Regular readers of this blog know that I first started writing about wine when we lived in Portland more than 10 years ago. At that time, Willamette Valley Vineyards, named one of America’s great Pinot Noir producers by Wine Enthusiast, was one of our favorite Oregon wineries.
Fast-forward a decade, and I was delighted to discover that Willamette Valley Vineyards started following @WriteforWine on Twitter. In addition, the winery decided to send me some free samples of their latest vintages to taste.
So, on one of the few sunny spring weekends in Seattle, we popped the cork on Willamette Valley Vineyards 2008 Pinot Gris and sat on our deck to taste it. If Pinot Gris is your summer wine of choice, this one should be high on your list – it’s clean, crisp and refreshing, yet rich, with aromas of pear and flavors of green apple and citrus.
We paired the chilled Pinot Gris with giant prawns, but this white wine also would go well with salmon, cheese or chicken. Not surprisingly, it won Gold in January at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition – the largest wine competition in the U.S.
About a week later, we decided to open a Willamette Valley Vineyards 2007 Pinot Noir from Tualatin Estate Vineyard. This velvety wine evoked memories of our wonderful days in Silverton, Oregon, with our special dogs Sam and Shadow; when our back yard edged Silver Creek and we enjoyed tasty barbeques with WVV pinot noir.
Tualatin Estate is one of the oldest and widely respected vinyards in the Willamette Valley. The WVV 2007 Pinot Noir from Tualatin Estate Vineyard has a bit of everything – it is rich, elegant, bold and warm, with beautiful fruit flavors melting into spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.
We had a wonderful reunion with wines from Willamette Valley Vineyards, and we look forward to stopping by next time we visit our neighbors to the south.