Happy Hour Wine Tasting Featuring the Oregon wines of Lingua Franca

Thursday, June 27, 2024 - 06:00 PM

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"It's a hard grape to grow. As you know. Right? It's, uh, it's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It's, you know, it's not a survivor like cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and thrive even when it's neglected. No, pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And, in fact, it can only grow in these really specific, little tucked-away corners of the world. And only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand pinot's potential can then coax it into its fullest expression."

Miles - Sideways

I remember my trip to Oregon in the summer of 1994 for the IPNC (International Pinot Noir Celebration) this is one of the best wine parties that I have ever attended. The festival is limited to 500 attendees as it is hosted by McMinnville College and that is all they can accommodate in their lecture facilities. I remember not only were the quality of the wines at the highest level but the people in attendance were some of the most passionate Pinot Noir lovers that I had ever come across. And although winemaking began in the 19th century in this state it is only recently that its potential has been recognized by the rest of the world.

It was in 1979 when serious wine producers started to look at the potential of this area as Eyrie Vineyards' 1975 South Block Pinot Noir placed in the top 10 of Burgundy-style wines at the Gault-Millau French Wine Olympiades, and was rated the top Pinot Noir. This send the news around the wine world and shortly after Robert Drouhin, head of Burgundy's legendary Maison Joseph Drouhin, was visiting America's west coast promoting the Drouhin Burgundies. The California wine industry was just starting to receive its first recognition back then, but there was little if anything going on in Oregon. Robert's first visit to the Northwest and its earliest vineyards left him with the impression that it quite possibly would be Oregon, not California, that would ultimately prove to be the best place to grow the great grape of Burgundy - Pinot noir.

Inspired by his trip to Oregon and the results of 1979 tasting that was held in Paris, where, for the first time, the best new Oregon Pinot noirs were tasted in competition with the finest Burgundies. Robert decided to hold his own blind tasting in 1980 at the Drouhin cellars in France, with several of the best Oregon Pinot noirs going up against the finest Drouhin Grand Crus. It was a Drouhin Grand Cru that took first place this time, but an Oregon wine (the now legendary 1975 Eyrie Vineyards South Block) placed 2nd by a very narrow margin with the French experts. News of this tasting brought the first widespread international attention to Oregon Pinot noir.

After a few years’ time Robert's daughter Véronique just graduated with an advanced degree in enology from the University of Dijon, and wanted to expand her experience by working in Oregon. Véronique interned with Adelsheim Vineyards, Bethel Heights, and Eyrie for the 1986 vintage. Later on, Robert mentioned to David Adelsheim that it might be interesting to buy a piece of land in Oregon, to see what it might produce. What started as a passing thought began its transformation into reality when Adelsheim phoned the Drouhins in Beaune not long thereafter to tell them of a property that was for sale that they might be interested in. The rest is history and with one of Burgundies foremost wine producing families moving to Oregon the writing was on the wall that this wine producing region would soon get its much deserved recognition as one of the world's premier Pinot Noir growing regions.

Today, the state of Oregon in the United States has established an international reputation for its production of wine. Oregon has several different growing regions within the state's borders which are well-suited to the cultivation of grapes; additional regions straddle the border between Oregon and the states of Washington and Idaho. Wine making dates back to pioneer times in the 1840s, with commercial production beginning in the 1960s.

Currently there are over 1000 wineries in Oregon and a bustling tourism industry has developed around wine tasting. Much of the tourism focuses on the wineries and tasting rooms in and around the Yamhill Valley southwest of Portland.

Join us as we taste some of the top-level Oregon  wines from one of the premier wineries Lingua Franca.  The fee for this tasting is $75 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.

Happy Hour Oregon Pinot Noir Wine Tasting
Featuring the wines of Lingua Franca Winery
Thursday, June 27th
6pm

Lingua Franca ANVI Chardonnay 2022 ...

