After my new wine release event at the new SE Wine Collective the other day, a great friend from out of town and I went to Sauvage for incredibly good food and interesting wine, meeting up with his sister for a while. We managed to end up in the back with Jesse, where he's busy making his well regarded Fausse Piste wines from the 2012 harvest.
First Sauvage. If you haven't been here, go. Now. I'd heard good things from very reliable sources, and they remain reliable. We had a variety of dishes like wonderfully fresh beet salad, top quality oysters, the most tender boar ribs ever, pheasant, lentils Le Puy, all incredibly good.
Then there is the wine list. Fifty selections, all well picked, all available by the glass, all amazingly priced. Oysters? How about Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet? For $5 a glass. How about meaty Cotes du Rhone from Eric Texier for just $9 a glass? It was great with the ribs. This place is a new favorite, not just for the prices. It's simply exactly what a restaurant should be, serving top quality food.
So Jesse Skiles is a chef and is the one behind Sauvage. He's also a winemaker of his label Fausse Piste, literally in the back of the house. I'd seen Jesse earlier at our winery, and sure enough he came by his place later to check on his ferementers. We tasted from a few, lots of whole cluster syrah from Washington picked at lower sugars than most, with good natural acidity.
Then Jesse showed us his skin fermented viognier, a few fermenters worth, that was exotic and appropriately structured. He's taking a very low intervention approach with everything he's doing and the results are delicious. I'm really excited he's now making his wines in Portland.
A restaurant and winery at SE 5th and Ash in Portland. You should definitely check this place out.