I enjoy drinking a Pinot Noir when I want a soft red wine, especially at a decent price. Recently a friend brought over a bottle of the 2008 Red Halo Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley of Oregon. This Pinot fit the bill that I was looking for as a soft, approachable red wine. The color of the Red Halo was a ruby red, and the aromas associated with this wine were of fresh red raspberries, cherries, and a hint of blackberries and strawberries, with some earthiness and spice. The flavors for the most part matched the aromas, and the wine had an easy finish. For the price of only $12, not a bad Pinot coming from Willamette Valley.
The owners of Firesteed have had the label of “virtual winery” slapped on them because of the approach that they first undertook regarding wine making. The didn’t own a winery, instead they helped to streamline the wine industry by embracing the latest in quality management, market response (what the consumers want), and service. They were what the French call a “negoçiant,” companies that buy grapes, wine from growers and blend, bottle, and sell the wine under their own label. The bottom line for them is to produce wines that are of high quality, but are affordable. They still source grapes from various vineyards throughout the Pacific Northwest to produce their wines. They also now do have their own winery located in the Willamette Valley of Western Oregon, but the bottom line premise has not changed for them.
The 2007 Firesteed Oregon Pinot Gris has a yellow straw color to it in the glass. On the nose this wine displays aromas of citrus, peaches, and tropical fruits. The flavors associated with this wine were of a light lemon zest, white peaches, pineapple, with a trace of minerality. This is a light-bodied Pinot Gris, with great acidity, a nice finish, and is affordable. This wine would pair very well with fresh scallops, or halibut.
The King Estate Winery is located south of Eugene, Oregon, and was established in 1991. The primary grape varieties that are grown at the King Estate Winery are Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, and some Chardonnay. Organic and sustainable viticulture practices are used at King Estate, and the berries are selected at optimum ripeness to ensure the best wine is produced.
The King Estate 2009 Pinot Gris has a soft yellow straw color to it, with aromas of lemon and grapefruit hitting the nose first, followed by hints of apple, and honeysuckle. In the mouth the citrus takes the lead, with soft nuances of apple, and minerality. This is a very well balanced, easy to drink Pinot Gris, with good acidity, and a medium finish.
Bridgeview Vineyards and Winery is located in the Illinois Valley of southern Oregon. This family owned and operated vineyard and winery uses viticulture practices from Europe, and the results have indeed been impressive. Their European approach to growing grapes and producing wine has brought them into prominence in the world of wine in Oregon. They are now one of the largest producers of wine in the state. Their line of Blue Moon wines has gone outside of the parameters of wineries by using blue bottles for their wine.
In sampling the Bridgeview Blue Moon 2007 Riesling, the wine has a nice golden color to it, with aromas of apricots, apples, and honeysuckle. In the mouth the flavors of apples, apricots, a hint of spice, and minerality make this a very nice and easy to drink wine. This is a semi-sweet Riesling, it is well balanced, and has a nice finish. I paired this with Gouda cheese, and the two went together well.