We’re preparing to bottle the 2015 reserve Pinot Noirs this week and I’m so excited to see them come together. The 2015 Winemaker Cuvée Pinot Noir is particularly appealing. It has the lush suppleness that the 2014 vintage had, but with a little extra grip which is partly a result of the vintage, and partly from using more whole cluster fermentation that year. I’ve described the 2014 Winemaker Cuvée Pinot Noir as Angelina Jolie – sexy, supple, and bosomy (if that’s actually a word). The 2015 Cuvée Pinot is very similar with sweet, dense fruit and a silky texture.
In 2015, I also worked with some 828 clone pinot from Lia’s Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountain AVA and I loved it so much I had to bottle some separately. I fermented it as 100% whole cluster, aged it for seventeen months in one year old barrels and it’s perhaps the best wine I’ve made so far. This wine I describe as Linda Hamilton in ‘Terminator’ or Signorney Weaver in ‘Alien’. It’s pretty but it’s also wonderfully muscular. I’m excited to see how it will evolve over the years.
We just released the new 2016 vintage of our Jezebel Blanc, a refreshing, fruit-forward, and food-friendly Alsatian white blend. This year, in addition to Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Gewurztraminer, I’ve also added 6% Viognier, which lends body and a lovely aromatic note. I recently concocted a Jamaican shrimp curry that makes a perfect pairing for this wine (recipe below).
1 large onion, finely chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil 1.5 teaspoons coriander seeds 1.5 teaspoons cumin seeds 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 3 whole allspice 1 jalapeno , de-seeded and finely chopped 3 inch piece of ginger root, peeled and finely chopped 2 inch piece of turmeric root, peeled and finely chopped 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes 2 plantains, peeled and chopped in to one inch cubes 1 lb. peeled, deveined, shrimp (frozen also work well) About 1.5 pints of chicken stock
Saute the onion in the olive oil until they soften and start to turn gold brown. Grind the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and allspice with a pestle and mortar and add to the onion and cook for one minute. Add the garlic, ginger and turmeric and cook for another two minutes. Add the jalapeno, sweet potato and plantain and cook for another minute or two before adding the shrimp or langoustines. Stir and cook for two to three minutes and add the chicken stock. Simmer until shrimp are cooked through. Enjoy!
Willful in the News: “2017 Oregon Winery to Watch”