cherry and herb infused wines we see most often.

In the mouth this wine is less impressive. It has nice raspberry and spice notes with some drying tannin but good length. There is more brett on the finish in the form of cheese rind and horse blanket flavors. They stand out a bit when you taste without food, but with a steak, potatoes and broccoli meal this is nice if not spectacular wine. The brett averse might hate it, and I'm less and less tolerant of brett. Still, I like this, especially aromatically and with a nice, warm meal on a cold December night.

December 01, 2009

2007 Arterberry Maresh Pinot Noir Dundee Hills

I wrote months ago about seeing this wine on sale in Portland, [perhaps a victim of the economy and some mixed reviews on the 2007 vintage locally for pinot noir. Everybody seems to have lowered their prices on 2007s. There are some great buys still out there, even this one if you look carefully.

Did I ever write a tasting note for the 2007 Arterberry Maresh Dundee Hills pinot from Jim Arterberry Maresh. (For the record, it's pronounced Marsh.). I don't think I did, so here goes.

First you see the translucent ruby color. Then there's the senuous perfume of dried flowers, cherries, strawberries, clay and spice. I don't pick up any intrusive oakiness, just subtle wood spice that marries beautifully with the grape. This wine is pure silk in the mouth, with tangy cherry and light raspberry flavors, complex spice and a lovely, soft tannic texture. There's good length and this matches nicely with homemade turkey and roast vegetable sandwiches. I really like this, and around $20 locally, it's a bargain.

I read a decent review of this wine in a commercial publication that suggests it's almost rose in hue and probably best served lightly chilled, like a pink wine. That seems like faint praise and simply off base to my experiences with it. I love rose, but this is red wine. This is what good Oregon pinot noir is all about. This will cellar for a few years. I wouldn't lose it in the basement for too long. So many of the good 2007s are already fragrant and silky, I'm not sure how much they'll gain even if they last a while. But this wine isn't some afterthought, to be lost among black hued, excessively oaky local wines. As Jimmy Maresh would put it, this is the shit. Don't miss it.