After sipping hundreds of wines over the past year, here is a list of the most memorable wines this writer tasted in 2013. Kudos to the hard-working winemakers, wineries and vineyards who spent longs hours to make these beautiful and delicious wines. It was a true honor to savor the results of your dedication and expertise.
Sparkling Wine ￼
1992 Van Duzer Vineyards Oregon Sparkling Wine (Oregon)
It was a lightly honeyed sparkling wine with nice, hefty bubbles shared with friends. http://www.vanduzer.com
White Wines ￼
2012 Chehalem Wines Ribbon Ridge Ridgecrest Vineyards Gruner Veltliner (Willamette Valley, Oregon)
With aromas of lemons and slate, this wine tasted of minerals, passionfruit and tropical fruits and had a steely, long lasting finish.
2012 Abacela Winery Umpqua Valley, Southern Oregon Albarino (Southern Oregon)
Mouthwatering citrus and wet stone on the nose with lemon zest, pineapple, flint & slate with a mango finish.
2011 Keeler Estate Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay (Willamette Valley, Oregon)
Aromas and flavors of lemon tart, passionfruit, tangerines, lemons and granny smith apples with a nice, full mouthfeel and clean finish. A uniquely Oregon-style Chardonnay.
Rosé Wines ￼
Kramer Vineyards Yamhill-Carlton Rosé of Carmine (Willamette Valley, Oregon)
Striking ruby red color with aromas of dusty strawberries and tart flavors of grapefruit, savory strawberries, cherries and white pepper with acidity that danced across the tongue.
2012 Bryn Mawr Vineyards Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon)
Gorgeous ruby red with fragrances of sweet cherries, raspberries, strawberries and lemon peel, followed by ripe strawberries, bubblegum and mineral notes on the palate.
2012 Hightower Cellars Red Mountain Murray Rosé (Red Mountain, Washington)
Dreamy peachy pink color that smelled of strawberries and rhubarb coupled with flavors of strawberries and honey kissed by a light touch of oak.
Red Wines ￼
2011 Helioterra Wines Vintner’s Select Willamette Valley Pinot noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon)
Bright cherry red with a delicious earthiness combined with cherries and cranberries. With a soft mouthfeel, this wine tastes of dark cherries with exotic spices and cigar box.
2011 Bloggers Blend #5 Gratitude Pinot noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon)
This wine was made by wine bloggers who do not claim to know anything about the nuts and bolts of blending but with the help of the fine folks at R. Stuart Wine Co. (including owners/winemakers Rob and Maria Stuart), this Pinot noir blend rocked! It’s not available to the public for purchase. Follow the Twitter hashtag #bloggersblend for more information.
2010 Beckham Estate Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Pinot noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon)
Transparent cherry red hue with aromas of cedar and white pepper followed by cherries and cedar delicately swirling on the palate. Nice, lengthy finish.
2010 Crowley Wines Entre Nous Dundee Hills Pinot noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon)
Pretty ruby red with notes of forest floor, cherries, a hint of mushrooms and a dash of cedar. This Willamette Valley Pinot noir tasted of cherries, raspberries, sandalwood, blackberries and rose petals with a nice, bright acidity.
2010 Willamette Valley Vineyards Eola-Amity Hills Elton Vineyard Pinot noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon)
A rich cherry red color, this is a classic Willamette Valley Pinot noir with a distinct earthiness combined with cranberries and mocha. Nice acidity with a vanilla finish.
2010 Elk Cove Vineyards Willamette Valley Five Mountain Pinot noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon)
Light cherry red, this wine smelled of cherries, strawberries and cedar while combining the flavors of hazelnuts and cherries with a cocoa powder finish.
2010 Stoneboat Vineyards Okanagan Valley Pinot noir (Okanagan Valley, Vancouver BC)
Rich ruby red, this Pinot noir from British Columbia had concentrated red fruit scented with earthy spice, layers of violets, green tea and rich currant flavors with silky tannins and a smooth finish.
2002 Lemelson Vineyards Willamette Valley Stermer Vineyard Pinot noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon)
An older Oregon Pinot, this wine showed some age in the form of a pale brick red with cedar and cocoa powder on the nose. The flavors were rich with plums, dried cherries, blackberries and a subtle hint of cedar with a full mouthfeel.
2011 Clay Pigeon Winery Southern Oregon Syrah (Southern Oregon)
Deep cherry red with aromas and flavors of plums, black cherries, just a hint of blackberries and a seductive earthy, black pepper component, making it true to the varietal.
2008 Terra Blanca Winery Red Mountain Estate Vineyard Block 8 Syrah (Red Mountain, Washington)
Dark, opaque and brooding, this Red Mountain Syrah is a proprietary clone, unique to Terra Blanca. It had distinct aromas of black pepper, chocolate, fine silty soil and bacon coupled with tart raspberries and sandalwood in a very silky, rich mouthfeel.