2022 LINGUA FRANCA WINERY AVNI CHARDONNAY WILLAMETTE VALLEY
Price: $33.00                     Your Price: $29.04
This is the only key production wine that is not estate grown. Larry originally was going to sell fruit, so he planted mainly Pinot Noir on the site.  In order to make the volume of Avni Chardonnay he uses about 60% Chardonnay that is from his neighbors, organically farmed on shallow, volcanic Nekia soils.  The rest is purchased from the Van Duzer Corridor, where the temperatures are cooled by winds coming off of the nearby ocean. The main source is from the west side of the hill at the valley floor just to the south of Lingua Franca.  On the nose this wine has aromas of lemon citrus and mineral, all organically farmed,  showing notes of white flowers as the wine opens up. Bright and focused bouquet with lemon citrus, white flowers and a distinct minerality here, a firm hand of acidity and excellent length and complexity on the finish. Finish 45+ Most Excellent

2022 LINGUA FRANCA CHARDONNAY ESTATE EOLA AMITY HILLS
Price: $50.00                     Your Price: $44.00
Floral notes leap out of the glass of the 100% Estate-grown Chardonnay 2022, with notes of jasmine, gardenia and lemon blossom. The contribution of low-yielding CH548 blocks seem to impress their character on the late vintage. The palate is round and fresh, entering with green apple and creamy lemon, which develop into chamomile and sea salt, with a round-textured, long finish of floral and saline notes.

2021 LINGUA FRANCA CHARDONNAY ESTATE EOLA AMITY HILLS
Price: $50.00                     Your Price: $44.00
2021 has a brilliant yellow color with green highlights. The entry is round while the midpalate reveals a backbone of acidity and minerality, with citrus peel, green apple, honeysuckle and river stones. The wine is richly textured with a long, balanced finish.

2019 LINGUA FRANCA CHARDONNAY ESTATE EOLA AMITY HILLS
Price: $50.00                     Your Price: $44.00
(92 Points) "This is tight and balanced, though not as deep or rich as in past vintages. Sleek flavors of lemon rind and green apple come with ample acidity, even with full malolactic fermentation. The wine has the structure and length to age, so tuck it away for a couple of years and it should develop nicely. Paul Gregutt"  Wine Enthusiast

2018 LINGUA FRANCA CHARDONNAY ESTATE EOLA AMITY HILLS
Price: $55.50                     Your Price: $48.84                Quantity in Stock: 2
(96 points) Lovely, expressive notes of juicy grapefruit and ripe pear, toast and oak spice make an appearance but the cask ageing is very well integrated. The overall impression is of a consummate balance between richness and freshness, with another layer of firm underlying acidity too, and the wine lingers enticingly. As consultant Dominique Lafon notes: "Our better wines are not the bigger. Our selection is on refinement." (6/2020)  Decanter

2022 LINGUA FRANCA BUNKER HILL CHARDONNAY OREGON
Price: $65.00                     Your Price: $57.20
This is Larry stone former sommelier, an Estate vineyard farmed biodymanically and this is located in Salem, their winemaker worked at DRC and Dujac and this wine has a good amount of minerality flinty with white flowers and lemon citrus, green apple.  A cosmic label imaged taken from the hubble spacecraft, this wine has a lovely balance and a creamy mineral laced texture, very complex and layered finish the bottle opened yesterday is almost identical to the one opened today and both were even better the following day- Bravo the best Chardonnay I have ever tasted from Oregon.  Finish 50+  Most Excellent

