Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Crushes: Top 10 Most Memorable Wines of 2009

Like the ever-elusive “love at first sight,” sometimes we make a powerful connection with certain wines and might even think they’re “The One.” Something about it appeals to your inner being in some magical and almost undefinable way. It challenges your mind and your heart at once… stirring intense emotion and captivating your attention while luring you in for more. Your heart begins to race, and you feel passion and fulfillment co-mingling together side by side like champagne flutes. But, like fickle love, fortunately the same thing doesn’t appeal to everyone—and in that spirit, I’d like to offer my contribution to the Top Ten torrent and share with you what wines captured my soul and won me over in some undeniable way. And, while I realize some of these wines are completely and ridiculously unaffordable for the average consumer (me) and some are even sold out (☹), the following is simply a list of the most memorable wines I tasted in 2009:

1. Archery Summit 2007 Arcus Estate Pinot Noir ($100)
2. 2007 Bergstrom Vineyard Pinot Noir ($75)
3. Argyle 1999 Extended Tirage Brut (sold out)
4. Marchesi 2007 Barbera ($27)
5. Carlo & Julian 2005 Estate Tempranillo ($30)
6. Alloro 2007 Church Block Pinot Noir ($38)
7. Mystic 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon ($28)
8. Apolloni 2008 Pinot Noir Rose ($?)
9. Purple Cow 2008 Siegerrebe ($14)
10. White Rose 06 Soverae ($75)

My current quest to taste at every Oregon tasting room in a year has allowed me the unique privilege of sampling a lot of wine. I’ve now visited 127 different wineries and having tasted well over 600 wines in a three-month span, I’ve also learned many great lessons, met amazing people that have changed my life and I’ve further honed my eager palate. I think I finally developed a true understanding of the word “terrior” (a French term describing how the soil and location impact the flavors of the fruit) and have now tasted for myself the distinct flavor profiles from specific AVAs (American Viticultural Areas). Further reflection on my experiences reveals I also discovered something about how wine can make a powerful impression and sometimes can even steal your heart. I hope you found some wines that were utterly beguiling in 2009, I’d sure love to hear about them! Until we sip again in 2010…

Cheers and Happy New Year!


Anonymous said...

Wow, you've done a lot of tasting lately. Looks like your go to crush is a good Pinot.

Thanks for sharing and cheers to 2010.

Josh @nectarwine

6512 and growing said...

600 wines in a 3 month span? That is amazing! Congrats on making your dream come true!

Sip with Me! said...

This blog made me wish I had actually been keeping track of how many wines I've tasted. Oh well, next time!

© Bruce Bollard Photography said...

Tamara, Happy New Year! Good on ya! I'm also attempting to visit as many Oregon wine tasting rooms this year as I can, on Sundays! I've been tasting wine around the world and now it's time to focus on local wines! Last Sunday was the first outing of the year- Tori Mor, Lange, Erath, Daedulus,Argyle. Looking forward to the next one...

Great Blog!!
See you out in wine country!

Cheers, Bruce

Portland Charcuterie Project said...

Apolloni is a great "hidden gem".

Anne Hubatch is the winemaker and for an even "more hidden" gem.. introduce yourself and see if you can do barrel tastings of her own label wine.