Held at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, this weekend wine and food festival is a fundraiser for programs to benefit students at McMinnville’s St. James School. Founded in 1906, the school received approximately 15-20% of its operating budget from proceeds raised at last year’s festival.
“Everything about the event is centered upon having fun, and the venue is what really sets the Classic apart,” says event Chair Jon Johnson. Approximately 160 vendors will set up among the artifacts of the space age – jets, missiles, and displays from outer space missions.
Angel Vine is an Oregon winery specializing in Washington Zinfandel and Primitivo, and to a lesser extent, Petite Sirah. The wine is made by Ed Fus in one of our favorite places in Oregon wine country, Carlton, but the grapes come from Washington state: Walla Walla Valley, Horse Heaven Hills and Wahluke Slope.
A year ago, we tasted pours of some Angel Vine at Carlton Cellars, where Ed makes the wine, so we were delighted when we received some sample wines to try this year. We agree with the branding note on the back of the bottles, the winery’s website, and Facebook and Twitter profiles: “Angel Vine is committed to producing premium Northwest Zinfandel and Primitivo wines that show character, individuality and spunk.”
Angel Vine 2010 Petite Sirah (Wahluke Slope)
This big, bold red has a dark inky color, with a firm texture and mouthfeel and aromas and flavors of dark plum and blueberries. We paired it with spaghetti, with a rich tomato and meat sauce. However this wine would also work well with grilled or barbecued meats or spicy dishes. An excellent value, at $22
Angel Vine 2011 Zinfandel (Horse Heaven Hills)
If you are a fan of Zinfandel, you must try this rich and robust wine. Comprised of 98% Zin and rounded out with 2% Petite Sirah, this wine offers bright flavors of raspberries, cherries and strawberries. Washington state wine expert Paul Gregutt wrote this in the Wine Enthusiast: “Angel Vine sources excellent fruit, and makes what is arguably the most hedonistic, California-style Zinfandel in the northwest.” Another excellent value at $19
Angel Vine 2010 Primitivo (Horse Heaven Hills and Wahluke Slope)
We love Primitivo, and this one hits the mark in both taste and value. From Coyote Canyon vineyard and Stonetree vineyard, the blended wine offers gorgeous and fragrant aromas of black cherry, raspberry and dark fruits; the wine is elegant, luscious and jammy. Another excellent value at $20
What an unexpected and pleasant surprise a few weeks ago to see Seattle temperatures hit almost 70 degrees — in March! You know what that meant … time to sit on the deck with a glass of white wine.
Our wine of choice for the deck – and later to be paired with salmon barbecued on a cedar plank — was Carlton Cellars Proposal Rock 2011 Sauvignon Blanc. Crisp, elegant, refreshing, with strong notes of grapefruit, pear and citrus rind — perfect!
You might recall that I went on a tour of Carlton, Oregon wineries with friends after the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference in Portland last summer. Fondly nicknamed “Blitz Carlton,” you can read about it here and here.
One of the bottles I brought home from Blitz Carlton was that same Carlton Cellars Sauv Blanc, knowing Dave would also enjoy it because of the strong grapefruit flavors.
He also enjoyed the story behind the name and label.
In 1999, Carlton Cellars co-owner Dave Grooters proposed to his future wife and winery parter Robin at a stunning spot at Neskowin on the Oregon Coast. Only later did Dave learn this place is actually known as Proposal Rock! Surprise!
Look at the label of Proposal Rock Sauvignon Blanc (above). See the two people? What a great story!
Dave Grooters is more than Carlton Cellars’ co-owner, grower, and winemaker. He is a storyteller, and his enthusiasm about the wines and the labels is enchanting.
He and Robin honor the Pacific by naming each wine for a special place on the Oregon coast, illustrated by really cool label art. On the right is the label from Carlton Cellars 2011 Canon Beach Pinot Gris, which I described last summer as “the crispest Pinot Gris in Oregon.”
Looking forward to visiting Carlton again next month!