2017 LINGUA FRANCA CHARDONNAY AVNI WILLAMETTE VALLEY
Price: $42.00                     Your Price: $36.96                Quantity in Stock: 8
This is the only key production wine that is not estate grown. Larry originally was going to sell fruit, so he planted mainly Pinot Noir on the site.  In order to make the volume of Avni Chardonnay he uses about 60% Chardonnay that is from his neighbors, organically farmed on shallow, volcanic Nekia soils.  The rest is purchased from the Van Duzer Corridor, where the temperatures are cooled by winds coming off of the nearby ocean. The main source is from the west side of the hill at the valley floor just to the south of Lingua Franca.  On the nose this wine has aromas of lemon citrus and mineral, all organically farmed,  showing notes of white flowers as the wine opens up. Bright and focused bouquet with lemon citrus, white flowers and a distinct minerality here, a firm hand of acidity and excellent length and complexity on the finish. Finish 45+ Most Excellent

Lingua Franca Avni Pinot Noir 2021 ...

2022 LINGUA FRANCA PINOT NOIR AVNI WILLAMETTE VALLEY
Price: $35.00                     Your Price: $30.80
Bright strawberry and raspberry fruit with a nice amount of pretty floral notes, earthy highlights.  This is all estate bottled on Jory soil mainly pommard clone the biggest berry clone from the heritage plot Ponzi family 115, 114 and 113.  Big ripe red cherry red raspberry very seductive and easy to drink with ripe open fruit very pretty structure mineral floral notes and exotic spices.  Bright and fruity but not light in nuance and spice.  Finish 45+ Excellent +

2022 LINGUA FRANCA PINOT NOIR ESTATE EOLA AMITY
Price: $50.00                     Your Price: $44.00
This is on the Gelderman soils, mainly 777 and 543 and this wine has a bit more perfume and floral notes with black raspberry fruit and a bit more minerality and complexity on the nose.  A big Pinot Noir but quite elegant and this wine has some tannins but a very balanced and a long finish all that nuance from the nose lingering through the finish.  Finish 50+ Most Excellent +

2022 LINGUA FRANCA PINOT NOIR THE PLOW ESTATE EOLA AMITY
Price: $65.00                     Your Price: $57.20
This looks to become a classic release of The Plow, with the deepest and longest flavors yet, ensuring longevity. As in 2017, it was composed of the finest lots of wine from the top of the vineyard where Larry Stone planted a refined, moderately productive Pinot Noir on the Gelderman-Jory soils that are the most expressive and nuanced of our vineyard site. The result is a powerful wine with luscious texture and length, a wine of contemplation and nuance. The long flavors are a complex of black cherry, dried herbs, black plum, red currant, black tea, rose petal, violets and minerals with a beautiful, long finish.

Menu
Flat Bread with Basil, Goat Cheese, Lemon Zest and Bacon Bits
King Salmon in Fried Wonton Crisp with Hoisin Sauce
Chicken Sate with Peanut Sauce
Pork Belly Bites with Cherry BBQ
Tuna Tartar with Mango, mint and lavender aioli served on Crispy Potato

The fee for this tasting is $75 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.

 

A bit about Lingua Franca:

At precisely 4 pm on December 31st, 2012, Larry completed this once-in-a-lifetime acquisition. The Janzen Farm, sought after for over 40 years by the finest names in Oregon winemaking, was now in his hands to develop.

Following low-impact, organic, and biodynamic farming principles under the guidance of dear friend and renowned regenerative viticulturist Mimi Casteel, our estate vineyard was planted with different combinations of rootstock and budwood to reflect the varying soil conditions within the vineyard.

The exceptional fruit produced from this land showcased unparalleled purity and elegance, capturing the attention of esteemed white wine producer Dominique Lafon.

Widely respected as one of the top winemakers in Burgundy, Dominique Lafon took notice of this exceptional vineyard site and joined Larry Stone, alongside winemaking protégé Thomas Savre, to craft uniquely expressive wines harnessing the unique terroir of Oregon.

The Willamette Valley is an ideal location to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Its average seasonal temperatures, long daylight hours in the summer months, and total annual rainfall resemble the conditions in Burgundy, where the fruit attains uncontested perfection. All of our work is guided by respect for the environment, encouraging healthy diversity of life around and among us.

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